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Around the yard, southern Mexico...

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by Hunter-MX, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. Hunter-MX

    Hunter-MX Arachnopeon

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    I posted this on a couple of reptile boards, it is actually heavily oriented towards Arachnids and Insects so have a look and enjoy...

    As some of you may remember… I am an American living in the southern Mexico state of Guerrero. I had been living in a respectably good size town. We recently moved a ways out into a small village. I have gone from a 4th floor apartment to a house surrounded by jungle and the beach.

    We have a large rock garden in the yard as well as open areas. I have been amazed at the biodiversity that has presented itself in the short time we have been here.
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    Across the street…
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    In addition, the house had been uninhabited for nearly a year prior. Many of the creatures that had taken up residence under squatters rights failed to receive or adhere to the eviction notice given prior to our arrival…

    Here is a sample of the fun found in and around the house in the last couple of weeks.

    I am all for a few spiders and geckos in the house to keep the pest population down, but I can be pushed to my limits…
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    This was found in the bedroom on night 3, the locals say it is “not dangerous” it just hurts a hell of a lot.
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    This one, found just outside is apparently a different story…
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    These little ones, we are told, grow into something less then polite as well. This one was found in our daughters’ bed
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    There were a lot of these Amblypygi around inside as well, including one almost as big as a dinner plate. These smaller palm size individuals aren’t so bad. Night 2 however found me with one of them on my face in my sleep. It did not survive the encounter.
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    Some animals are far less offensive, though these bat size moths (as well as actual bats) will startle you sometimes
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    Having a cup of coffee on the porch one morning I noticed a “ruckus” at the base of a tree. I watched as this fellow began making his way up the tree with surprising speed and agility (Salvadora mexicana)
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    The decent was not quite as graceful…
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    And his apparent target seemed cautious, but overall unimpressed at the acrobatics (Sceloporus pyrocephalus)
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    There are several large Ctenosaurs on the rocks but, I believe, due to heavy hunting in the area they avoid my camera like the plague. Here is a baby munching flowers in the garden…
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    This mantis literally landed at my feet. I had no idea that such a magnificent creature existed here, let alone in my yard!
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    One day I saw what I thought was a large piece of crumpled paper, looking closer I found it was an elephant beetle. I had been hoping to find one of these massive scarabs here.
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    Breeding season for the local tarantulas brings many males wandering…
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    A nice stick insect
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    Lots of Ameivas of all sizes, here is a nice male
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    I heard some birds chattering outside. When I went to investigate I saw these columns of army ants coming over the wall towards the house. I had actually talked to my Mom stateside about the possibility of this happening and how to handle it, which was that I don’t know. For those who do not know, army ants travel in groups of thousands. They do not have a stationary nest, but rather “bivouac” at night and move in the day. They are voracious predators, dismantling and consuming any living creature they are able to catch. Here they are making their appearance
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    An anole watches nervously as they pass below
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    Insects began raining down from the tree above as they leapt to escape the attackers. Lizards scurried from the path and the army moved towards the house
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    They entered the house by the hundreds, covering two walls.
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    Insects began appearing from nowhere. There was nothing to do but watch. I went to pick up my wife from work mid invasion; we did not get back until after dark. I entered the house cautiously, thinking the worst, imagining they had developed a taste for electronics and the computers would be gone. I flipped the light switch to find…nothing… they had all cleared out for the night. They were here I swear.

    The jungle next door looks like it will have some great opportunities for wildlife. I have a hard time getting past these images though. Every opening in trees is like this, and every spider here, when outstretched is at least as big as your palm.
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    Here are a couple of cool little frogs found in the yard as well. ID’s on these would be appreciated.
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    A couple more beetles…
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    Some Sceloporus
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    And saving the best for last…This young Indigo snake was cruising thru the rocks across the yard. I was unable to get any in situ shots, so a couple of posed pics and I sent him on his way.
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    So I hope you enjoyed this little adventure around the yard.:D
     
  2. ftorres

    ftorres Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Hello,
    Thanks for posting.
    I really love the male Acanthops sp (Mantis) and the Male M elephus occidentalis.
    I wish I can find that in my back yard too.

    Guerrero is a great place lots and lots of inverts reptiles and anphibians.

    Look out for D maya. they should be around there too.

    regards

    francisco
     
  3. Red Eyes

    Red Eyes Arachnoknight

    So how was the culture shock (if any)? Did it seem like you were on the set of a "B" movie when the ants came marching in? I like that "across the street" caption ;) What is across the street ... Cuba or Australia? (which coast are you on?) Thanks again for sharing!
     
