Tickling IS Torture

Here at LFP We are delighted to see the world getting behind the campaign to save the slow loris from the terrible illegal pet trade!

International Animal Rescue’s (IAR) ‘Tickling is Torture’ campaign has received growing publicity in recent weeks, but we think we can all still do better!

Recently the campaign received some celebrity backing from  TV traveller Simon Reeve, comedian and actress Jo Brand, actor Peter Egan and the TV naturalist Chris Packham; quite a list of supporters.

simon reeve IAR

Jo Brand IAR

Peter Egan IAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Although people think the slow lorises in these videos look “cute”, healthy and happy, they are often showing signs of high stress levels, obesity and injury. Slow lorises belong in the wild, and we think you would agree when you look at the two photographs below, which loris looks happier and healthier!

 

loris stressedNycticebus javanicus_ Andrew Walmsley2

 

 

 

 

 

 

So PLEASE sign the pledge, it will only take a few moments!! And take a moment to share the link with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

You can learn more about why slow loris pet videos are so cruel, from our inspiring Director, Professor Anna Nekaris, here.

And you can watch the IAR campaign video here. Be warned the video contains some heart breaking images but this is the TRUTH behind these “cute” videos, PLEASE watch and learn! Let’s send this video viral and stop the abundance of cruel slow loris pet videos.

You can also support the fightback by wearing the ‘Loris: Forest Protectors, Not YouTube Pets’ message, glowing and bright on your back.

Together we can stop the cruelty of these slow loris pet videos!

Mask Mayhem

Hello Loris Fans,

Please help Endangered Asian Species Trust (EAST) to save the pygmy slow loris.

EAST would like people all over the world to take a selfie with their pygmy slow loris mask on along with a card or flag showing your country, and post these photo’s to their Facebook page. You can download the mask & find out more by visiting their website.

These photos will be shared at a meeting with the Vietnamese government on August 1st, to show the how much loris love there is and how far it spreads, in the hope it will show how important loris conservation is.

Our LFP team in Java have got involved, will you??

LFPpygmymasks

And if one loris mask isn’t enough for you, you can also download one of LFP’s Tereh or Bunga loris masks and post it to LFP’s Facebook page!

PLEASE SHARE THE LORIS LOVE!

Village Life

Coming to Cipaganti as a volunteer, without any background in primatology, zoology, conservation or science was – without doubt – one of the most daunting things I have signed up for to date. (At the risk of that sounding overly dramatic, let me first point out out that as an actor, that may be the underlying tone of this blog entry… Sincere apologies to all.)

Why then, might you ask, would someone like me even consider such an endeavour?

Short Answer? Adventure!

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Cipaganti’s amazing sunrise.

Long answer? I am a closet nature-nerd (Shhhh…).
My Nat Geo subscription dates back to the age of 12 and much to the dismay of my parents, I refuse to let a single dog-eared issue be disposed of. I have also always had a burning urge to travel, albeit not to the usual hum-drum, tourist-filled places… My sense of wanderlust being firmly established yet somewhat unconventional, perhaps.

When my long-time friend from home, Rob, took up the position of field station co-ordinator at LFP, I didn’t really bat an eyelid. He was always heading off to some far-flung corner of the planet saving animals and protecting their natural habitats. Like a ninja. A CONSERVATION ninja… However, when he mentioned to me that there was an opportunity for non-ninjas, like me, to volunteer in the field and actually contribute something to this incredibly worthy cause, my interest spiked. Suddenly e-mails were being hurried back and forth and plans were being made at lightning speed. A mere seven days after my flights were booked, I was off. Nervous as hell.

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Mountains!

Life here in the village of Cipaganti, in the Garut regency of West Java, is as far removed from “The Western Way” as one could imagine. Every now and then little hints of western culture crop up, but they are short lived and swiftly swallowed up by the immense devotion to the traditional ways by which people here live their lives. The morning call to prayer can be heard simultaneously from Mosques all over the region and without hesitation, the village springs to life, paying little heed to the still-dark sky.

Being from a notoriously sleepy town in the West of Ireland, the 5am kick-start took some getting used to. However, having recently discovered the magic of earplugs, I have been granted a new lease of life (sleep) and the slumber situation so far seems to be coming up Milhouse.

