DixPix Photographs

     

WESTERN AMAZON

 
     
  OTHER INSECTS  

 

"Other" here refers to a page devoted to Butterflies and Moths.

It is no surprise that the Amazon is full of insects. although many live in the forest canopy and are seldom if ever encountered on the ground.  Some are brightly colored, others are masters of camouflage or mimicry.  Several can give painful stings if threatened, but only a few come looking for blood.  It is likely that a great portion of the species have not been defined by science, and most of the photos here are identified only to the genus or family level.  Exceptional photostreams of Ecuadorian insects have been compiled by Andreas Kay, and are available here.

 

The huge nests of the Bell Wasps are occasionally seen along the Amazon River.  They are usually attributed to Chartergus globiventris, and this one is surrounded by weaver bird nests which are likely seeking protection as few predators would be willing to tangle with such a wasp colony. Click to see big picture (534x600 pixels; 224 KB)
Another, spotted Bell Wasp nest, likely by some other species of the Chartergus genus, which seems confined to the Amazon. Click to see big picture (331x600 pixels; 76 KB)
Paper Wasps are everywhere, including here in the rainforests of eastern Ecuador.  This group is constructing their nest, using a "paper" made of dead wood fibers and saliva. Click to see big picture (562x600 pixels; 112 KB)
Stingless Bees of the Meliponinae family must hide their vulnerable nests, typically inside a tree with a long, narrow tube entrance. Click to see big picture (720x589 pixels; 103 KB)
Tabanos or Horseflies of the Tabanidae family are after blood and can be a major nuisance.  This species, that patrols the Condor Range between Ecuador and Peru, have huge hypodermics and come in swarms. Click to see big picture (720x593 pixels; 92 KB)
The bite of Paraponera clavata, known as the Bullet Ant or Congo Ant is rated as one of the most painful anywhere.  Known in Spanish as Hormiga Bala, its bite is likened to being hit by a bullet, and the pain lasts at least 24 hours.  Click to see big picture (644x600 pixels; 125 KB)
From Amacayacu Park in the Colombian Amazon, this is a termite nest that also harbors bats.  Such co-habitation is usually attributed to the Nasutitermes genus of termites, widespread in the Neotropics. Click to see big picture (426x600 pixels; 128 KB)
A view of the inner complexity of a termite nest. Click to see big picture (720x524 pixels; 195 KB)
These odd and widespread structures are known as Cicada Chimneys.  The cicada nymph is a long way down beneath the forest floor, said to be living on roots.  These are usually associated with Fidicina chlorogena, although there are many genera and species of cicada in the amazon, and I am not sure how many of these things have been excavated and the culprits identified. Click to see big picture (400x600 pixels; 102 KB)
Cicadas are known as Cigarras (cigars) in Spanish.  When I arrived at Puerto Inca on Peru's Rio Pachitea, it was being swarmed by these Cicadas.  Judging in part by the wing pattern, these appear to be of the Fidicina genus, but not of the species of mud chimney fame. Click to see big picture (720x527 pixels; 135 KB)
Locally it is known as a Grille Gigante (giant cricket), but it is really an overgrown Katydid of the poorly known Panoploscelis genus.  The size of a tarantula, this nocturnal hunter can bite, but no venom.  The name Spiny Lobster Katydid has been suggested.  This one is climbing my mosquito netting at Heliconias Lodge on the Brazil-Peru border. Click to see big picture (720x558 pixels; 149 KB)
Female Crickets can be recognized by the long ovipositor on the rear end. Click to see big picture (606x600 pixels; 100 KB)
Katydids (above) and Crickets (below) have distinctive antenna, much longer than those of grasshoppers. Click to see big picture (548x600 pixels; 90 KB)
Grasshoppers have comparatively short antenna.  This is a dark version of the Colpolopha genus on the Calanoa Reserve of the Colombian Amazon. Click to see big picture (720x490 pixels; 106 KB)
A Tetrataenia surinama grasshopper and a leafhopper size one another up in the Colombian Amazon.  This species is named for Surinam, but mainly reported from Ecuador, so its range is poorly understood. Click to see big picture (720x525 pixels; 79 KB)
The big eyes and unusual posture mark this grasshopper as the Rhytidochrota genus.  Amacayacu Park, Colombia. Click to see big picture (645x600 pixels; 113 KB)
Oddball grasshoppers of this type go by names such as Airplane, Crossbow and Monkey.  They are part of the Paramastax genus of northern South America. Click to see big picture (679x600 pixels; 160 KB)
A rather dark and dull member of the Tortoise Beetles, represented by the Cassidinae family.  Wildsumaco Reserve, Ecuador. Click to see big picture (452x600 pixels; 125 KB)
From the Condor Mountains on the Peru-Ecuador border, an unidentified green beetle. Click to see big picture (662x600 pixels; 140 KB)
Phthia lunata of the Coreidae family, posing at the Calanoa Reserve in Colombian Amazon. Click to see big picture (637x600 pixels; 111 KB)
A brighter bug, likely Hypselonotus sp. from near Iguazu, northeastern Argentina.
From the same area, a Leaf-footed Leafhopper from the Acanthocephala family.
Phasmatodea is an Order of insects known as Walking Sticks or as Stick Insects, also as Phasmids.  This one is on a colorful bracket fungus in easternmost Bolivia. Click to see big picture (720x513 pixels; 95 KB)
Some Phasmids have wings, such as this dull specimen from the Napa Valley in eastern Ecuador. Click to see big picture (720x473 pixels; 82 KB)
Pterodictya reticularis is a Waxtail Leaf-hopper.  The females of this strange group exude a wax that is used to coat the eggs for protection.  This one is suspended in the Sacha Lodge Reserve of Ecuador. Click to see big picture (720x489 pixels; 81 KB)
This one is a mystery.  Local information says it is a chrysalis stage of a caterpillar, but that is hard to envision.  Why two tubes from each node? Click to see big picture (405x600 pixels; 113 KB)
And here is another strange item for which I have no clue.  Camouflaged on a stem with a grumpy face and a long tail.  Without the wings it would hardly look like an insect. Click to see big picture (590x520 pixels; 149 KB)