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Naturaleza Chiapeña

Mary Kay and I spent 10 days in Chiapas from Jan 8 - 17. It was a combination birding and cultural trip. Because we were traveling some distances daily and combining several interests, it was quite impossible to adequately document the breadth of tropical diversity to which we were exposed. Any one of our half dozen major destinations would be worthy of a week-long BioBlitz with an iNat effort, but we had to “settle”. Our destinations included, in chronological order, Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilan (on the Usumacinta River by boat), Rio Lacantun/Rio Tzendales (again by boat), Lagos de Montebello, and San Cristobal de Las Casas (including the Moxviquil and Huitepec Reserves).

As a result, I came home with “only” about 1000 images which I’m rapidly sorting through now. As always, birds and butterflies were tough subjects to capture with my point-and-hope camera, thus plants (with flowers) and relatively sedentary critters were the more common focus.

I’ll be adding some thumbnails of the more interesting images/species below. Keep checking back for more uploads.

Posted by gcwarbler gcwarbler, January 21, 2017 23:42

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Green Iguana (Iguana iguana)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 2017

Description

A young individual (snout-vent length probably no more than 1 foot), found sleeping in a low tree at Hotel Axkan near Palenque.

Photos / Sounds

What

Sale's Banana Spider (Cupiennius salei)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 8, 2017 08:58 PM CST

Description

This fairly large Theraphosid was resting (facing downward) on a metal post near the Hotel Axkan. Total body length about 2.5 to 3 cm, total length maybe 8-9 cm. I can't find any similar images of tarantulas on iNat in Mexico. The pink-banding on the legs and pink spots on the abdomen are distinctive. I'm wondering if this is a juvenile.

Photos / Sounds

What

Mexican Sailor (Dynamine postverta ssp. mexicana)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 8, 2017 09:04 PM CST

Description

Found sleeping on top of a leaf.

Photos / Sounds

What

Mistletoe Cactus (Rhipsalis baccifera)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 8, 2017 05:32 PM CST

Description

Somehow, I got it in my head that this might be a strange arboreal (epiphytic) cactus, but I'm sure I'm way off base. The diameter of the stems, as best as I could judge from 30 ft below the plant, was about 0.5 cm. (I'm not even sure "Flowering Plants" is correct!)

Photos / Sounds

What

Banded Peacock (Anartia fatima)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 9, 2017 04:51 PM CST

Description

This species was by far the most common butterfly we saw throughout the lowlands of Chiapas in open habitats, especially around the well-manicured grounds of the archaeological parks.

Photos / Sounds

What

Blue-gray Satyr (Magneuptychia libye)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 9, 2017 12:31 PM CST

Description

Photographed on the lawn among the ruins in the park.

Photos / Sounds

What

Spined Micrathena (Micrathena gracilis)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 9, 2017 01:17 PM CST

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 9, 2017 12:58 PM CST

Description

After viewing a lot of images in Glassberg's field guide and on the Butterflies of America website, I'm thinking this is going to be S. salius or perhaps S. antoninus.

Photos / Sounds

What

Root Beer Plant (Piper auritum)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 9, 2017 04:23 PM CST

Description

Hierba Santa. Later on the trip, I had tortillas made from flour from this plant.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 9, 2017 10:27 AM CST

Description

This begins a small series (5 species) of images of plants that are unknown to me. All of these were in/around the Palenque Archaeological Park. Based on other observations, I can't be sure all of them are native to the area. This large-leaved vine was growing pressed flat against the trunk of a large tree. Note the size of the heart-shaped, mottled leaves (2nd image).

Photos / Sounds

What

Llama del Bosque (Spathodea campanulata)

Observer

gcwarbler

Date

January 9, 2017 12:25 PM CST

Description

It was suggested to us at the time that this flowering tree was "Flamboyánt" (Delonix regla), but that species has feather-like bipinnate leaves. The present tree was about 12-15 m in height with a broad rounded crown. It has odd-pinnate leaves with 9-13 large oval leaflets. The large red flowers (5-7 cm long) were in dense clusters of about 8 to 10 blossoms. The tree was a prominent floral resource for bunches of hummingbirds, orioles, tanagers, and other species. We could have stayed and birded under this tree for hours.

Comments

Wonderfully enjoyable to see what you saw. :)

Posted by sambiology almost 5 years ago (Flag)

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