Insects of Mindo – The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Above Red and Black Heliconid Butterfly Looking For A Way Out

blue-org-blk-butterflyEveryone agrees these insects are beautiful (3.5″)

hummingbird-moth-shrunkenAnd even this hawk moth (3″)

Back more than a week and the glow is starting to fade out as this life in Ashland becomes more and more of a reality.  It’s strange how one world becomes the imagined world and another gradually becomes plain-old-every-day life.  Now there are softball (verging on the impossible in  Ecuador) and mah-jongg which would have taken more time training than Chiyemi had in Cuenca.

red-orange-blk-caterpillar-shrunkenCaterpillar (1.5″) On Fern Leaf – Sachatamia River Walk – Mindo

So, I know that not everyone loves insects like I do (and have trained Chiyemi to love as she enthusiastically examines each specimine and happily discovers others).  Really with this preponderance of six legged, triply segmented, jointed leg creatures,  with half of all living creatures (macro) insects, maybe we should all just learn to  get along with our little hard-shelled brethren.

sachatamia-apple-grn-beetle-shrunkenApple Green Beetle (3/4″) – Cabana – Sachatamia

Or quite possibly sisters: males are not always necessary.  Almost all ants are females as are bees and termites.   This tips the scales in the direction of feminine dominance amongst class insecta.

orange-blk-weevil-2-shrunken1Ubiquitous Form Of Life – A Mindo Weevil

I’m told there are entire species of weevils in which males are impossible to find and yet they reproduce (clones) quite nicely.  Parthogenesis is a lot more popular in the insect world than in warmer blooded creatures.  We’ve only managed one such birth claimed in the last 2000+ years, so it’s just not happening among mammals.

squirrel-sachatamiaNot Many Of These Mammals About – Sachatamia Squirrel

How many species of mammals are there?  Aren’t we the successful ones?  There are around 5000 species of those furry, warm-blooded, four limbed animals about and twice as many birds.  Kind of insignificant compared to the diversity of Insects, the topic of this post (to which I should add miscellaneous invertebrates).

blk-millipede-shrunkenA ciempies in Spanish or what we call a centipede

another-weevil-sachatamia-shrunkenOne Of The Many Weevils We Saw – Sachatamia

There are more beetles than any other order of insects and more weevils than any other family of beetles – that is, there’s a fair case for weevils being the  most abundant animal life form. Wikipedia Weevils if you’re interested and I hope you are.


Now this is a handsome creature – beetle clearly and probably one of the goliath series.  This was a mini-goliath, only 2.5″ long and dwarfed by the ones we saw in central America.  Still a very handsome guy, no?

blk-orange-beetle-antennae-out-shrunkenLook at those feather-form antennae out looking for a mate or food.

blue-blk-tanager-2Birds Are A Lot Easier To Find In The Rain Forest Than Mammals – Blue/Black Tanager

owl-butterfly-shrunkenBird Mimic Eyes? From The Butterfly Farm/Mariposario

sm-blk-red-beetle-shrunkenLovely little (1/2″) beetle on fern leaf

blue-yellow-gray-butterfly-on-leaf-shrunkenButterfly Farm – Half The Hatch Are Freed Daily

brn-white-orange-butterfly-shrunkenAnother Perfectly Acceptible Insect – Mindo Near The Cascada

sachatamia-grn-grasshopper-shrunkenLeaf Munchers Are Extremely Popular In  A Rainforest

brn-beige-beetle-shrunkenBut For Real Popularity, Go With One Of The 600k Coleopterans

fly-with-spot-on-butt-shrunkenFlies Are Tough To Photograph Because  Two Wings Work Better Than Four – The Other Two Evolved Into Flight/Attitude Control

sm-irridescent-wasp-shrunkenAnd These Iridescent Wasps Nearly Impossible To Photograph

x-wing-moth-sachatamia-shrunkenWhy Are These Upper Wings Angled At 45 Degrees Like  An F-18?

green-and-yellow-ant-shrunken Here’s a lovely green female ant (3/4″)

transparent-skirted-beetle-sizedTransparent Skirt Around Leaf Beetle (3/16″)

cicadas-shrunkenDead Cicada – Live  Cicada (1.25″)

katydid-on-rock-shrunkenLook At The Faux Veins As In A Leaf On This Katydid (2.5″ + antenna)

The rainforest insects are relentlessly inventive in their blind, evolutionary way.  Hope you enjoyed the  photos of a very, very few of them.

5 Responses to “Insects of Mindo – The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly”

  1. 1 Ray
    January 27, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Just great photos. Someone might think that you enjoyed doing this. 🙂

  2. August 11, 2009 at 1:11 am

    Hi there just thought i would let you know that the bird you have lablled with the following caption ”Birds Are A Lot Easier To Find In The Rain Forest Than Mammals – Blue/Black Tanager”
    Is in actual fact a Buff Naped Tanager, more commonly known as a Golden Naped Tanager (Tangara ruficervix).

    Great site.

  3. 4 Bonnie Umphreys
    June 8, 2009 at 5:39 am

    What incredible pictures…I’m quite impressed!
    What a difference your blog makes…now you have to get organized so you can sell some of your photo’s.

  4. 5 Robert Doyle
    April 15, 2009 at 2:34 am

    Outstanding pix… Thank You! C U when U are up for your Birthday. Bogie

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Dead Vlei - Namib-Naukluft National Park

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