When it comes to getting around, the best, and often only method of transport is “ojeg” or motorcycle taxi. They can be easily hailed down but they will often stop to ask you if you need a lift to the next town or village. As Cipaganti is located on the side of a steep volcano and the roads are in extreme disrepair, taking an ojeg downhill is pretty much a matter of holding on for dear life. That said, the drivers appear to be some strange breed of wizard, skilfully mastering each swivel of the handlebar and summoning their bikes to stay on track despite every law of physics conspiring to work against them… Silly science.

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Cream of the crop kids

My trip here happens to have also coincided with Ramadan; a forty day fasting period whereby absolutely nothing is consumed during daylight hours (this also includes water along with the Indonesian man’s beloved cigarette or “Sampoerna”). Children here usually begin training for Ramadan from the age of four, participating in semi-fasts with their families until they are fully geared up for the whole hog (no pun intended).

It’s incredible how little – from an outsiders point of view – Ramadan is allowed to impact on daily life here. Shops are opened, farms are tended to and business is conducted as usual. Despite temperatures of +30°C and 90% humidity, 12hour work days of backbreaking, labour-intensive graft are endured, seemingly without complaint.

As the project itself depends hugely on the support and co-operation of the local community, extra care is taken in the field house to obscure from view any food or drink during fasting hours. While this clearly portrays LFPs respect towards the local community, it also serves to make one feel like a massive cheat, guiltily scoffing away cereal and noodles behind closed doors like Gollum. The shame is immense…

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Always smiling!

One thing you can guarantee to brighten up the day, however, are the people, and in particular, the local kids. As kids go, they’re top notch. Cream of the crop adorable. Their fascination and curiosity with the project and its team is simply infectious and they are happy to sit and chatter away for hours at a time while colouring in pictures – wonderfully oblivious to the idea of any language barrier even existing. I will take many things away from this incredible trip, but the warmth and generosity of these magnificent people and their families will hold steadfast in my memories of Western Java.

– Seóna Tully

Cu Li Tuesday: Houdini Cu Li!!

by Stephanie Poindexter

 

A brave effort from tree climbing guide Nhat!

A brave effort from tree climbing guide Nhat!

As I mentioned in my last Cu Li Tuesday update here in at the EPRC in Viet Nam, we regularly follow three individuals. Due to the wonderful canopy cover and the unforgiving terrain it is normal for us not to see a loris some nights, despite having a strong signal. This week, however, after receiving a stagnant signal and not finding our third loris, Cu Li Ba, we decided to mount a search and recover mission.

The first night we spent 3 hours combing through a patch of trees with our head torches looking for those two floating red fireflies, as I sometimes call the loris eyes, but had no luck getting a visual. It was the next night when Cu Li Ba’s signal was in exactly the same spot that I became a little concerned. After spending another 3 hours staring into the same tree-patch, I decided it was time to get a better look. It took a little convincing, but after repeating a few times that “this is very important”, one of the trackers, Nhat agreed to shimmy up the tree where the signal was strongest and check around for Cu Li Ba.

I pretended not to notice, but the other keepers were definitely teasing him because he was the guinea pig being sent to climb the tree! But it was for the good of the loris and he was ultimately happy to do it. As the trees in this area were seldom climbed, this adventure garnered a small audience as they circled the tree in case he fell but whether it really was for his safety or just for their entertainment I still don’t know. After a gruelling 20-minute ascent, he reached the top and searched in vain for our dear Cu Li. Once he finally descended, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to hide, as he hopped out of the tree and bent over to pick up a tiny little black radio collar.

If I could turn red, I would have been as bright as an apple. It was pretty embarrassing for a few minutes, but soon I was just impressed and relieved the Cu Li Ba had managed to slip her collar off and was hopefully doing well.

Though we can no longer regularly follow Cu Li Ba, I check for her every night and you will be happy to know that I saw her just yesterday enjoying a huge insect. From now on whenever we mention Cu Li Ba, we call her Houdini Cu Li.

Observations for conservation

Hello! My name is Robert O’Hagan. This is my first blog as research coordinator of the Little Fireface Project. I think it is fitting that the first thing I write about is the role of research in conservation. This is something that I have pondered deeply for many years, while trying to come up with new ways to conserve animals and their habitats.

In recent years, this has become a more poignant subject for me as I have encountered several people in the field of conservation that almost had me calling my views on the subject into question. I have been surprised by the lack of understanding that some people have about the role of zoological research in conservation. Worse still, I have become painfully aware that many people treat these two things as separate entities. Quite simply put, they are not.

