Tame me a Tegu!

I came across quite a few tegus – large lizards – when visiting Iguazu National Park in northern Argentina. As far as I can tell, they are all the Argentine black and white tegu (Salvator merianae), also called the Argentine giant tegu (1). They wander round quite happily, despite the presence of large numbers of people coming…

Hug me, squeeze me! Amplexus.

Amplexus is a Latin word meaning embrace. The male frog clasps the female in a tight embrace; some literally glue themselves onto their partner. I’m sticking with you babe!   The embrace itself varies: some males grab their partner round the waist; others hold their lady frogs under their armpits; and some – like the passionate poison…

Rocky Rococo the pebbly toad!

This huge toad, Rhinella schneideri – over 20 cm in length – lives in South America: throughout North and Central Argentina, central Bolivia, the Atlantic coast of Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay (1). It occurs in a wide variety of habitats, from urban areas to the Chaco, Cerrado and Atlantic Forest regions. Fortunately, it is not threatened…

A lovely beetle, but a bit of a pest!

This lovely beetle, whose full name is Coraliomela quadrimaculata, is a leaf-mining leaf beetle with a fondness for palms and coconut trees.  It is found in South America, so we should give it its Spanish name, Barata-do-coqueiro. This is in fact the name given to several species of chrysomelid beetles, whose larvae feed on the…

The Southern Monarch butterfly.

The Southern Monarch butterfly, Danaus erippus (= Danaus plexippus erippus), is found in tropical and subtropical latitudes of South America, including Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Peru.  The larvae feed on a variety of species, including milkweeds such as Asclepias curassavica.  I took this photograph in Buenos Aires in the Spring (March 2012) and did not know…