1. Olive House Snake

    Boaedon olivaceus (Lamprophiidae) is a species of House snake native to west and central Africa, with a complex taxonomic history, which until 2011 was assigned to the widespread genus Lamprophis.

    Olive House Snakes are small, non venomous colubrids sexually dimorphic in that females grow significantly larger than males (Males 50 - 70cm and females 70 - 100cm). The name “House Snake” was given as they are often found around houses and other buildings looking for food.

    References: [1] - [2] - [3]

    Photo credit: ©Konrad Mebert | Locality: Banalia-Longala, Democratic Republic of the Congo

  2. Banded Longwing  (Banded Orange Heliconian, Banded Orange, Orange Tiger)

    Dryadula phaetusa (Nymphalidae - Heliconiinae), is the sole member of its genus. It is a common and widespread species found from Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia. These butterflies are easily distinguished by its short antennae and its tiger striped pattern.

    Reference: [1]

    Photo credit: ©Almir Cândido de Almeida | Locality: Caseara, Tocantins, Brazil

  4. Quartz var. Ametrine | ©Glenn Morita 

    Anahi Mine, La Gaiba District, Angel Sandoval Province, Santa Cruz Department, Bolivia.

    Also named Bolivianite, Ametrine is a natural variety of quartz formed by the combination of Amethyst and Citrine forms. Ametrine crystals are made of alternating sectors of purple and yellow to orange color. 

    Reference: [1]

  5. Wolf’s Milk Slime  (Toothpaste Slime)

    Fruiting bodies (scientifically named aethalia) of the plasmodial slime mold Lycogala epidendrum are quite distinctive by its little, round, reddish pink balls, which exude a pinkish orange paste when popped. This cosmopolitan slime mold grows in groups on dead wood, especially large logs. 

    [Mycetozoa - Myxomycetes - Liceales - Tubiferaceae - LycogalaLycogala epidendrum (L.) Fr., 1829]

    References: [1] - [2]

    Photo credit: ©MaKeR i | Locality: unknown

  6. Pointe au Sel | ©Valentin Hoarau  (Réunion Island)

  7. Boodie  (Burrowing Bettong, Lesueur’s Rat Kangaroo) 

    The Boodie, scientifically named Bettongia lesueur (Diprotodontia - Potoroidae), is a small Australian marsupial. Like a little kangaroo, the Boodie has well developed, muscular hind limbs and short muscular forearms. The head is small with a pointed muzzle, short rounded ears and beady black eyes. 

    Boodies are listed as Near Threatened because its extent of occurrence is small and it is known from just 6-8 locations. It was formerly widespread in central, southern, and south-western parts of Australia, but the species was eradicated as a result of predation by introduced animals. However, it persists in insular populations on Bernier and Dorre Islands in Shark Bay (Western Australia) and on Barrow Island off the Pilbara coast. In 1992, after an absence of 50 years, the Boodie was successfully reintroduced to the Australian mainland.

    References: [1] - [2] - [3]

    Photo credit: ©Jeremy Ringma | Locality: unknown (Australia)

  8. Flatheaded borer

    This multi-colored spotted beetle is the Flatheaded borer, Chrysobothris chrysostigma (Coleoptera - Buprestidae), an European saproxylic beetle whose larvae live under the bark of the trunks of spruce.

    References: [1] - [2]

    Photo credit: ©Andrea Hallgass | Locality: Cimolais, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Italy

  9. A Foggy Blue Mountains (NSW) Morning | ©Adrian Paul  (Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia)

  10. Caralluma speciosa inflorescence

    Caralluma speciosa (Gentianales - Apocynaceae), formerly named Desmidorchis speciosa, is a species native to East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) and the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, probably also in Djibouti or Eritrea). 

    This is one of the big clumping Caralluma that can reach one meter in height. It bears at the apex a many-flowered clusters of brownish-black flowers.

    Reference: [1]

    Photo credit: ©ej_mroz | Locality: unknown

  11. Pirre Harlequin frog  (Pirri Range Stubfoot Toad)

    Actually the Pirre Harlequin frog is not a frog but a toad of the species Atelopus glyphus (Bufonidae), found in eastern Panama, in the Serranía de Pirre, and Colombia, in the Chocó.