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The area around our field site in Cipaganti is heavily cultivated. A combination of research and education is vital to preserve the  remaining forests. Photo by Faye Vogely.

Research is the cornerstone of any good conservation project. In order to conserve a species, one must know as much about their behaviour and ecology as possible. Unfortunately, protecting or conserving a species’ habitat is not as black and white as saying: “Stop cutting down the forest, you’re killing the animals!” Forest resources and the land they grow upon represents a livelihood for many people and quick money for local and national governments. Because you cannot simply halt this activity, you must collaborate with local, national, and international authorities as well as the local community to reach a compromise.

This compromise is often in the form of damage limitation, i.e. identifying important vegetation for a species or a set of species and then trying to integrate this with local and national land policies. For example, from our research on the Javan slow loris, we have identified tree species that are essential loris food sources (e.g. jiengjen, kaliandra merah, etc.), important sleeping sites (e.g. the bamboo species), and that provide high levels of connectivity for safe and efficient movement through the environment. These tree species can then be targeted for protection and/or reforestation. This is something that I hope to do a lot more work on this year.

Knowing an animal’s home range (by taking GPS data) allows us to say how much space an animal needs to survive and reproduce. Population surveys allow us to assess the conservation status of a species and the urgency of the conservation action required. This status can influence international trade policies and can highlight target species for conservation. Enforcement of wildlife trade laws are still lacking but they have saved many animals and will continue to do so. Wildlife market surveys, like those the LFP team carry out, can expose the extent of the terrible illegal wildlife trade, raising awareness on the issue and hopefully pressuring more law enforcers into action.

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Markets selling illegal animals are unfortunately common around Java and Indonesia. Photo by Tara Blanthorn.

Data collected on behaviour, social organisation, and all of the above are necessary to successfully care for rescue animals and zoo animals in breeding programs. These organisations rely quite heavily on research sites like ours that study wild individuals for information on species’ diet, substrate use (for enclosure design), social organisation (for how to house animals together), etc. For the same reasons, research on wild animals is crucial to the success of reintroductions and releases (although the success of these projects varies widely and we are still learning). Oftentimes, just having a research presence is enough to deter and/or reduce poaching and logging in an area.

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Education is essential. Dendi Rustandi, one of our trackers, teaches the importance of conservation to the children in Cipaganti. Photo by Tara Blanthorn.

Education, outreach, and awareness are also fundamental to conservation. Teaching people that wildlife and their natural habitat can be helpful to them (in terms of ecosystem services, eco-tourism, etc.) and teaching them about the animal welfare issues involved in the wildlife trade and habitat destruction is essential for wildlife conservation. Education is impossible if you know nothing about the issues you are educating people on. Again, research is the key to this lock.

Long-term datasets are necessary for meaningful results and that is why long-term field sites like our field site in West Java are so important. Having said all that, research projects need to always operate within the confines of animal welfare and ethics guidelines. Any project failing to do this cannot hope to align itself with conservation goals.

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Me collecting data during a routine de-collaring of a loris.

Research has alerted the world to the imminent dangers of climate change, our planet’s sixth mass extinction event (which we humans have initiated), and many other things besides. Without research we would be living in ignorance and blindly diving headfirst into ecological oblivion. Because of dedicated researchers, we know what we must do to save this world and all of its inhabitants. The only question remaining is: can we stop the anthropogenic devastation currently being unleashed on the world and undo the damage we have already done? There are many amazing projects and researchers working all around the world to discover and educate. Knowledge is power and I, for one, remain optimistic for the future.

– Robert O’Hagan

Cu Li Tuesday: What’s in that field pack?

Hi Loris Lovers,

LFP Research Stephanie Poindexter here! I am now on day 42 of following three released pygmy slow lorises in Cuc Phuong National Park. Currently I am watching two males and one female, who have been given the lovely Vietnamese names of Một, Hai, and Ba, which translates to One, Two, and Three. With my limited Vietnamese and the trackers’ limited English, sometimes simple is the best way to go. Personally, I like their names they sound much nicer than refereeing to them by their radio frequencies, which was the first suggestion…yikes!

After about 170 hours of observations, I’ve found that released lorises run fast and they run far. I am getting quite the workout climbing up hills, over fences, and through vegetation as tall as me, I also have a few cuts and bruises to show for my hard work. Recounting the night’s adventures is always a fun point of conversation during breakfast each morning. The funny thing about working while everyone else is sleeping, is that no one except for you and the trackers know exactly what type of work you are doing.