  4. beanb142002

    beanb142002 Arachnoknight Old Timer

    I could only see such biodiversity at a zoo.:rolleyes:

    I might see Sceloporus undulatus a few times a year, at least a thousand Anolis carolinensis, oh...and my Canis lupus familiaris:D
     
  5. Hunter-MX

    Hunter-MX Arachnopeon

    No, really, that is across the street. I have jungle on 3 sides and the ocean in front (the Pacific) Guerrero is on the west coast.

    The ants freaked me out a bit. I have encountered them dozens of times in the jungle but not quite so personal.

    For Fransisco, D maya (?) not familiar. :?

    Thanks for the feedback....:)
     
  6. ftorres

    ftorres Arachnobaron Old Timer

    Hello,
    Dynastes maya is a rhino beetle that looks very similar to Dynastes granti from Arizona. D maya is bigger than D granti. Dynastes hyllus is also found in your area.

    Anyways, I am really happy to see pics of the fauna and flora from that wonderfull state, that I had the blessing to visit so many times.

    Perhaps one day I could use your help to be around the jungle and do some night collecting with black light and a mercury light.

    regards
    francisco
     
  7. lhystrix

    lhystrix Arachnobaron

    Hunter, great images again.
    I love those moths and the cribo.
    That Nephila community is mad crazy, too. Very gregarious.

    On a more professional note, it turns out that white jumper from your other thread is most likely an undescribed genus/species.
     
  8. Hunter-MX

    Hunter-MX Arachnopeon

    NICE stuff Fransisco, are you here in MX? Come on over when ever you want and bring the lighting. I have a really nice LED Mag light black light that is great for scorps, but I had to leave my other light set ups in the states when we moved here.
     
  9. Wouw, how enchanting.

    I hope you don't mind my asking.. What exactly are you doing there to stay in such a beautiful place? I would pack my bags tomorrow if it were a viable option. Or are you retired and/or have a local wife?

    Here in China there is some very impressive wildlife but the environment has been destroyed, the ecosystems have derailed. There are just too many uneducated people that only care about economic development. How is the environment there?
     
  10. Hunter-MX

    Hunter-MX Arachnopeon

    Maarten, yes on the local wife. Environmentally here it is not a disaster yet. There is potential for sure and things come unraveled frequently. The main difference is probably population. Less people equal less damage. :( If you ever want to visit let me know, I would be happy to show anyone around.
     
  11. Too true.. That and global warming..

    I meant pack my bags and move there! But since you went the wife route I won't be able to follow as I am already happy with mine. :p But I am very envious of your local ecology. I'm hoping to relocate to Hainan, in the tropics, in the future where there is even more biodiversity and no bloody winters. Please continue to share your finds. :worship:
     
  12. Brian S

    Brian S ArachnoGod Old Timer

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    Looks like C gracils but then again its difficult to ID on pics alone

    Not sure about that sp

    That actually is either C gracilis or C margaritatis juvenile ;)
     
  13. lukatsi

    lukatsi Arachnosquire

    Oh, stunning creatures! I have only some isopods and centipedes in my garden...

    The elephant beetle is beautiful, I've recently bought a trio from Taiwan. Do you export livestock?:D How big are those moths?
     
  14. arrowhd

    arrowhd Arachnolord Old Timer

    Your yard is MUCH more interesting than mine. Thank you for sharing it with us.
     
  15. Rick McJimsey

    Rick McJimsey Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Hi
    The wandering male could be Aphonopelma mooreae.
     
  16. What

    What Arachnoprince

    Umm... No. From talking to someone that has personally collected mooreae and explored their range, that is nowhere near it (and I mean nowhere near it).
     
  17. deathwing

    deathwing Arachnoknight


    The other claw is missing, poor scorpion. :(
     
  18. Beautiful pics. Thanks. I've spent some time in Cuernavaca, not far from Mexico City and I was amazed at how many different things I could find in the back yard of the house we rented. Mexico is an amazing place.
     
  19. mid-statespets

    mid-statespets Arachnopeon

    Some guys have all the luck.. Any rentals in the neighborhood??? Beautiful looking area.
     
  20. Hunter-MX

    Hunter-MX Arachnopeon

    Mid states, it's like anything ya know, it has it's ups and downs. A small male tarantula wandered into the house last night, guess that doesn't happen just anywhere.

    Thanks to everyone else for the kindness, glad ya'll enjoyed. I am sure I will post again in future, as long as I have subject matter and the camera keeps working.:rolleyes:
     
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