Monday, October 22, 2018

From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

Pam Po-Chedley Obersheimer

I had such a great time on my trip to the Peruvian Amazon Rain Forest. I cannot say enough about what a wonderful job Green Tracks did in making this trip such an enjoyable adventure. My thanks go out to George Ledvina, Bill Lamar, Tom Crutchfield, Dante Fenolio and Scott Humfeld. As well to our local guides Willy Flores Lanza and Jonathan. They all really know how to take care of everything with kindness and caring. If any problems come up along the way, they are on it and there for you immediately to make sure all goes well.
I highly recommend Green Tracks to one and all.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

 












From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No246: Life, death and reproduction around an Amazonian rainforest pool. These species of "hatchet-faced treefrogs" are all singing about sex - trying to attract a mate and pass on their genes. But all is not well around the pond; lots of snakes love to eat small frogs. There is a real balance between being showy to attract a mate and avoiding predators.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

  



















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No244: The Amazon Puffer (Colomesus asellus) has a wide distribution in the Amazon and its tributary rivers. The species can tolerate some salt in the water; inasmuch, it and can be found in coastal brackish waterways. It is a fish common to the aquarium hobby. Like other pufferfishes, these fish are poisonous to predators that try to consume them. One of the prominent skin toxins in this species is saxitoxin. The toxin that pufferfishes are so infamous for defending themselves with, tetrodotoxin, appears to be in very low concentration in this species, if present at all. Interestingly for those familiar with tetrodotoxin, the species of pufferfishes that wield the poison for defense do not appear to produce the toxic substance; rather, symbiotic bacteria produce the compound and live on the bodies of the fishes. This individual was photographed in Iquitos, Loreto, Peru, October 2018. I know I have said this before, and that to someone not familiar with the severity of the situation I sound like a broken record, but we need to do more to save the amazing biodiversity of the Amazon Basin. Please support any conservation organization with which you connect. Funding is what makes the difference.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

 













From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No245: It was a "salamanderesque" kind of night several days back. We encountered four mushroom tongue salamanders in a short span of trail. One of them (depicted here) had an outstanding pattern in its eyes. The most commonly observed salamander around Iquitos is the “Nauta Mushroom Tongue Salamander” (Bolitoglossa altamazonica). It was described by Cope in 1874 (Oedipus altamazonicus). There are many salamanders masquerading as this species as it is undoubtedly a species complex across the greater region. These salamanders tend to have a patchy distribution and when you find a good spot for them, it is reliably a good spot year after year; however, we usually do not see more than several in a given night.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018




















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

A happy encounter on our Herp Trip as Sarah makes a new friend, a baby sloth!

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From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No243: A "Mountain Crystal Tetra" (Protocheirodon pi). The mostly transparent nature of this species is phenomenal.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

 



















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No242: Another rainforest trail, another cluster of crazy caterpillars. I sure have seen some great moth and butterfly larvae across the last few weeks in Amazonian Peru. The biodiversity of these forests is unreal.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018




















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No241: For me, the most spiritual moments of my life have come about on forest trails. The energy of these places, and the amazing things to see, have captivated me for years. I can't envision life without wild places.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

 



















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No238: Have had a lot of fun photographing more of the freshwater fish biodiversity here in the upper Amazon Basin. This beautiful fish is the Black-top Mouse Catfish (Hassar orestis).

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Monday, October 15, 2018

 



















