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Posts Tagged "insect"

Bicolored Antbird

Posted by on May 8, 2017

Bicolored Antbird

Here’s a catch made during my recent research trip to Costa Rica. Not a neotropical migrant this time, but a local resident species. This unusual-looking fellow is a Bicolored Antbird (Gymnopithys leucaspis), one of several so-called “ant-birds” that are usually found only in the vicinity of army ant swarms. All day long these birds follow the ants -at a safe distance- and expertly capture insects that are flushed, but not caught, by the invading...

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RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017

RTPI in the Rainforest – Conservation, Education and Inspiration

RTPI provides innovative programs that bring nature back into people’s lives. RTPI researchers work with school and college students to give them a chance to study natural history first-hand, and open their eyes and minds to the workings of the natural world. Whether in our own backyard, or in a remote corner of Costa Rica, RTPI works to increase understanding of the natural connections between species, habitats, and people that are critical to effective conservation. Learn more in this outstanding video created by Nicholas Gunner of...

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Zombie Fungus?

Posted by on Feb 22, 2017

Zombie Fungus?

During a recent Hemlock Woolly Adelgid survey, one of our volunteers found a little yellow blob attached to a hemlock twig. The mass was clearly not HWA, but curiosity prompted me to bring it back to the office for examination. A closer look under the microscope revealed that the blob actually consisted of a powdery fungus encapsulating a dead spider! After a bit of research, I came to suspect that it might be some sort of Cordyceps; a genus of parasitic fungi capable of taking control of an arthropod, thus directing it to navigate to a favorable position for the fungi’s spores to...

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Monarch Butterfly on Butterfly

Posted by on Dec 15, 2016

Monarch Butterfly on Butterfly

Here is a look back to this summer at a butterfly on butterfly – in this case it is the Monarch (Danaus plexippus) on a Butterfly Bush (Buddleia). Look at all the glorious details on this stunning individual! Bask in the warm glow of the hot sun on the beautiful orange wings. Do you feel less cold yet? Butterfly bushes are a difficult subject. On the one hand, they are non-native, and it seems that in certain areas and regions they can readily spread and exclude some of our native vegetation. Native plants also often do provide more nutrition for native species of insects, birds, and...

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Pitbull Katydid

Posted by on Dec 8, 2016

Pitbull Katydid

While we head into winter we will be bringing you more green scenes and wildlife – occasionally at the same time – from the tropics, as is tradition here at RTPI. Our staff carries out several active research and education initiatives in Central America. Our partners and affiliates conduct some fantastic and important conservation work there as well. We always end up with some terrific media that showcases the splendid variety of life these nations hold. This is the Pitbull Katydid as photographed a few years back by RTPI President Twan Leenders while in Panama. As Twan said they...

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