St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

GoTerps

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I just returned from a week on St. John. Roxanna and I stayed at Maho Bay, in a "tent cottage" inside the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park.

This was home:


Our tent was a short walk up a wooded hillside from this beach:


Millipede


Birds enjoying some of our apricot preserves. These birds kept us company in the mornings.


Amblypygid


Cockroach


Termite nest


Gorgeous hemipterans... commonly found along shorelines, feeding on the nuts of a dominant coastal tree.


One of the many beautiful lizards.


Another lizard. We usually had at least 5 of these in our tent at night, feasting on insects drawn to the lights.




 

GoTerps

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Typical Cyrtopholis burrow (possibly C. bartholomaei or C. flavostriata, if there's even a difference :) )


Cyrtopholis sp.


Same species, smaller specimen


This image shows a Cyrtopholis which was living right next to a huge grub. The spider was residing in the small depression to the right of the grub, in direct contact with the grub. It moved once I turned over the rotten log. Tasty termites were all around.

The grub


A typical low-elevation habitat photo:
 

GoTerps

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Adult female Holothele sp. (probably H. shoemakeri)


2 other slightly smaller females.




Ultimate male Holothele sp.


This photo shows a log being lifted up. There were at least 12 Holothele living in this area. ~4 adult females, 7 good sized subadults, and 1 fresh ultimate male.


This next picture may not seem that great, but it's interesting for a few reasons. Exactly where I was standing when I took the following photo, I was standing beside a Cyrtopholis burrow, and observing a small group of Holothele at the same time. All the while only being a few meters from the ocean and on a totally secluded very small island! (Whistling Cay). This tiny secluded island was a 15 minute kayak trip from St. John.
 

eman

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Awesome pictures Eric (as usual)! Thanks for sharing.

Cheers

Eman
 

tarcan

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Those hemipterans are absolutly stunning:eek: :eek:

Great pics, thanks for sharing

Martin
 

Philth

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Very interesting Eric.:clap: It's nice that you got to see the ultimate males of the Holothele. Pretty spiders. A nice beach and spiders, sounds like fun. Thanks for sharing.

Later, Tom
 

Roxanna

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My 1st Spider Search

Eric took me out one night to search for burrows. At first, I wasn't too excited. As we found more and more Ts (patiently poking their front legs out the top of burrows in anticipation of dinner) I came to enjoy it. From living with Eric & his spiders the past 2 years, I've come to respect them.

Who knows, maybe he'll pull me into the hobby over the years...:)
 

Kriegan

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Very interesting pics of the specimens you found! I also loved that breathtakingly beautiful view of the beach shot!:worship: A very relaxing and romantic gettaway for a couple.

If I could you'd definetely find more of those amazing looking hemipterans in my pocket before departure:D

Regards,
Ulrich
 
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edesign

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DADGUMMIT! I thought I had finally pushed St. John off of my next-destination-for-a-vacation list and settled on Costa Rica...thanks, now it's back to struggling to decide...AGAIN!

Those red and blue beetles are amazing looking! Are they toxic in any way? Chemical secretion/spray?

How were the mosquitos? I have heard they can be pretty bad, especially in the late evening depending on the time of year (i'd expect January to be one of the least problematic months). Sand fleas?
 

Philth

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Who knows, maybe he'll pull me into the hobby over the years...
Hi Roxanna, Welcome to the disease,... I mean hobby.;) Before you know it, you'll be looking to clear 4 inches of space for that "next " spider.

St. John looks beautiful. I'll add it to my places to visit. Lifes to short to see it all, Thanks for sharing it here.

Later , Tom
 

Crotalus

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Great stuff! Nice to see these small ones in the natural habitat!
Thanks for sharing!
Did you see any snakes there?

/Lelle
 

Brian S

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Very nice Eric!! Did you see any scorpions? Any centipedes?
I know a guy that just moved back to the Virgin Islands and he said there are big centipedes there.
 

GoTerps

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Hi edesign,

Those red and blue beetles are amazing looking! Are they toxic in any way? Chemical secretion/spray?
I can't say for sure, but they didn't bother me when I picked them up and didn't seem to smell.

How were the mosquitos? I have heard they can be pretty bad, especially in the late evening depending on the time of year (i'd expect January to be one of the least problematic months). Sand fleas?
We didn't have any problems w/ mosquitoes or sand fleas. I expected to deal with mosquitoes, but ended up not using any repellent at all, even out wandering around the woods at night.


Hi Lelle,
Did you see any snakes there?
Unfortunately there are no snakes on St. John.

CLICK HERE for a report on the efforts to reintroduce the Virgin Islands tree boa Epicrates monensis granti to certain cays in the USVI.

There are many large iguanas on the island that always seemed to scare the crap out of me when they'd come running/jumping out of the trees.

Hi Brian,

Very nice Eric!! Did you see any scorpions? Any centipedes?
I know a guy that just moved back to the Virgin Islands and he said there are big centipedes there.
I only found smaller centipedes (~2"). I did find some scorpions which I believe were likely Centruroides griseus. I didn't have my camera with me at the time though. I was mainly looking for spiders;P

Eric
 

cacoseraph

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those were great!

i am always surprised when i find bugs living (or seeming to live, at any rate) so close to each other like that. i guess i always imagined predators eating or driving off anything else.

oh, and bonus points for the conversion in progress with your ladyfriend. make her a believer! :D
 

syndicate

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looks like u two had a great time.love the pictures man.they look awesome:D
 

Pyst

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Great post Eric. Looks like you two had a blast. Overall what was your general impression of the local wildlife? Was it what you had expected,more so or less?

It sounds as if Roxanna is making the transition to becoming more involved in the hobby. Roxanna I hope you end up enjoying spiders at least a tenth of what Eric appears to. It truly is a fun hobby. Sorry about my slow response to this thread but I had the Field Trips thread hidden.
 

M.F.Bagaturov

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Eric!
Amaizing to see that You realise You will never be in this life!
THanks for that!
Great!
 
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