About to lose internet for up to a week and a half- my apologies, Internet! But just think of all the glorious catch-up there will be afterwards!
Today we went to the Monteverde Butterfly Garden to check out some arthropods, but on the way there met this little guy:
He’s some sort of very young pit viper. Some facts:
1. When they’re that small, they’re actually almost more dangerous because they can’t control how much venom they give you in a bite… they just give everything they have.
2. Snakes like this can strike up to half of their body length. Get a stick longer than that. Preferably quite a bit longer.
3. Tiny snakes are still cute even though they’re snakes. So weensy!
When we reached the butterfly garden, our TA Zak gave us an awesome tour (he used to work there and was described as their “star tour guide”). We got to hold some cockroaches, walking sticks (my favorites), and an orange-kneed tarantula that was missing all of its urticating hairs… not sure why. Some people tried eating a certain type of beetles and described them as “peppery.”
We then moved on to the main event- releasing some newly-metamorphosed butterflies into the garden. I had a Blue Morpho in a little tupperware- when I took her out to let her go, she sat on my hand for almost five minutes, flapping her incredible blue wings occasionally. Tyler got this awesome shot:
When her wings were closed she looked like an Owl Butterfly, a huge insect mostly seen at dusk and often mistaken for a bat.
Her colors are good for camouflage but those eyespots can serve to actually scare away fooled predators by making them think she’s just a really big face.
Have a great week, Internet. Find something cool outdoors and tell me about it!