One of my highlights during my visit to Ecuador in 2008 and aslo 2011 was a trip to the amazonian rainforest. It is unbelievable how many different insects, reptiles etc. can be found just on a short walk into the forest at night with a torch.
Sunset in the amazonian Rainforest:
Butterflies were everywhere....
At night it is better to have a look before touching a tree....
Some examples of odd looking insects i found just a few meters away from each other at night:
Most of the many kinds of different frogs were difficult to find :
Frog just before finsihing its metamorphosis
Poison dart frogs, this is Allobates femoralis
There are also many reptiles at night
and other amphibians
Of course there are many kind of spiders in the rainforest and I also found some surprises. One was a Cyrtophora sp. These spiders are normally described from Asia, Europe and Africa and should not exist in South America even though they had been introduced to Columbia in 1996. Anyways i found this one in the middle of the forest far away from any civilisation.
There was a big variety of Araneae sp.:
A Psecas sp. eating a male of the same species:
Another colourful Salticidae sp.
Salticidae sp. eating an Opiliones sp.
Sparassidae spp. were just everywhere.
This speciman always appeared at the same banana tree
another colourful Sparassidae sp.
unknown large spider ( Sparassidae sp. ? )
This species always stayed near water
One of the most colurful spiders i have seen so far: a Micrathena sp.
unknown Nephila sp.
Ancylometes rufus , well camouflaged within the foliage:
Also Amblypygi appear in the rainforest:
As well as Scorpions
My main interest was of course into finding tarantulas. Especially on wild banana trees it was possible to see Avicularia huriana at night:
Only on high trees i found this very shy unknown Tapinauchenius sp.
In 2011 I was able to find another Tapinauchenius sp. at a different location within the jungle
The area i stayed sees a lot of rainfall all around the year. Further flooding occurs in most parts of the forest. Therefore I didn`t expect to find tarantulas living on the ground. The more suprised I was to find 3different species, both unknown. One of them lived in burrows about 30 cm deep.The same species I also discovered in peru in 2014 around Iquitos.
Another Theraphosid sp. inhabiting the same area:
2011 I found a quite similar species at a diffeerent place. I was a bit larger and not as dark as the species above
One night i was able to find another tarantula species in shallow pits around tree roots. it was possible to see the spiders from meters away as the pits were not very deep and i counted up to four adult females around one tree. This species used its urticating hairs immediately after being disturbed. This species might be Megaphobema velvetosoma
Home of this spider species:
2011 I also took pictures of this Megaphobema sp. at another place, this time i found them in burrows within the forest. I juvenile was living in a dead tree trunk, 1,5 m high
Also in 2011 I was able to find another large Theraphosid spider. This one didn`t live in burrows but between tree roots etc. and it was only possible to find them at night. It was almost as large as a Theraphosa blondi
When I was not hunting for spiders i spent my time with fishing or catching caimans: