Rainforest insects…

Have just been travelling in Western Kenya on fieldwork. Spent a few days in the wonderful Kakamega forest, where the heady mixture of rain and sunshine has seen an explosion of insect life. Here are some of the pictures of the amazing and beautiful forest creatures.The strangest creatures I came across were these very cool bugs, flatid bug nymphs, who sit together in gregarious ‘nurseries’. They are very touchy and hop off like little rockets at the slightest disturbance so I had to move like a chameleon in order to photograph them! Their fluffy tails are waxy filaments that serve as a means to clog up the mouth of any would-be predator while the little nymph escapes! flatid-kmegalr1.jpg  flatid-kmegalr2.jpg  There were some interesting flies around – including this ‘Daddy-long-legs’ – a species of cranefly, who came along to sample some of the mashed banana mix that I was using to attract butterflies… cranefly-kakamega-lr1.jpg The butterflies eventually showed up – among the most striking was a pair of ‘Lurid Gliders’, as they are known – the female is the brown and white-spotted one, the male is the one with the golden yellow wings… cymothoe-luridalr2.jpg cymothoe-luridalr3.jpg Some butterflies preferred the edges of puddles to sip from…papilio-lormieri1.jpgswallowtails-kakamegalr1.jpg And some had tastes running to less appetising things!kakamega-bfly-feast-lr1.jpg There were a lot of ants around too. Among my favourite ants in the forest are these lumbering gentle ants, Polyrachis, who move slowly along the trunks and leaves of trees. They spend a lot of time seemingly pondering the mysteries of life, while basking in the sunshine, like this one was…  polyrachis-kakamega-lr1.jpg More from the wonderful world of insects soon – thanks to everyone for your kind comments and interest and sorry for not posting more often!  

4 thoughts on “Rainforest insects…

  1. Dino, this is a great post. Amazing pictures! I marvel at how you are able to bring the often ignored world of little insects, bugs and arachnids into life…human life that is. Keep posting and teach us about this wonderful world of the little creatures.

  2. I agree with Samuel, I’m amazed at the detail in your photos. When you have time could you tell us how these bugs benefit us? I was at a book reading last night and Capt. Paul Watson of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society spoke and he mentioned the connection we have with worms. He said worms can live well without us, but we cannot live without worms. So, I’m curious to know how these insects benefit their ecosystems. I keep hoping that the more I learn about bugs, the less phobic I’ll be about them. Thanks, Dino!

    s.

  3. Hi there! I was recommended your website by a reader of my blog. These are some excellent pictures that tell a nice story. Thanks for sharing with us. I hope you update your blog more often once every couple months!

    I have never seen an insect before like the first pic. Amazing!

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