Archive for the ‘Cool’ Category

Fluffy Tail insect looks just like a seed – with legs!   7 comments

Ok, I am an insect gweeb – who knew?   After years of yardless urban living in New England, now that I have a yard/garden, and in El Salvador to boot, I’ve become fascinated with “critters”.  I was sitting at the patio yesterday, and decided to check in on the chile plant.  We planted several types, in hopes of some seeds germinating – Chile Anaheim, Guaco, Chile de Arbol, Ciruela, and this one sprouted – we’re not sure which yet, but I’m thinking Anaheim.While examining the plant, I saw a seed clinging to the chile.   And then it moved.   Hey, that fluffy stuff is attached to… what??No, it’s not a seed, it’s… an insect!   With a fluffy butt.

( Click Pics to see LARGE images..)

After some research, it appears this little guy is a  Passion Vine Hopper Nymph.   I don’t think he’s a woolly aphid.

Multi-Colored aqua and yellow Leaf-hopper El Salvador   3 comments

Moments after I see a passion vine hopper nymph (curious insect with a fluffy white tail), on the same plant I spot a multi-colored leaf-hopper.   I’d seen small green leaf-hoppers in the past.   They have a funny v-shaped physique, with the bulk of their body at their head and shoulders, narrowing out smaller part towards their tail.  They hop off of you when you touch them.

So this leaf hopper was a “tropical colored” one.  And about 2-3 times larger than your typical small, green, northern north american leaf hopper, I’d say 3/4 of an inch long.

The pictures don’t do him as much justice as seeing him live in person.  The greyish-blue areas seen in the pictures were more of a blue-green aqua color, and you can see the yellow of course.  He also sported a reddish color, in the middle of his back, in between the two wings.   CLICK the pic to ENLARGE.    This guy is just g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s.

What in Tarnation? (strange insects in El Salvador) – Dobsonfly!   2 comments

Just one more discovery in the world of strange insects in El Salvador.  It was resting on the wall of our bedroom and apparently had died a quiet death.  Since it was so darn big, I decided to document it with my niece Carmen, taking out the tape measure to illustrate.  Nearly 3 inches long without antennae.    Date spotted:  January 13, 2010.  Species:  unknown.   Visit the Wonderful World of Insects in El Salvador Photo Gallery.

Update:  It’s a Dobsonfly.  Special thanks to Kathy Mahler for her comment informing us who this insect is.  Based on photos, he appears to be a male.  And we were living near a river at that time, natural habitat for him.

strange insects in El Salvador 1 strange insects in El Salvador 2

Walking Stick ( of Phasmatodea or Phasmida family )   Leave a comment

It all started on the patio in September 2010 during rainy season,  Los Planes de Renderos, El Salvador.    My friend was visiting when I noticed something on the floor.

“Gee what is that?” I said to her.  “Wow, es un gran animal!” she said (it’s a big ‘animal’).    Holey Toledo, he IS big!   Look at the size of this guy.  That paper is over 6″ wide, so I estimate this walking stick insect is about 5 inches long, not including antennae.

walking stick, about 5 inches long. walking stick insect el salvador

An internet search yielded many photos resembling this walking stick in numerous geographical locations, from smaller versions in the continental U.S. to ones 6-8″ long in Puerto Rico, and sticks in Peru and Madagascar.    They belong to a family of insects called Phasmids, known for camouflage capabilities. This is the 3rd major insect I have seen with camouflage capabilities in El Salvador, the other two are a leaf-backed grasshopper called an “Esperanza” in Spanish, and a leaf-backed Praying Mantis.   Fascinating stuff.

The Day the Music Died   2 comments

It occurred to me a couple days ago, when I was suddenly aware of dead silence.  Ah, that’s what it is, I thought – the Cicadas have stopped singing.  Initially only morning and later afternoon, but as time went on they sang all day long, deafening at times.

They sing throughout El Salvador for about 6 weeks, wane out, and if any are left by rainy season, the soggy stamps them out.

A peculiar experience during Cicada season happens when you drive past an area where many are singing.  Something to do with the speed or movement of the car alters their sound so from inside the car it sounds like airplanes landing.

Song of the Cicada (Chicharra, Cigarra – El Salvador)   2 comments

Cicadas* are singing in Los Planes de Renderos.  Depending in which ‘microclimate’ you live, you can hear these or other ‘singing bugs’ certain times of the year.   They were singing when we returned from Chalatenango a few days ago, and have continued their evening and morning song since.

Photo by Claudia Zelayandia on Flickr.

* commonly called “Chicharra” or “Cigarra” in El Salvador

Blue Dragonfly   Leave a comment

A gorgeous blue dragonfly, resting on on the
ground cover called “mani” at the edge of our patio.

See more at the
Wonderful World of Insects in El Salvador Photo Gallery.

Posted September 28, 2010 by El Salvador from the Inside in Cool, Insects

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