All posts tagged: Insects

Praying Mantis Mantidae Kinabatangang Sabah Borneo Malaysia

Life in the Understory # 3 – Praying Mantis

The Kinabatangang Nature Lodge is a place of great adventure. Their slogan ‘it’s a jungle out there!’ not only refers to the forest surrounding the lodge, but also to a world where it’s ‘eat and be eaten’. This certainly holds true for the many insects inhabiting this environment and its therefore not surprising that mimicry is one of the many mechanisms deployed, either defensive or aggressive. The wings from this mantis (Mantidae) offered almost perfect concealment with the colour, shape and texture resembling the leaf it was hiding under – waiting for the next victim to pass.

Longhorn beetle Batocera rubus Sepilok Forest Reserve Sabah Borneo Malaysia

Life on the Forest Floor # 1- Wallace’s legacy

Although only covering around 2% of the Earth’s surface, tropical rainforests are home to more than half of all life forms on our planet. Its biodiversity is truly immense, but the answer on why so many different taxonomic groups have evolved in this biome is rather complex. When thinking about the biodiversity of the Bornean forests the name of Alfred Russel Wallace automatically comes into my mind. As collaborator of Charles Darwin and co-author of the famous 1858 paper On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and on the perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection Wallace is one of the founding fathers of the evolution theory – but where Darwin’s fame got firmly cemented by his book On the Origin of Species, Wallace’s contribution to what is now known as ‘Darwinism’ became almost forgotten. However, with his skills as an animal collector, storyteller and founder of biogeography, Wallace has left behind his own legacy; especially his observation that the islands of the Malayan Archipelago represented a frontier between two faunal provinces (the Indo-Malayan to the west …

Jade Green Cicada Dundubia Vaginata Kinabatangang Sabah Borneo Malaysia

Jade Green Cicada

With the Pygmy Elephant and Western Tarsier we have highlighted two of Borneo’s iconic inhabitants. However, there are many more and this instalment is about one that might not always get the attention it deserves: the Cicada. Maybe they’re just not rare enough, and certainly not cuddly, but these noisy insects perform one of the most characteristic symphonies in the tropical forests around the globe when the daylight wanes. Where the massive Emperor or 6 o’clock Cicada (Pomponia merula) excels in the production of an electrical shaver-like sound, the Jade Green Cicada (Dundubia vaginata) is the most beautiful by far. Around 5.30 every afternoon a few males would start their concert by a rhythmical pulsation of their abdomens (called tymbalisation) to be followed by the ones in their direct vicinity until retirement for the night. Despite their noisy call cicadas are not easy to locate – their excellent vision warns them for possible threats and they stop calling, hide or simply fly away to another tree when disturbed. When spotlighting in search for some nocturnal action …