Category: ARTHROPODS


TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda (crayfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns, and shrimp)
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Hymenoceridae

Genus/species: Hymenocera picta

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Pinkish white body color with splashes of purple-edged pink spots. Stalked eyes and antennae flattened and leaf-shaped.

Length up to 5 cm (2 inches)

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Along the shores of East Africa, the Red Sea, to Indonesia, south to northern Australia and as far east as the Galapagos. Found on hard rocky or coral substrates, with lots of hiding places.

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DIET IN THE WILD: It is a nocturnal feeder hunting in pairs for sea stars, using its claws to pry sea stars off coral reefs flipping them on their back. They then take them to their dwelling-place on the reef, where they consume their the tube feet of sea stars.

Harlequin Shrimps eating a Linka Seastar below

REMARKS: H. picta is known to feed on crown-of-thorns sea stars, so perhaps it should be considered a reef preservationists.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3270612381/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1K1

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Hymenocera_picta/classificat…

EOL eol.org/pages/126747/details

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Gobiidae (Gobies)
Subfamily: Gobiinae

Genus/species: Stonogobiops yasha

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Body white, with 3 reddish-orange stripes.

Video links

Orange-striped shrimp goby

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: They are found in Western Pacific in the outer reef slopes; often in pairs, hovering a few centimeters above the sandy bottom at the entrance of its burrow. Symbiotic with the red-and-white barred shrimp, Alpheus randalli

DIET IN THE WILD: The shrimp goby feeds on zooplankton and small benthic invertebrates.

Video link.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/39444680840/in/album-72157659465376212/

CONSERVATION: NOT EVALUATED
They are captive bred making them available to aquariums.

REMARKS: For a discussion of gobies and their commensal relationships (both parties in the relationship benefit). (see link below).
The goby benefits from the shrimp’s digging and construction skills, having access to a well-built burrow. Pistol shrimps have poor eyesight and they use gobies as an early warning system to detect predators. Gobies tend to hover just outside the shared burrow, catching passing zooplankton or small benthic invertebrates. In many cases the shrimps maintain contact with the gobies by using their long antennae.

Tropical Fish Mag.  www.tfhmagazine.com/saltwater-reef/feature-articles/pisto…

REFERENCES

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2018

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/41253989801/in/album-72157659465376212/

fishbase.  www.fishbase.se/summary/Stonogobiops-yasha.html

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-1W8

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Crustacea
Class: Malacostraca
Order: Decapoda
Infraorder: Caridea
Family: Hippolytidae

Genus/species: Thor amboinensis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Base body color is drab (olive or brown), with iridescent yellow-white spots bordered by thin white and blue bands, symmetrically arranged over their bodies. The distinctive vertical position and movement of the abdomen earn this shrimp its common name of “sexy.”

Length up to 2 cm. (0.8 inches)

 

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Length up to 2 cm. (0.8 inches)

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Common in tropical seas worldwide. Found in Coral reefs; in association with anemones such as form symbiotic relationships with anemones such as Entacmaea quadricolor, Macrodactyla doreensis, Stichodactyla tapetum, and Zoanthus sp., living on and around their oral discs, tentacles, or substrate very near to anemone bases.

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DIET IN THE WILD: Sexy shrimp are carnivorous feeding on matter trapped in a host anemone’s mucus, including plankton. Their diet may also include other small crustaceans, such as brine shrimp and krill. When resources are scarce, shrimp may resort to feeding on the tentacles of their hosts.

REPRODUCTION: These shrimp are protandric hermaprhodites; they are born male and may change into females later in life.
Mating is polygynandrous (promiscuous) T. amboinensis are sexually dimorphic. Males are typically smaller than females and have white spots on their pleopods (appendages). During copulation, a male transfers sperm cells from his gonopores (located on his fifth pereopods) to a female’s gonopores (on her third pereopods).
Females carry, and oxygenate eggs under their forward tail section, on the pleopods. While bearing eggs, they hold their legs under the tail to protect them.

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Lifespan ave. 3.5 years

CONSERVATION: IUCN RED LIST Not Evaluated

REMARKS: Sexy shrimp are known to vibrate their abdomen to signal or warn others. They are capable of moving very quickly, at rates of 10-15 cm/s, to escape perceived threats.