My housemate, a visiting zoo keeper from Germany, knows that I study the lorises, but she was interested in what type of data I was collecting at night in the forest. During my attempt to explain everything, she asked, “Well, what’s in that pack you always take with you?” I thought, what a great question, so I laid everything out on my bed .

Culi Tuesday 22

It was a bit like a clown car, pulling all of theses items out of this small bag. I explained to my housemate how I use each item and by the end I am confident that she could go out and collect the same data too. Here is a list of everything I carry with me:

  • First Aid kit
  • Rain cover for my backpack
  • GPS
  • Rite in the Rain notebook
  • Binoculars
  • Flagging tape
  • Pencils and pens
  • Back up batteries
  • 5 liter water bladder
  • Repellent
  • Head torch with red filter
  • Small digital camera
  • Vietnamese dictionary

Cu Li Tuesday: Why study lorises and why with LFP?

The first time I learned about lorises and Dr. Anna Nekaris, was during my 2nd year at Washington University in St. Louis. I was a newly declared Anthropology major, taking my first pure primate-related course called “Primate Biology”.  My professor Professor Tab Rasmssen systematically went through each primate genus, presenting power point slides containing only photos. It was an impressive sight seeing how vast his primate knowledge was as he seamlessly moved from one species to the next.  I still remember that it is was week four when we reached Nycticebus and Loris. Right after the introductory slide showing theses little fire faces, he showed the class a picture of Dr. Anna Nekaris, wearing a red head torch while sitting in a dark forest.

Professor Rasmussen had such amazing things to say about this dedicated primatologist and conservationist who braved the long nights looking for these elusive primates. From that point on I was rather intrigued by the quirkiness I saw in lorises. I finished my last two years at university taking few non-primate based classes, allowing me to learn about the current primate species from Central America to Japan.  Given my French minor and my interest in primate cognition, I slowly got away from these curious little nocturnal primates, instead focusing on apes and other West African primates.

It was not until Dr. Nekaris emailed me upon my acceptance to the MSc in Primate Conservation programme at Oxford Brookes University that I rekindled my genuine fascination with nocturnal primates. As soon as I realized I would be moving to Oxford, I combed through my old power points and you would be impressed to know that I still had the notes from my Primate Biology course! Three years later I was able to find that one slide where Professor Rasmussen first introduced me to the person I would later call my supervisor and friend.

So, why lorises and why study them with LFP?

The best way for me to answer this is to ask another question.

Have you ever seen something that completely strikes you in an unexplainable way?

Well, that is how I feel whenever I meet eyes with a loris. Some would say that this is easily explained, because of how cute they are, but it is not just their infantile face that draws me in; it is all of the questions that surround their enigmatic existences. Why such a cute face for a nocturnal animal? Why such a long life history for such a small animal? Why have they evolved such an agility but are unable to jump? And how did they evolve to produce venom???

Dr. Nekaris and the Little Fireface project share my feeling of complete awe. For most of my life LFP has been committed to understanding lorises, conserving their populations and sharing what they have learned with the world. I am truly honored to call myself a member of such an amazing team. Every day we continue to fight the good fight for not only lorises, but also other little known nocturnal animals in collaboration with numerous conservation efforts throughout South and Southeast Asia.

Even if I tried, I cannot think of a better project to call home or a better supervisor to guide me through the ups and downs on my quest to becoming Dr. Stephanie Poindexter. Honestly, there is little to complain about when the work you love brings you to beautiful places like Vietnam and allows you to make a difference for these wonderful animals.

Thanks for reading and I hope to see you back here for the next Culi ‘Tuesday’ update.

Please like the Little FireFace Project page on Facebook, if you have not done so already.

With lots of loris love,

Stephanie

I’ve Arrived!

Hello everyone!  I arrived in Indonesia on the evening of Tuesday 28th April, by the time I’d reached base camp at LFP on the Wednesday afternoon I’d taken over a 100 photos!  This is my first time in Indonesia; it has so much going on; beautiful green countryside, extraordinarily friendly people and crazy roads!