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No234: Electric Eels (Electrophorus electricus) aren’t actually eels at all - they belong to the order Gymnotiformes and are a species of knifefish. They use their strong electrical discharges for stunning prey and in defense. The charge that these fish can generate is not trivial – one source indicated that it can be as strong as 600 volts. These animals generate their charge by way of specialized disk-shaped cells called electrocytes. Thousands of electrocytes form three electric organs within the fish. The electrocytes store power like a battery. When the electric eel needs to shock something (like a potential predator or a prey item) each electrocyte can discharge its electrical charge at the same time. A quote from an article covering a researcher studying the electrical discharge of these fish (link in comments), “'It’s impressive that a little eel could deliver that much electricity,' Catania said in a statement. These shocks were nearly ten times as powerful as a taser, and electric eels can get much larger in size with even more powerful shocks that can be lethal to animals.” Like other knifefishes, electric eels can produce much more mild currents and can generate an electric field to navigate and locate prey items. These fishes also grow to considerable size. Large individuals exceed 2 meters (over 6 feet) and can weigh in at nearly 50 pounds. This is a juvenile photographed in Amazonian Peru, October 2018.

https://www.greentracks.com

 















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No235: The Long-net Stinkhorn (Phallus indusiatus) has a massive range including parts of Africa, South and Central America, Mexico, China, Japan and Australia. Among many interesting cultural uses and beliefs tied to this fungus, it is used to make harmful charms in the belief systems of several indigenous groups of Nigeria. Many biologically active compounds are present in these mushrooms. They contain chemicals that are antibacterial as well as antioxidants (polyphenols). This specimen photographed in Amazonian Peru - October 2018.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

Saturday, October 13, 2018

 














From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Tom Crutchfield
Well we are spending our last night in Peru. We have been here almost 3 weeks now mostly in the Amazon. The trip back began at Ceiba Tops as we headed down the mighty Amazon River on a big boat called the Amazon Queen. A storm chased us as the rainy season has begun. Stacey began pole dancing on the way then talked me into doing it. Well I made a dollar sooo. Lol. We are spending the night in Inquitos headed to Lima tomorrow. Tonight we had dinner at a floating restaurant sitting in the mighty Amazon River.We should be back home on Sunday morning. Stacey Crutchfield & I have had an incredible adventure once again. Good by to the jungle & all the jungle spirits that live within me won’t forget you. So until next time. Peace to you all. Live life like there is no tomorrow. We are!!

https://www.greentracks.com

 





















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No131: My roommate for the last several days. This Tropical Screech Owl (Megascops choliba) lives in the rafters above the room at the forest lodge I stay in. Love the late night vocalizations but could do without him taking a dump on the floor.

https://www.greentracks.com

 






















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
 Notes from the Amazon No133: The amazing eyes of an Owlfly (Ascalaphidae): observed in a forest tract along the Amazon River, Loreto, Peru, October 2018.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

Friday, October 12, 2018















Another nice response from a participant on the GreenTracks Amazon Herping trip September 29 - October 6, 2018

Dear Green Tracks...just had to write and tell you how much I enjoyed my herping adventure! I've never done anything like this and didn't know what to expect but I'm so glad I went! The lodges were clean and comfortable and the food was good ....the activities were well organized without being overly structured... Bill along with the guides from Explorama were the icing on the cake....extemely knowledgeable, personable, and just fun to talk to...i would highly recommend Green Tracks to anyone looking for a trip slightly out of the ordinary...well done!

Heather Krane

https://www.greentracks.com

 

  



















Inca Trail permits do not usually go on sale until January 2 each year, but due to increasing numbers of hikers every year, they just now went on sale for 2019. They will sell out rapidly, so if you are thinking of hiking the Inca Trail next year now is the time to book.
Permits are limited to 500 per day and that includes hikers, guides and porters.

To follow the Inca's footsteps on the royal highway to Machu Picchu is an unforgettable experience. Few other hikes in the world can offer the variety of breathtaking scenery: from high sierra to tropical jungle. No other will take you through so many well preserved archeological sites.

GreenTracks offers several Inca Trail programs of varying length as well as other treks that don’t require a permit.  We know the Inca Trail well as we have hiked it numerous times.


Read more here:
https://www.greentracks.com/Inca-Trail.html

 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

It is always nice to hear from satisfied clients.  Here is an email we received from two of them. We strive to provide the best services possible and we appreciate feedback like this.

Hi George,

Patricia and I just returned from our two week vacation on Saturday morning.