    Atelopus glyphus is currently classified as a Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red List, since like other species within the genus, their populations are being severely affected the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis that causes chytridiomycosis disease.

    Specimen pictured is a juvenile captive-bred as part of the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project, an organization based in Panama, which is making significant efforts to establish colonies of the harlequin frogs and develop methods to reduce the impact of chytrid fungus, so that one day the captive amphibians may be reintroduced to their habitat.

    References: [1] - [2] - [3]

    Photo credit: ©Brian Gratwicke | Locality: Panama

  12. The Tawny Frogmouth conserves its energy entering daily torpor

    Living organisms are either ectothermic or endothermic. Ectotherms have low metabolic rates, lack insulation and therefore their body temperature is a function of ambient temperature. Because they do not ‘waste’ energy on internal heat production for thermoregulation, their energy and nutrient requirements are low, but they and their bodily functions are directly affected by the temperature of their environment.

    Endotherms, on the other hand, have metabolic rates that are many-fold higher than those of ectotherms and therefore their energy requirements are high. Endotherms usually insulate their bodies to minimize heat loss. 

    Endotherms include most mammals and birds. Some species, however, are heterothermic, it is they can switch between ectothermic (or poikilothermic) and endothermic (or homeothermic) strategies to deal with energetic and other challenges, and, during certain times of the day or year, enter a state of torpor.

    Mammalian and avian torpor (including hibernation and daily torpor) is characterized by temporal, substantial but controlled reductions in body temperature, metabolic rates, water loss, heart rate and other physiological functions and is the most effective means for energy conservation available to endotherms. 

    The Tawny Frogmouth, Podargus strigoides (Caprimulgidae - Podargidae) is an endemic, nocturnal bird species widespread throughout Australia. They are heterotherm and the largest bird know to use torpor. Like Nightjars, Tawny Frogmouths enter daily torpor at night and/or in the early morning. This birds remain torpid for only part of the day, but usually continue to forage during their active phase.

    Unlike hibernators, daily heterotherms, such as the Nightjars and the Tawny Frogmouth, always express daily torpor independent of ambient temperature, season and trophic state. Daily torpor lasts only for hours rather than days or weeks, is usually not as deep as hibernation, and is often interrupted by activity and feeding. 

    Reference: [1]

    Photo credit: ©Peter Nijenhuis | Locality: The Rainforest Habitat Wildlife Sanctuary, Port Douglas, Craiglie, Queensland, Australia

  14. Red Tailed Racer  (Red-tailed Green Ratsnake, Arboreal Rat Snake)

    Gonyosoma oxycephalum (Colubridae), the Red Tailed Racer, is an arboreal species of ratsnake, living in the trees up to 10m above the ground.

    This striking green snake with blue tongue is a renowned raider of birds nests, and with up to 2.4 m in total length, is amongst the largest of all the ratsnake species. 

    Red Tailed Racers can be found from Myanmar eastward to central Viet Nam, southward through the Malay Peninsula and Southeast Asia as far east as the Philippines and Lombok, Indonesia.

    References: [1] - [2] - [3]

    Photo credit: ©kkchomeLocality: Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia

  15. Sharpshooter

    Sharpshooter is a term used colloquially to refer to a highly diverse group of leafhoppers of the family Cicadellidae. Oncometopia nigricans (Hemiptera - Cicadellidae), pictured, is one of nearly 20,000 described species in that taxonomic family.

    Like all true bugs, this species has piercing-sucking mouthparts, which are used to tap into and feed upon xylem or phloem (sap) tissue of plants. It also has large eyes and excellent visual acuity to avoid detection and capture by potential predators.

    Oncometopia nigricans is an American species which as other ones, is considered a pest of several crops, because they can disperse relatively long distances, feed on a great variety of plants, and more importantly, they have the ability to vector (transmit) infectious pathogens from plant to plant. 

    Reference: [1]

    Photo credit: ©Kim Fleming | Locality: unknown