They will endure the attacks from the anemones’ nematocysts. Some studies state that a shrimp acclimates to an anemone by collecting its mucus, which camouflages it from the anemone or other studies say that a shrimp acclimates by building up chemicals that inhibit the excretions of nematocysts from anemones.

References

California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, Hidden Reef 2018

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/3574925860/in/album-72157659465376212/

ADW animaldiversity.org/accounts/Thor_amboinensis/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Jv

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Coleoptera
Family: Scarabaeidae
Subfamily: Cetoniinae

Genus/species: Pachnoda marginata

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: They have a yellow with brownish-black front wings that can be seen on its back. Their body is shiny black. Size of around (2,5 cm) 1 inch

DISTRIBUTION: Central and Western Africa

DIET IN THE WILD: These adult beetles eat flowers and fruit. Their larvae have enzyme-releasing microbes in their digestive system which breakdown tough fibrous food. The larvae and their internal microorganisms recycle nutrients back to the forest floor.

REPRODUCTION: Eggs and grubs live underground. The grubs eat rotten fruit and decomposing leaves.
From egg to beetle takes about 3 to 5 months depending on temperature and beetles will live for 2 to 5 months.

REMARKS: the most common pet beetle

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2018

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink https://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Tn

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/38840093994/in/dateposted-public/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae

Genus/species: Catonephele numilia

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:The males are dark brown on the upperside with dazzling reflective orange patches which vary in size and shape from species to species. Females are entirely different in appearance. In most species they have dark brown wings marked with linear rows of cream spots.
Both sexes of all species have cryptic undersides in shades of brown.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: C. numilia breeds in wet rainforest and cloudforest at elevations up to about 1800m (5900 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Adults feed on rotten fruits, while caterpillars feed on Alchornea species.

References

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/35513496662/in/album-72157608449327886/

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

EOL eol.org/pages/164956/details

Learn About butterflies  http://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Amazon%20-%20Catonephele%20numilia.htm

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1QS

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Mantodea
Family: Mantidae
Subfamily: Deroplatyinae

Genus/species: Deroplats desiccata

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: D. desiccata is brown in color with “leaf patterns” on its wings and has a broad prothorax that looks ripped and crumpled like a dead leaf. When threatened it drops to the ground with all legs folded resembling a dead leaf.
It can also react with a threatening display consisting of “black underwings” splayed out, with large eyespots, frightening away unsuspecting predators

Length females up to 80 mm
Length males up to 70 mm

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indonesia and Malaysia in trees among leaves.

DIET IN THE WILD: Prefers flying insects like moths.

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

Ron’s flickr   https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/35513498372/in/dateposted-public/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1QM

Animal Diversity Web   animaldiversity.org/accounts/Deroplatys_desiccata/classif…

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera (Moths and butterflies)
Family: Nymphalidae (brush footed butterflies)

Genus/species: Heliconius hecale

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: All Heliconius species have long black wings bearing simple but striking patterns, typically featuring streaks or patches of red and cream, or blue and cream. Several including hecale have subspecies which mimic ‘tiger complex’ orange and black. In fact every one of the 29 hecale subspecies mimics. They are all toxic to birds. Studies have provided strong evidence that birds which eat the them suffer from nausea and vomiting.

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DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found from Central America south throughout Amazonia. Habitat: Occurs from sea level to 1,400 m (4600 feet) in tall forests.

DIET IN THE WILD: they nectar at Hamelia, Lantana and Palicourea. Females feed on pollen as well as nectar.

Ventral or wing bottom

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REMARKS: Heliconians are brightly colored butterflies with especially long wings, hence the common name. Tiger Longwings and many other Heliconians are communal roosters. Each night a number of butterflies, either of the same or related species, assemble for the night, often on a single branch.

References

California Academy of Sciences 2017

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink wp.me/p1DZ4b-13X

AWD http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Heliconius_hecale/classification/

EOL http://eol.org/pages/154228/details

Butterflies of Mexico, USA and Canada. www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/North%20America%20-%20Helic…

Tree of life project www.tolweb.org/Heliconius_hecale/72904

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/

 

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)

Genus/species: Heliconius sara

Sara Longwing (top wing)Heliconius sara

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Upper wing surface (dorsal) is black with large patch of metallic blue framed by two white bands. Underside (ventral) is brown-black with faded white bars above and small red spots near the body.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Widespread throughout Central America and the tropics of South America, including the Amazon Basin. Usually found  flying  slowly in the middlestory of rainforests.

