Amazonian Insects- 03.31.12
The latest dose of natural inspiration from our resident zoologist and London-based editor, Justine Aw.
The diversity of wildlife is astounding and nowhere more is that more evident than amongst the insects, a class that account for about 80% of the world’s animal species. As a ‘creepy crawly’ loving kid and amateur entomologist, I’ve been lucky enough to encounter a pretty wide range of insects, nonetheless I was blown away by the array of insect life we encountered during our trip to the Amazon rainforest. Despite the fact that the trip was not an explicit entomological expedition, far from it, we found our boat home to hundreds of incredible insects that were attracted during the night to our rather conspicuously bright white boat, the Captain Logan, as we traveled along the Rio Negro!
The Amazon is thought to be home to a staggering 20 million insect species, which just goes to show how tiny and insignificant a fraction of the region’s biodiversity these photos represent, but nonetheless capture the impressive variations in shapes, colors and textures evolved to fit a variety of lifestyles and offer a glimpse into the rainforest. I was paricularly amazed by the variety of moths who ranged from ultrasleek to heavily furred, from streamlined stealth bombers to complex origami masterpieces. More photos of these incredible insects on the next page.
Stunning views across the glass-like waters of the Rio Negro and a glimpse into the vast rainforest.
One of the few true bugs that found its way on board.
Moths have a bit of a negative reputation, but I can’t work out why. They are beautiful and when they’re as well furred as this little one, they can even pass for cute and cuddly.
A number of beetles landed for a quick visit, but they were vastly outnumbered by moths.
I have a soft spot for furry moths and we were lucky enough to find quite a few of these beautifully plumed species.
A beautiful grey sphinx type moth with enormous eyes.
Moths turned up in the most unexpected places.
One of my favorite moths of the trip. It hardly seemed real as it tried to camouflage into the lines with its wings held so incredibly. It almost resembled some sort of seed pod.