Not enough purple today? How about a lovely Eudistoma reginum from Bunaken island, Indonesia? This Ascidian has also been reported from the Bismark Sea off Papua New Guinea, and the southerly end of the Great Barrier Reef, but reports are still relatively scarce. Kudos to the diver photographers who post geolocated photos of under-reported marine wildlife!
Ascidians are sessile (anchored in one spot) marine invertebrates, occurring throughout the world, usually in shallow waters and attached to hard surfaces. The family includes over 2000 described species, many of which are colonial — along with some of the Thaliacea, the only colonial chordates. When disturbed, ascidians often forcibly eject water from their siphons — the reason for their common name, “sea squirts.”
This baby Sunda pangolin (Manis javanica) was rescued by Indonesian police who intercepted 85 endangered pangolins from smugglers earlier this year. This pangolin has now been re-released into the wild.
The Straw-necked Ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) is a nomadic bird of the ibis and spoonbill family Threskiornithidae which can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia. They eat a variety of food, including molluscs, frogs, grasshoppers, crickets, and locusts.
Camera trapping work conducted by Fauna & Flora International in the Sumatran rainforests of Ulu Masen in Aceh produces a surprise result
Following on from the three-day camera trapping workshop which produced images of the unusual golden form of collared mongoose the Fauna & Flora International (FFI) Aceh team have made another scoop – this time the rarely seen Hoogerwerf’s pheasant, Lophura hoogerwerfi.
Known also as the Aceh pheasant or Sumatran pheasant, this species is endemic to northern Sumatra, Indonesia and listed as Vulnerable by IUCN.
Initially identified by a female specimen in 1979, the male wasn’t clearly seen until a few individuals were found in a market 20 years later. Roughly chicken-sized, the male is a deep bluish-black with a bare red face, while the female is buffy brown…
West of the line are found organisms related to Asiatic species; to the east, a mixture of species of Asian and Australian origin is present. The line is named after Alfred Russel Wallace, who noticed this clear division during his travels through the East Indies in the 19th century.
The distributions of many bird species observe the line, since many birds do not cross even the smallest stretches of open ocean water. Some bats have distributions that cross the line, but other mammals are generally limited to one side or the other; an exception is the crab-eating macaque. Other groups of plants and animals show differing patterns, but the overall pattern is striking and reasonably consistent…
A hundred years after his death, it is high time to put this evolutionary pioneer in his proper place – as Charles Darwin’s equal.
YESTERDAY I met someone who had never heard of Alfred Russel Wallace. They were as amazed by my enthusiasm for a long-dead collector of beetles, butterflies and birds as I was by their admission that, really, they had no idea who he was.
What made the hole in my otherwise well-informed friend’s knowledge even more surprising was that this year, the centenary of Wallace’s death, has seen an outbreak of what could almost be called Wallacemania. Reprints of his books have been published, there are conferences and websites galore, and there is even at long last a statue at the Natural History Museum in London.
My admiration, and that of so many biologists, ecologists and natural history enthusiasts, is easy to explain. Wallace was a self-taught naturalist, who despite lacking the usual advantages of the Victorian gentleman scientist became one of the most revered men of his age. He had little formal education, no family wealth to draw on and no friends in high scientific places. But he did have passion, perception, and the resourcefulness and resilience to survive 12 years in the remote and dangerous tropics…
THE BAY CAT (Pardofelis badia) prowling through its Borneo home. ____________________________________
World’s Rarest Cat Caught on Camera Richard Conniff || November 5, 2013 || Strange Behaviorsblog
The world’s least known cat has been caught on camera in a previously unsurveyed rainforest by scientists from the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College London.
Until now, the bay cat (Pardofelis badia) had been recorded on camera traps just a handful of times in its Borneo forest home and was only photographed in the wild for the first time in 2003. But more images of this animal have been captured than ever before, together with evidence of four other wild cat species, in a heavily logged area of forest where they were not expected to thrive.
The others are the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis), flat-headed cat (Prionailurus planiceps) and marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata).
Camera traps have transformed how information is collected for many species of mammals and birds …
The Bali myna is one of the rarest birds in the world. Thanks to poaching, their wild population hit an all-time low of just six individuals in 2001, but their numbers have since increased to around 50 wild mature birds. And just this month, the Bali Starling Conservation Project, which is home to 100 Bali mynas, has celebrated the birth of four healthy chicks to add to their breeding program.
This medium sized monitor is native to Indonesia and was only discovered in 2001. They are agile climbers and can grow up to about 40 inches from nose to tail.
Individuals’ color patterns can vary from grey to bright blue, and the black blotches can be spots or stripes. Their irises can also range from brown to orange to red. The tail is prehensile, and is often curled at rest.
Populations are unknown and very unstable. Because they are so beautiful, demands for pet trade and skins are skyrocketing. Since their discovery, illegal poaching and dealing has been taking advantage of the lack of information on this new reptile. Their range is very small, and this over exploitation could wipe them out.
Patagurus rex • A Remarkable new Crab-like Hermit Crab (Decapoda: Paguridae) from French Polynesia 
Patagurus rex gen. et sp. nov., a deep-water pagurid hermit crab, is described and illustrated based on a single specimen dredged from 400 m off Moorea, Society Islands, French Polynesia. Patagurus is characterized by a subtriangular, vaulted, calcified carapace, with large, wing-like lateral processes, and is closely related to two other atypical pagurid genera, Porcellanopagurus Filhol, 1885 and Solitariopagurus Türkay, 1986. The broad, fully calcified carapace, calcified branchiostegites, as well as broad and rigidly articulated thoracic sternites make this remarkable animal one of the most crablike hermit crabs. Patagurus rex carries small bivalve shells to protect its greatly reduced pleon. Carcinization pathways among asymmetrical hermit crabs and other anomurans are briefly reviewed and discussed.