REPRODUCTION: Pupal maters. Males don’t even wait until the female emerges from the pupa. Instead they physically break open her pupa and copulate as soon as her genitalia are accessible.  Larvae of sara longwing butterflies avoid harm from cyanogenic leaves by metabolizing cyanogenic glycosides enzymatically.

Sara Longwing Heliconius sara 3142858049_b1047eaf55_o

LONGEVITY: Adult life span: 2–3 months.

REMARKS: Passion flowers contain toxic compounds to which caterpillars are immune; like monarchs, the caterpillars concentrate the toxin in their tissues and pass it along to the adult during metamorphosis. Research suggests that adult Heliconian butterflies may be able to synthesize their own toxins with the amino acids they absorb through the protein-rich pollen they feed on.

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/with/3143686808/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-13P

EOL eol.org/pages/151535/details

Tree of Life tolweb.org/Heliconius_sara/72943

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies)
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed Butterflies)

Genus/species: Heliconius sapho

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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: H. sapho and H. cydno are Müllerian mimics (two or more unrelated noxious, critters exhibit similar warning systems), which is exhibited in the mimetic wing pattern. NOTE: Batesian mimicry differs because one critter of two similar critters is not noxious. In this case the predators avoid all organisms with a given or similar warning, thus making the resemblance a protective mechanism for the non noxious organism.
Heliconius sapho is black and white but has a blue metallic sheen when seen under the right lighting conditions. It can be distinguished from its co-mimic H. cydno by the ventral surface of the hind wings, which exhibit basal red rays and no brown bars.

Wing span 3-3.5 inches

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Sapho longwings are found in central and northwestern South America to the west of the Andes in dense rainforests.

DIET IN THE WILD:  H. sapho  have a complex coevolved relationship with only one host plant, Passiflora pitteri.  Heliconius spp. caterpillars eat the plants that making their tissues poisonous. The butterflies are usually unpalatable to predators.

Wing bottom

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REPRODUCTION: Also a pupal-mater (see Zebra Longwing)

LONGEVITY: Relatively long-lived

References

California Academy of Sciences Rainforest 2017

Ron’s flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/with/4427846137/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink   http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-13C

Tree of Life Project http://www.tolweb.org/Heliconius_sapho/72940

EOL http://eol.org/pages/153873/details

Missouri Botanical Garden http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/visit/family-of-attractions/butterfly-house/butterflies-and-plants/our-butterfly-collection/butterfly-collection-article/article/250/iheliconius-saphoi.aspx

TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae (Brush-footed or four-footed butterflies) The first pair of legs are small or reduced, giving the family the other names of four-footed or brush-footed butterflies.
Subfamily: Heliconiinae (passion-vine butterflies)

Genus/species: Heliconius melpomene

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GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Postman has large long wings with an orange stripe down each forewing and is famous for the geographic diversity of its color pattern, having around 30 named subspecies. These factors, in combination with its co-mimicry with Heliconius erato, make an individual sometimes difficult to identify.

Postman (wing bottom)Heliconius melpomene

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: H. melpomene is widespread in the Neotropics of Central and South America to southern Brazil. They are found in open areas, also locally common along river edges and streams.

DIET IN THE WILD: A plant specialist on passion vine flowers (Passiflora spp.). In Central America, focuses on only two species; in other areas, is more of a generalist, feeding on several Passiflora species.

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LONGEVITY: Heliconius spp. are among the Methuselahs of the butterfly world. Most butterflies live only days; some Heliconians in the adult (butterfly) stage, including the Postman, live for as long as 8 months.

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REMARKS: The Postman is reportedly named after its habit of flying a route that allows visitation of all the nectar plants in a given area like a postman delivering the mail.
In Greek mythology, Mt. Helicon was sacred home to the Muses; Melpomene is the Muse of Tragedy.

References

California Academy of Sciences Docent Rainforest Training Manual 2014

Ron’s flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157608449327886/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  wp.me/p1DZ4b-12R

Tree of Life web project tolweb.org/Heliconia

Encyclopedia of Life eol.org/pages/154557/details

 

 

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