Research by Gustavo Londoño in the Peruvian Rainforest:
Temp On The Gradient from Ecosite Media on Vimeo.
I loved the nightjar they filmed. No idea what species it is. But loved seeing it.
Very nice. I’d like to know what was creeping on the rock in the beginning of the film!!
Thanks for the post Greg.
I spent Aug to Nov. 2010, helping Gustavo (with a team of about 18 volunteers) on his research project in the eastern Andes of Peru. There are three different field sites (Tono, San Pedro and Wayqecha) at different elevations, from a gradient of around 900-3100 meters. The research is focused on how Neotropical birds regulate nest temperature considering intrinsic and extrinsic factors at different elevations. Additionally, Gustavo is interested in three main bird incubation components, which involve nests, eggs and incubating birds. As climatic change continues to affect the eastern Andes we feel this information will be valuable in helping devise an environmental plan to save certain bird species from extinction. In addition, Gustavo has discovered many bird nests that have never been described before.
Filming in these locations and getting the “shots” was challenging (many stinging insects, hiding from the subject and difficult terrain ) but still a lot fun.
I hope this film provides Y’all with an understanding of our research, an appreciation of the plant and animals found living in the eastern Andes and our desire to educate the public about biological field research.
Please share with others and thanks for watching.
To Russell: The one in the nest opening its mouth is the Lyra-tail nightjar (Uropsalis lyra). The one that is perched is the swallow-tail nightjar (Uropsalis segmentata). Thanks for watching.
” I’d like to know what was creeping on the rock in the beginning of the film!!”
Looks to me more like it was on bark. Anyway, I think it’s a caterpillar that is a tarantula (or other spider) mimic. Google “Hag Moth” and see what you think. I can’t quite match the species, but there are some very similar creatures there. The large hairy “legs” are fakes. Watch how it moves, especially at the front end.
Try this image of an odd caterpillar. I suspect it’s close to the beast in the video.
Maybe not the same, but awfully similar — though much smaller than the other one appears to be. Hard to judge size without a scale, but I’d have guessed the one in the video was a couple of cm long. This one appears to be a few mm.
I’d better look at the video again.
The rove beetle was pretty cool as well. We had a few of them near our compost this year in French Guiana.
Hey Gwen and Achrachno, thanks for the interest and info, I did not even know the common name or where to start looking to identify that caterpillar. I would say it’s a hag moth of some sort. I found it on my shoulder and I though it was a piece of dried fruit at first and then it started moving! I have more footage of interesting insects that did not make it into the film, it was hard to choose.
I’m envious of you! Seems like a fantastic place to work. I used to work in tropical Mexico and Costa Rica so I’ve had an introduction to the massive diversity you must have seen.
Since you’re the finder of the hag moth caterpillar in the video, you’re the perfect person to ask: How long was it? I’m thinking now that maybe it’s small and a “trash mimic” rather than some sort of spider mimic. Sounds like your first impression was not spider, anyway.
These caterpillars apparently often have stinging hairs too. Did this one zap you? There’s a more obvious caterpillar in the film that looks like it’d be quite painful to the touch. I’ve been stung by similar ones anyway.
I’d say it was 6.5-7cm in length. It had more of velvet like hairs on it, nothing that would cause a stinging sensation. It did not come across as a spider mimic but it looked more like a piece of plant material. I was fascinated and filmed it for a long time. I did come across plenty of caterpillars that did have “stinging hairs like the second caterpillar in the film. I have a lot of footage of these. I could handle them without any problems but some other volunteers could not because they would break out in a rash.
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