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The Sani Project (VIII)

 
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pbertner



Joined: 02 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:53 pm    Post subject: The Sani Project (VIII) Reply with quote

1) Sunrise with P3P drone:



2) Squirrel monkey:



3) Lichen-mimicking tetrigidae (Amorphopus sp.):



4) Riodinid caterpillar with balloon setae (the red ball of modified hairs atop its head) which putatively protect the caterpillar from ants:



5) Jumping ant (Gigantiops destructor) with spitting spider (Scytodes sp.) prey:



6) We need a bryophytolichenologist! Lichens don't exactly steal the limelight in the spectacle that is nature. But consider, tropical rainforests make up an estimated 7% of the earth's land surface. Lichens are estimated to cover 6%. For something so ubiquitous, they are woefully underappreciated. A symbiotic partnership between 2 fungi (a basidiomycete and an ascomycete) and an algae (or cyanobacterium), lichens predate most other groups of organisms. Slow in growth, they rely on photosynthesis for energy, their colour being largely determined by the type of light absorbing pigment they use.

The leafy, dark green body is non reproductive (thallus), whilst the white/pink buds constitute the fruiting bodies. The bright greens appear to be a moss growing epiphitically on the lichen. A rainforest within a rainforest it would seem. And indeed, the lichen is considered a holobiont, 'a complex composite organism', a system which encourages the participation of other microorganisms. Oh if only I could segue this thought with a magic schoolbus moment!:



7) Sometimes a wasp is just a wasp

Here, a pompilid wasp (with spider prey in background) will drag her prey to a burrow whereupon she will lay her eggs, and they will feed on the still living spider. Consuming it until all is gone. I got that part.
But this pompilid wasp also clearly appears like other, more social wasps (Polistinae) in the region.

So Batesian mimicry right? The wasp is benefiting from a salient model, which will help prevent birds/other predators predating on it. But the pompilid wasp has its own painful sting, it can subdue and paralyze a spider.

So Mullerian mimicry, right? But the pompilids occur in much smaller numbers than their models, they are solitary wasps and so they are benefiting disproportionately from the social wasp colouration. Though this might be a form of Mullerian mimicry, it is almost parasitic in the way that it disproportionately garners the protective benefits of its model.:



8. Mushroom (Hymenopelis sp.):



9) Juvenile black caiman under UV light:
The background on this shot veers into ethics which I'll leave out here, but which can be viewed here, and here and here for the curious.



Thanks for looking and commenting,
Paul
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Lou Jost



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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful as always Paul. I will be visiting Sani with some students from Stanford in early July. Hope to see you!

Do hawks ever bother your drone?
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pbertner



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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You aren't perchance coming in with the Wallacea group are you? (Organized Tim and Freddy).

I should be back there in early July (fingers crossed).

Not with hawks, no. Sea gulls for some reason showed a degree of attraction, though I was able to either ascend/descend quickly enough that it wasn't an issue. As a rule I try to always maintain line of sight with the drone. Of course the rare occasion where I didn't I hit a tree branch and damaged it.
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rjlittlefield
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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beautiful and thought-provoking images, as always. Thanks for the links to background discussion.

--Rik
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Lou Jost



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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddy might be Freddy Hualinga? Freddy Huallinga is guiding the group I'll be with. I don't know if the group is called Wallacea...hope we overlap.
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zzffnn



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PostPosted: Mon May 01, 2017 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Paul, for sharing those beautiful images and some interesting background information!
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pbertner



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 11:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks all, much appreciated.

Lou- It must be a different group. Shouldn't make a difference though. Not sure that I know Freddy Gualinga. But the Gualinga family is one of the largest ones in Sani isla community. If your groups assigned guide is not set in stone, you should ask for Javier Gualinga. He's the head of the guides and is the most knowledgeable.

Rik - Thanks. The ethics discussion veers into provocative/polarizing territory so I didn't want to start a discussion here, but if you have an interest or opinion on the matter I'd be happy to hear it on the page/in PM. Cheers.
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Lou Jost



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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul, I have no control over the guides, but I am told that Freddy Gualinga (sorry about my spelling) is part of that Sani family. Jose G. was the pioneer local bird expert when ecotourism started up in the area back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. I hope I get to see him there. Euserbio G and his son were also active back in those days. Don't know Javier. I look forward to meeting him.
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anvancy



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PostPosted: Wed May 03, 2017 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are great photos Paul.

How was the mushroom photographed?

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