Friday, November 30, 2018


The Manu birding tour and Machu Picchu trips we did through GreenTracks were great. I was amazed how organized and professional the team was. Our guide Lady provided an informative tour of Machu Picchu. William our birding guide was extremely knowledgeable and very accommodative to our requests. The weather was quite rainy but we knew this would be a possibility when we booked the trip for the start of the rainy season. The van drivers, boat drivers and lodge staff were very professional and gave outstanding service. We managed to find approx. 240 bird species, 6 species of monkeys and one sloth and got some great photographs. William is an amazing birder and I would highly recommend him to anyone going on a Peru birding trip. Thanks very much for your efforts and to GreenTracks for making this a very memorable and enjoyable trip.

Lennart Sopuck, 2018 


Wednesday, November 28, 2018

We are now taking bookings for the Tom Crutchfield Amazon Herping Tour, November 2 - 9, 2019.  (There is only one trip planned for 2019. Tom Crutchfield can not commit to another and we expect the trip will fill quickly again this year.) Get signed up for this annual experience in the Peruvian Amazon hosted by three leading experts: Tom Crutchfield, Danté Fenolio and Bill Lamar. Some folks have done this trip several times. As always, the focus will be on the wide variety of reptiles and amphibians (and invertebrates), but we will also be finding lots of incredible birds, monkeys, sloths and other rainforest wildlife. There will be excursions both day and night on forest trails and on the fantastic Canopy Walkway.  With Tom, Danté and Bill you will have tons of entertainment and laughter as they regale you with stories of past adventures and insights into the amazing animals you will be seeing.  See old friends and make new friends. And who knows what new critters might be found as no two trips are ever exactly the same.
    Book now as these trips Sell Out every year. It’s easy to do with the PDF Application or the NEW on-line booking application.  A partly refundable $200 deposit is all it takes and the balance is not due until 45 days before the November 2 - 9 trip starts...September 25.

All the details about this trip here:

A PDF document of the Itinerary and Details can be downloaded here: Lamar Fenolio Amazon Herping Tour 2019.PDF


Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Tarantulas, much maligned by gratuitous use in horror films, are harmless and interesting creatures.  Arboreal species like this Avicularia juruensis, are agile experts at capturing moths.


Monday, November 26, 2018

Most moths are nocturnal but the Amazon White-tailed Moth (Urania leilus) is a notable exception.  Strongly migratory, these beautiful, iridescent moths frequent riverbanks and they are notoriously fond of urine.


Saturday, November 24, 2018

Amazon Treesnakes (Imantodes lentiferus) and their cousins are superbly adapted for life above the ground.  Unbelievably slender and delicate, they are able to span long gaps in rainforest vegetation as they cruise by night in search of small lizards and frogs.


Friday, November 23, 2018

The South American Coati (Nasus nasua) is a cousin of the raccoon.  Coatis usually travel in groups and they make continuous whining noises as they scramble through the brush in search of almost anything they can overpower.


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

There are frogs and then there are weird frogs.  Years ago a detailed study of the Cashew Frog (Nyctimantis rugiceps) was published in order to establish its relationships.  The conclusion? Nobody knows!


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

More monkey business. Not to be outdone, a Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus) goes after bananas.


Monday, November 19, 2018

From the 2018 Amazon Herping Tours

Remember butterflies? An astonishing number of them have disappeared from our back yards over the years so it is great to see them in the rainforest.  Since many species crave salt and other minerals they are also happy to see sweating humans!  This Amazon Beauty (Baeotus aeilus) is picking up trace elements from our clothing that is drying in the sun.


Saturday, November 17, 2018


 From the 2018 Amazon Herping Tours

Monkey Frogs are the amphibian equivalents of chameleons; they possess opposable thumbs and walk slowly through vines and underbrush.  The Silver-eyed Monkey Frog (Phyllomedusa vaillanti), is capable of changing color from bright to dark green


Friday, November 16, 2018

From the 2018 Amazon Herping Tours

Leaf-footed Bugs (Diactor bilineatus) feed on the leaves of passion fruits and they are therefore chock full of cyanogenic glucosides which make them toxic.  As a result, they are brightly colored (a warning) and easily approached, which makes them fun to photograph!


