Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Day 3 at Cristalino Jungle Lodge – Tower I, the Saleiro, and Moths Galore

August 6, 2015

We had a very full day today – and I took far too many photos. So I’ll have to keep the captions short on this one. We started the day on the second level of Tower I. At eye-level here is the canopy of a Zanthoxylum tree (probably Z. rhoifolium), in perfect fruit right now – and it was almost never completely free of birds while we were here. The most amazingly cooperative birds were a pair of White-browed Purpletufts, and I caught one just as it took off, showing its namesake.

And here’s a few other birds I got photographs of here:
Dusky-chested Flycatcher

Purple Honeycreeper

Scarlet Macaws

Southern Scrub-Flycatcher

Yellow-browed Tody-Flycatcher

Yellow-margined Flycatcher

We then walked the Saleiro loop, and when we arrived at the saleiro (“salt lick,” actually a mud wallow with slightly saline soil), a herd of White-lipped Peccaries were starting to come in. They first spooked away, but when we climbed the little observation platform, they came in, perhaps up to 80 individuals.

After they departed, we enjoyed watching the many butterflies taking advantage of the moisture and salts left behind.

Adelpha epione, a sister with no orange band

Baeotus aeilus, Amazon Beauty

Heading back to the lodge for lunch, I flushed this tiny metalmark, Sarota lasciva.

And also flushed was this Rufescent Tiger-Heron from a small puddle of water in a forest stream that is normally totally dry this time of year. I was amazed it still had water in it this late in the dry season.

This click beetle (family Elateridae) appears to be Semiotus distinctus. It often comes to the fermented fruit that we have put out for butterflies, and that’s what it was on here.

Our local guide and my friend Jorge spotted this snake lying across the trail; it appears to probably be Philodryas viridissimus, a type of rear-fanged colubrid that could deliver a dangerous bite.

After lunch I went back on the trail with my friend Claudia who had spotted this dead weevil with a pathogenic fungus growing out of it. Susanne Sourell has already identified the fungus for me as Ophiocordyceps curculionum, but this asexual fruiting stage also has been giving a separate scientific name, Hymenostilbe sp.

I checked the puddle parties on my own finding this Starry Night Cracker (Hamadryas laodamia) female.

This gorgeous lemon-colored caterpillar had me wishing I were here for a few weeks so I could rear it to adulthood.

This huge, strange brushfoot had me totally confounded. It is Napeocles jucunda, so very unlike any other butterfly, and the only member of its genus. Apparently it only very rarely comes to mud.

In the afternoon the whole group set out for a delightful boat ride up river. Just up from our lodge was this juvenile Great Black Hawk.

We stayed until after dark, seeing a Great Potoo and countless Cuvier's Dwarf Caimans.

After dinner, I wasn’t nearly ready to go to bed. I checked the moth sheet and saw two odd but tiny things. One is this strange planthopper of some kind, perhaps a nymphal stage of a fulgorid?

The other was this moth that appears to mimic a small net-winged beetle.

And there was one large visitor, this sphinx month Xylophanes pluto.

I also checked the lights on the walkway to the floating deck, where I found another green sphinx moth, Eumorpha capronnieri.

I also found a silk moth, Therinia sp.

Heading to the boat ramp, I spotted a scorpion on the side of a tree trunk; This may be Tityus strandi.

Then I found another, this speckled one more resembling Tityus silvestrus though I’m far from certain that that is the correct name.

Finally, I was amazed at the variety but lack of numbers of pyraloid moths on the beach. It seemed there was just one each of at least nine species here, all of which may remain unidentified for some time.

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