Sunday, March 27, 2011

Insects hiding in the forest

It looked like a leaf had blown into our balcony and stuck to the window, but it turned out to be one of those amazing moths that looks just like a leaf. Because it's strategy is to not move and make like a leaf, it made a very cooperative photographic subject.
This beetle (Chrysina resplendens) looks like it would be easy see in a forest, but apparently with all its reflections it's well camouflaged in the dappled light of a moist cloud forest canopy. It's very unusual to see them at ground level; in all my hiking around Monteverde in the last 10 years, I've only seen one live one. This one was found dead in the library.
This blue morpho butterfly (Morpho peleides limpida) doesn't look well camouflaged; most of the time they don't sit around open like this. This one seemed to have just emerged from its chrysalis and was drying out in the sun.
In its normal posture for feeding or resting, it's almost impossible to find unless you saw it land. If you happen to startle one, you might end up being startled yourself by the flash of brilliant blue as it takes off and starts its crazy, swooping flight.

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