Giant, giant bug

Moth, maybe?

Another guest in the wooden house where I stayed in Arutam. The Amazon is full of odd creatures.

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Determined little bug

Loud and indefatigable

This little guy refused to not try to climb me. He was loud and buzzy and would not stop climbing every branch and stand of plant to get near me. Or perhaps my shadow.

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The Amazon’s tiny gardeners

Hard at work

Leafcutter ants are fascinating to watch. They form complex societies and build massive underground “nests.”

They also divide and subdivide leaves and carry them great distances in trains. They’re movements are mesmerizing.

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Another weird looking bug

No idea

This one found by Enrique, our volunteer coordinator. I can’t even tell you what this one looks like when it’s wings aren’t folded back. They certainly make ‘em colorful here.

Enrique told us the Shuar name, but I have no idea what that might be now.

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A run-in with a poisonous grasshopper

Tranquilo, little buddy!

This little guy is, at the moment of this photo, climbing my shirt. And, according to Enrique, our volunteer leader, he is rather poisonous.

We were cutting scrub in a plantain garden when we stumbled upon him. Enrique asked if anyone would like to have him climb aboard. It was only when he had climbed my shirt, my shoulder and perched on the back of my neck that Enrique became worried. Apparently, if he became to agitated, I was in trouble.

“Tranquilo, tranquilo!” Enrique kept shouting at me. It took several minutes more for Enrique to tease the angry grasshopper — which when spread out was about the size of my fist — off me.

Good times.

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Iridescent jungle moths

Little guys are everywhere at night

At night, the insects of the Amazon are drawn to any light source, which are few and far between.

I slept under a portable mosquito net, but that didn’t stop anything and everything from crowding my room and others in my hilltop wooden house.

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He put up a good fight

In the throes of death

The eaves at the Taj Mahal mosque are home to bee hives. Hence, the floors at the Taj Mahal mosque are home to worn-out worker bees looking for a peaceful place to die.

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