Rice-field_Melissa-AndertonSo far I’ve said goodbye to Lewis – a volunteer here at LFP as well as a friend from home, in fact, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be here, and Jess – the longest serving volunteer here and someone so full of knowledge I’m feeling a little lost without her!  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Sharon (project co-ordinator), Michael (Media officer) and the four trackers – Dendi, Aconk, Adin and Yiyi.  They have all been so wonderfully positive and I’ve really enjoyed spending time with them, they’ve made me feel so welcome!

Lewis-Leaves-LFP_Melissa-AndertonThe way of life is shockingly different from the U. K. and I think this makes it a little easier to become a part of it – I cannot compare it at all!  I went on my first shift with Dendi on Thursday evening to find and record the position of each of the collared lorises – it was so cool to finally see them!  I think at the moment Rasi is my favourite – I managed to get a really good shot of him chilling out on a banana leaf!  He looked absolutely beautiful.  It really was an experience I’ll never forget.

Nature-Club-01.05On Friday I joined Sharon and Jess at Nature Club – this is a class that is organised and run at the local school by Sharon from LFP and Dendi (one of the four trackers and also the builder and owner of the school) to help educate the local children about the wildlife in the area and the world of nature in general!  The children were all there voluntarily and it was great to see their enthusiasm towards learning about nature.  During the walk to and from the school I was surprised to see so many people smiling, waving and saying hello to us.  The people here are so friendly!

Rasi_Melissa-AndertonFriday night was my first observation shift.  Jess, Aconk and I set out at 11 pm in the hopes of finding Pak-B before moving on to observe Toyib…unfortunately it had been raining for 6 hours non stop – and pretty heavy, by the time we left it had stopped, but then at about 12.30 after hiking around rice fields and forest areas, it started raining again…we took shelter in a farmers shack to wait it out expecting it to cease, 5 am came and went and we were still stuck in the hut!  Eventually we had to brave the ran, after 4 and a half hours…I was so gutted that we didn’t get to see any Lorises.

My first weekend here I had the opportunity to visit a hot springs (pretty much a warm swimming pool outside) – it has some amazing views of the mountains surrounding the town.  This week has been pretty hectic with Jess leaving us; Sharon and I took a trip to survey an animal market in an Indonesian town, while at the same time seeing Jess off.  It was so hard for me to see wild animals with so much beauty, in cages; birds, reptiles, mammals the lot were caged or leashed…babies separated from their mothers, some so frightened they were rocking back and forth, others scrambling over each other in cramped cages.

I had a late shift last night to watch Toyib…man did he move!!  Adin and I were constantly moving through fields and trees (I slipped countless times – which Adin seemed to find hilarious!) to get a view of him.  It was a great chance for me to get acquainted with the fastest mover of the clan…I don’t blame him really, if I had the agility of a loris I’d be constantly on the move too!

That’s all for now, I’ll keep you all updated with the goings on here at LFP from a volunteers point of view next month!

Melissa – Student Volunteer

Cu li Tuesday: The Road to Cuc Phuong

Stephanie Poindexter

Hello Loris Lovers or should I say Xin chào, Những người yêu cu li* My name is Stephanie and I am Anna Nekaris’ most recent PhD student to leave Oxford and head off to the field. As a Chicago native, studying in the UK I am accustomed to living in faraway places and this time my research has brought me back to the lovely country of Vietnam. My first experience of Vietnam was at the 2014 IPS conference in Hanoi and after meeting so many like-minded researchers, conservationists, and primatologists, I was over the moon when I was invited by the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre (EPRC) to aid in the release of a group of pygmy slow lorises.  After months of planning, I finally made the trip to Vietnma’s first National Park and the home of the EPRC, Cuc Phuong. The journey from London to the national park was a perfect example of Murphy’s Law. Upon arriving at the Qatar check-in counter at Heathrow, everything appeared to be smooth sailing until they weighted my carry-on bag, which I cannot deny was filled with books and a bit heavy. Luckily the attendant got passed the shock of the weight then winked and whispered, “it’s fine, they will not check the weight at the gate” Step one: complete J  Even the flight to Doha was seamless and filled with tasty beverages and Downton Abbey. This travel bliss was shattered when I realized that my flight landed 20min late, so I scurried to my next gate, but unfortunately, even such a small delay made me miss my connecting flight from Doha to Hanoi. Usually I don’t mind missed flights or delays, but Tilo Nadler director of the EPRC was waiting for me in Hanoi and the next flight was not for 24 hours. Step two: not complete L  It turned out Murphy was not done with me yet. Tilo was actually running on a tight schedule and needed to be in south Vietnam on the day my new flight arrived, so I would have to stay in Hanoi for a few extra days before heading to Cuc Phuong. Step three: not complete L  Having made a new plan, I was able to return to the easygoing traveller I love being. Qatar arranged for a very comfortable stay in Doha and I was very happy to have 24 hours to watch tv and order room service. Once I arrived in Hanoi, I went back to all of my favorite places from my last visit. I drank my weight in coconut coffee, adjusted to the 6 hours time change, and took a 4-hour Vietnamese pronunciation class.On Saturday morning Tilo picked me up from my hotel, we had some lunch then set out on the road to Cuc Phuong.

