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Insane in the Membracidae: Discovering Mutualism between Ants and Treehoppers

[fa icon="calendar'] Oct 9, 2017 6:00:00 PM / by Paul Bertner posted in Insects, Bizarre animal behavior, Amazon

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When you think of the Amazon Rainforest – what do you think of? Usually, the rainforest comes to us in images of color, biodiversity and an exoticness which echoes in our imaginations.  We often think of fauna or birds – colorful macaws and mysterious jaguars.

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Top Jungle Critter Encounters in 2015 - Tambopata, Peru

[fa icon="calendar'] Dec 30, 2015 10:00:00 AM / by Aaron Pomerantz posted in Insects

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Welcome to the Amazon Rainforest

I've been fortunate this past year to log so much time in the Amazon rainforest. It can be a tough environment for extended trips; it's hot, you're in a perpetual state of sogginess from the humidity and sporadic downpours, and there are bugs constantly attempting to withdraw your blood. With that being said, the Amazon rainforest is also an unbelievably amazing place, as the jungle hosts some of the most incredible views and creatures I've ever laid eyes upon. Below you'll find a selection of my favorite jungle critter encounters from 2015, hope you enjoy!

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Look, Don't Touch. The Spiny, Bright & Venomous Caterpillars of Peru

[fa icon="calendar'] Sep 23, 2015 10:00:00 AM / by Aaron Pomerantz posted in Caterpillars, Insects, Donald Trump

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When you think of a caterpillar, your mind usually turns to an image of a plump little grub-like insect with stubby legs, happily munching away on a leaf. But caterpillars in the jungle don't mess around. Surrounded by predatory spiders, ants, birds and lizards, it's a wonder how any caterpillar reaches its final butterfly or moth form.

While many caterpillars remain remarkably cryptic, blending in with their environment, some take the opposite approach. Evolution has carved out warrior-like caterpillars that don spiny armor plastered in bright warning colors. To pack on an extra punch, many of these caterpillars harbor venom-tipped spines that will leave the attacker, or unfortunate human, with a painful skin rash and in some caseseven death.

I'm always fascinated yet cautious when I encounter these caterpillars in the wild, so here are some of the coolest looking Lepidoptera larvae I've encountered trekking through the Peruvian Amazon.

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Bioluminescence in the Peruvian Amazon - Like the Avatar Movie, but in Real Life

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 7, 2015 8:29:00 AM / by Aaron Pomerantz posted in Insects

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If you're familiar with the 2009 science fiction film, Avatar, you may have enjoyed the lush extraterrestrial glowing rainforest. But the glowing rainforest that I experienced was real, and it occurred in the Peruvian Amazon of Tambopata this past March.

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HarpyCam - Tambopata AmazonCam

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