NEOTROPICAL Tropical & Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest

The rainforests of the tropical Americas have the highest diversity of insects in the world. It has been reported that you will find more species of ants on a single tree Neotropical rainforest tree than occur across the entire country of England. 

Order Diptera

Family Tachinidae

'Hedgehog Fly' (Wayqecha, Peru).

Order Coleoptera, Beetles

Order Lepidoptera, Moths and Butterflies

Family Papilionidae

Papilio thoas, King Swallowtail’ or ‘Thoas Swallowtail’. (Iguazu Falls, Brazi).

Family Nymphalidae

Hamadryas spp. 'Cracker Butterflies' include some 25 species throughout the Neotropics. They are usually spotted, and sometumes blend in when seen perched on trunks upside down. They get their common name from make a crackling sound during territorial displays. Unlike most other butterflies they don't feed on nectar from flowers, but are attracted to rotting fruit on the forest floor, sap and even animal dung.

Hamadryas sp. 'Cracker Butterfly' (Villa Carmen Lodge, Peru).

Methona themisto, ‘Bates Butterfly’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Diaethria cylmena, Eighty-eight Butterfly’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Marpesia berania, ‘Amber Daggerwing’. (Iguazu Falls, Brazi).

Doxocopa agathina, ‘Agathina Emperor’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazi).

Adelpha cythera, ’Smooth-banded Sister’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Callicore hydaspes, ‘Number Butterfly’ (Iguazu, Brazil).

Junonia evarete,’ Buck-eye’, ‘Pansy’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Hypanartia lethe ‘Orange Mapwing/Admiral’. (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Family Riodinidae

Lasaia agesilas, ‘Metamark’ (Iguazu Falls, Brazil).

Family Formicidae, 'Ants'

There are estimated to be some 1000 species of ants in the Amazon region.

Camponotus sericeiventris, 'Golden Carpenter Ant', (canopy tower, Amazonia Lodge, Peru).

'Leaf-cutter Ant' (Villa Carmen Lodge, Peru).

Tribe Meliponini, 'Stingless Bees'

Stingless bees are found throughout the tropical forests of the world. They don't need to sting as they don't need to defend an external nest as do stinging bees; their colonies are protected by being inside trees or rock gaps, and are only accessed through a narrow resinous tube of an entrance. They may not sting, but they sometimes bite. Some species are known as 'sweat bees' as they may drink the sweat off human skin (there are some other bees that also do this and are similarly named).

A stingless bee on the arm of the author  (Amazonia Lodge, Peru).

Thinking of doing expedition travel after everything has calmed down? I do a lot of my guiding and lecturing work on Silversea.