Monday, May 29, 2017

Bark Mantis

Travel Bite no. 72 - What was that?
Duncan MacSwain to you (Bcc) + 1 moreshow detailsshow image slideshow

Hi Traveler,
Welcome to Travel Bite no. 72:   What was that?

it was late afternoon a couple weeks ago.
Claudio, my guide for the day, and I were drifting in a swampy area late one afternoon.
Looking for Pygmy Marmosets, Squirrel Monkeys and Yellow Crested Tree Rats.
Something moved and was racing down a tree trunk not more than two feet away.

 “What was that?
  What was what?
  That small thing moving down the trunk.
  I can’t see it.
  I can’t see it either - it’s perfectly camouflaged.
  I saw it but can’t find it now.
  There it is again. Gone.
  Let’s wait and maybe it will move again.”

Less than 2” in length. Frozen still.  Camouflaged. Was it an insect, an amphibian, a reptile, a spider?
Did it have four, six, eight legs? I couldn’t tell.  It looked exactly like a small lizard I had photographed
in Thailand. It was perfectly hidden.
Can you find it in the first photo? It’s just above the small rectangular gray patch in the center of the tree.
That’s what I noticed at first. 

I took some photos and showed them to a resident biologist. He didn’t know what it was.
Have you ever heard of a Bark Mantis? I hadn’t. But there it was and what a great find.
I’ll look for more when I return to the Amazon next month. I have little hope that I’ll see another.
A Bark Mantis! Wow!

See you next week.

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