 We want to thank you and your team for providing us with the best experience of our lives. The information and detailed itinerary you provided prior to our trip prepared us completely.

 The 7 day Amazon cruise on La Perla was first class on a budget. Our room was very nice, clean and the air conditioning was fantastic. The crew provided top notch service and Patricia (cruise director) made sure everything was perfect. The food was outstanding and the boat was comfortable The land and boat excursions were informative and exciting and our guides (Juanito, Edgard and Victor) were great, friendly and knowledgeable.

 After our Amazon trip we flew to Cusco where we were picked up at the airport and taken to our hotel. The next day a private guide and driver drove us to the Sacred Valley. Then we took the train to  Aguas Calientes with our guide where we had an amazing experience ending with two days at Machu Picchu. Back at Cusco we had a great guided tour as well.

 Scott and the rest of your team made sure we had our plane boarding passes, checked in on us and simply rounded out a perfect vacation.

 We really didn’t have to plan anything. You and your team did it all. All your hotel selections were great, especially the Inka Terra in Aguas Calientes which was spectacular!

Thank you again.
Barry and Patricia Weiss

https://www.greentracks.com

 

      
 












From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No.229: The eyes of an Amazonian Giant Land Snail (Megalobulimus sp.): observed in a forest tract along the Rio Amazonas, Loreto, Peru - October 2018.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

    



















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No224: Amazonian mustache

https://www.greentracks.com

 

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

  













From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No222: Parental care is something that most people associate with mammals - particularly humans. But in all truth, parental care can be found across a broad spectrum of wildlife including amphibians. Among the amphibians, poison frogs are notorious for their parental care. In many species, eggs are deposited on the forest floor until they hatch. Depending on the species, either the male or the female allows the tadpoles to squirm onto their backs. The tadpoles literally glue themselves to the back of the adult using glue glands in their lips. The adult frog then carries the tadpoles to some remote water source - often plant held waters (phytotelmata) such as bromeliad axils or water filled tree holes. The adult crawls into the water and the water soluble glue dissolves. The tadpoles then move into the private pool where they will develop. In some species, the female returns to feed infertile food eggs - providing nourishment to the developing tadpoles throughout their larval period. This is a Red-backed Poison Frog (Ranitomeya reticulata) photographed sleeping at night in the low foliage with two tadpoles glued to its back, Amazon River, Loreto, Peru - October 2018.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

   













From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No223: I love to bring black lights or UV lights into the forest. This scorpion reflected the black light as it sat on a low leaf above the rainforest floor. Photographed in a tract of forest along the Amazon River, Loreto, Peru - October 2018.

https://www.greentracks.com

 

     













From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No.219: Mating Iridescent Tigers (Hypocrita plagifera - moths) on a night hike through a tract of forest on the Rio Mazan, Loreto, Peru - September 2018. Thank you Britt O'Leary for the ID!

https://www.greentracks.com

 

    













From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No221: A Speckled Worm Lizard (Amphisbaenia fuliginosa) that was observed within the city of Iquitos, Peru. These fossorial reptiles are squamates and are closely related to lizards and snakes. They have no arms or legs. In a setting like Iquitos, they are probably feeding on earthworms. The potential for herpetological finds within a city is huge for a place like Iquitos... even though the city is growing fast.


https://www.greentracks.com

 

        



















From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 10/06 - 10/13, 2018

from Stacey Crutchfield
Today I FINALLY caught a piranha!!!! We also saw a bunch of pink river dolphins while out on the river. And saw a rainbow on the way back to the lodge!!! My day is complete...night y’all

https://www.greentracks.com

 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

 














From the GreenTracks Amazon Herping Tour 9/29 - 10/6, 2018

from Stacey Crutchfield
Tomorrow we head back into the jungle with group #2. Had a great time and was wonderful meeting everyone in group #1. I couldn’t tag everyone, so feel free to tag those in the group shot. Hope to see you all again soon in the near future.

https://www.greentracks.com