Walking towards the mountains to find the cu li as the sun goes down.

Walking towards the mountains to find the cu li as the sun goes down.

After all of the impromptu city layovers, we finally made it to Cuc Phuong five days behind schedule, now I am surrounded by lush greenery, limestone mountains and most importantly lorises. Step four: very complete JJ   I look forward to sharing my Vietnamese Culi experience with you and I am very excited to release these pygmy lorises. I hope you will stay tuned for the next installment of Cu li Tuesday.  *Cu li means loris in Vietnamese  Stephanie

 

Calling all entomologists!

LC-Blog-2-Picture-1Whenever you set foot outside, whether it’s day or night, you are bound to see an insect of some description. Look hard, you might just see something cool, look even harder and you will probably see something spectacular.

When I’m not on shift, you can find me in the forest finding out what’s new. It seems now that every time I do, I find something just as odd, or even more so than I did the last time. With the help of Michael, my partner in crime, we have collectively managed to compile a moderately sized archive of all the weird and wonderful creepy crawlies West Java has to offer. Now there are far too many to fit in just one blog, so here’s a few of my favourite findings:

LC-Blog-2-Picture-3LC-Blog-2-Picture-2Here we have the coconut nettle caterpillar (Setora nitens). Michael and I found these critters underneath the leaves of a coffee plantation, and they come in the most amazing colours. Being a marine biologist, the closest I got to identifying this was a nudibranch (sea slug). They are equally as colourful, and most likely equally as poisonous.

I’m not 100% sure about this one, but I’ve rooted around and had a stab at what I think it may be, a Leaf False Katydid. They’re pretty common; it’s almost difficult not to see one, even though they are conspicuously shaped like a leaf. This little feller (lower left), however, couldn’t have been any less camouflaged if he tried. I can only describe the colouration as the orange you would find in a carton of Sunny D. Still a pretty cool find.LC-Blog-2-Picture-5 LC-Blog-2-Picture-4

Some of the hardest insects for me to photograph here have been the butterflies. Just when you think they have landed for a rest long enough to snap, off they go again. Here I was lucky enough to capture this beautiful courtship on camera after begging my way in to someone’s garden for a close enough view. These are Great Mormon butterflies (Papilio polytes), above we have the female and below is the male. Shortly after taking this photo they flew off again, and when I say they, I mean the female flew off and carried the male underneath her.

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Next up we have an individual in a group of over two and a half thousand species. This is a spotted tiger beetle, I couldn’t get the species name, but can you honestly blame me? Tiger beetles are adapted to sprinting to catch their prey. You can’t see it in this photo, but their front consists of a powerful set of mandibles that I wouldn’t want to get my fingers trapped in. Supposedly these beetles, this one being roughly 3.5cm in size, can reach speeds of up to 9km/hr. To scale this up for you, imagine running over 500 times your own body length per second. Not hard to believe when their feet look like a pair of Nike Pros.

LC-Blog-2-Picture-7Last up, we have a species of weevil closest identified as a Cyrtotrachelus sp. I’m not sure about the common name as these vary depending on the website you use. Some identify them as palm weevils whilst others identify them as bamboo weevils. I just don’t know. We managed to whittle this one down by its size (~40mm) and pattern on its back. They can also sometimes be identified based on their diet.

LC-Blog-2-Picture-8From stick insects, to spiders, praying mantis and butterflies – I’ve probably only scratched the surface of all the insects West Java has to offer. I would encourage everyone and anyone to get up, get out and explore, wherever you may be. Doing so here has really opened my eyes to the diversity of life you can find just a few footsteps from your house. And who knows, you might just surprise yourself or even inspire another to take an interest in the insects, hey Michael?

Lewis Castle – Research Assistant

click here to see our most recent paper about arthropods living at our field site!