Archive for July, 2010

Clelia scytalina

Saturday, July 31st, 2010

This large snake reaches 6 feet long here at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest and is only found in the lower elevations below 1800 in vegetation near streams. It is quite sluggish during the cooler days when there is no sun.

Here comes the sun.

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

The last photo of the last blog entry was that blurry Spider Monkey racing through the canopy. Contrast that with these slow metabolism leaf eating Mantled Howlers hanging out this morning catching the rays of the rising sun after a rainy night.

Cathedral Shelter

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

After watching a large group of acrobatic Spider Monkeys I took shelter from the rain at the base of a giant ceniza tree (local name) that had a second large Ficus tree wrapped around its trunk and a third small tree (Eugenia sp.) with peeling bark growing in the under story. I hung around for an hour chilling out on this awesome view while the rain fell.

While waiting out the rain an immature male Resplendent Quetzal arrived on a Cigua (Nectandra sp.) tree nearby and starting feeding. When the rain stopped I slowly meandered over a got a nice shot of him with his raggedy head. No elongated tail feathers on this youngster.

Here are the fruit of the Cigua tree he is eating. It’s in the avocado family and he was chucking these down whole.

When Quetzals are digesting these large fruit they seem to hang quiet and not move which makes them quite easy to photograph.

About those Spider Monkeys you can forget about photographing them as they scramble through the canopy and leap 40 feet through the air grabbing on to thin branches and swinging and swaying on to the next tree. Here is the best shot I got…


Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Through the mist on a foggy night the White Witch descended on the home at Mount Totumas Cloud Forest. This moth, Thysania agrippina, is the lepidopteran with the biggest wingspan in the world. It dwarfed the sphinx moths and other visitors to our bug light. It is of the Noctuidae family. It’s little sister, Thysania zenobia or Owl Moth, has also visited our lights. Both species are illustrated here with a hand as a reference showing the enormous size of these moths. These are both remarkable insects that invoke a sense of mystery in this cloud forest wilderness.

Thysania zenobia

Thysania agrippina

Thysania agrippina

Thysania agrippina

Thysania zenobia