Thursday, November 15, 2018


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

Bill Lamar gently persuades an Aquatic Coralsnake (Micrurus surinamensis) to pose for photos. Kids, don’t try this at home! Only someone with the knowledge and years of experience that Bill has can do this safely.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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

 A newly described, gigantic, Rhinoceros Beetle (Megasoma rex) found on the Herping Tour.


Monday, November 12, 2018


We have received another very nice letter from two participants of this year’s Amazon Herping Tour.   This program has become very popular.  Below is a link to information on the 2019 Amazon Herping Tour.

“If you’re looking for a real Amazon jungle experience, this is the place. Led by renowned herpetologists, scientists and native guides - all of whom are genuine good guys and who are more than willing to share their knowledge - you typically hike for three hours each night identifying, photographing, and sometimes capturing for study the exotic reptiles, amphibians and insects found in the jungle. The guides grew up in the area and are passionate about their environment. Among other things, they also led birding groups in the mornings for those who were interested. The accommodations were clean and comfortable, and every meal was delicious. If you want a first-hand experience of being in the jungle, please do consider signing up with Green Tracks. They took great care of us in every detail.”

Jack and Peggy Cahill


Friday, November 9, 2018

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

Jewels of the Amazon! The Nile has nothing on this place.  Check out this shimmering green scarab, Macraspis festiva.


Thursday, November 8, 2018


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

Participants  visit the community-run San Rafael Butterfly Garden along the Amazon River in Peru.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018


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

Notes from the Amazon No.261: This is the last installment I'll make for Amazonian wildlife until I head back down early next year. We had the good fortune of observing a different species of "Dead Leaf Mantid" on this trip (Metilia brunneri). While smaller than the Leaf Mantis (Choeradodis stalii), this species is no less cryptic. One interesting side note - this species takes to flight more more readily than the larger leaf mantid species. This individual was observed in a forest tracts off of the main branch of the Amazon River, Loreto, Peru - October 2018.


Tuesday, November 6, 2018


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

Notes from the Amazon No.260: The Paiche (Arapaima gigas) is one of the largest freshwater fishes on Earth. While exceptionally rare, specimens exceeding 4.5m (~14 feet) have been documented, with a hefty mass close to 200kg (~440lbs). The fish are endangered in the wild owing to excessive harvest – they are considered a delicacy. Many farms have been developed to produce this species. This 3m individual was staring at me in the murky waters of an Amazonian backwater – I loved the opportunity to photograph it using my rig in an underwater housing.


Monday, November 5, 2018


From the GreenTracks Amazon Photo Trip,  2018

Intrepid frog finder Dr. Philipp Wagner photographs a gigantic pair of newly described Rhinoceros Beetles (Megasoma rex).


Saturday, November 3, 2018


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

Monkey Business! Black-mantled Tamarins (Saguinus nigricollis) pull a daring banana raid.


Friday, November 2, 2018

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

from Dante Fenolio
Notes from the Amazon No.259: The Common Anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is easily the world's heaviest snake. Masses of ~225kg (~500 pounds) have been recorded. Reliable documentation of individuals at 8 or 8.5 meters (~27-28 feet) do exist; however, stories of much larger specimens, of nearly unbelievable lengths, are colorful and common... but mostly unsubstantiated. Anacondas spend the majority of their time in water where they lie in wait of suitable prey, which can be most anything from turtles to birds to mammals, depending upon the size of the snake. The feeding strike is unbelievably swift, and prey are subdued by powerful constricting coils. Despite their shy, retiring nature, these big snakes have been the object of countless lurid television shows and movies. This specimen was photographed in a forest tract along the Amazon River, Loreto, Peru - October 2018.


Thursday, November 1, 2018


The Giant Red-wing Grasshopper (Tropidacris cristata) starts life as a nymph in prison stripes. Later the color and pattern change completely.