Machaca, Man-Killing Moth

In the rainforests of Ecuador you hear about all sorts of amazing animals and fantastic legends. There are bullet ants so-called for their sting feels like you have been shot, and the indigenous Shuar tell a story of an incestuous pregnancy giving birth to a horde of caterpillars. Some of these charismatic animals become central [...]

Tropic Pollinators, Discerning Sex Partners

The drive to have sex is greater for many organisms than life itself. Innumerable fish swim up rivers to spawn, eusocial (hive) insects take to the air and spiders brave the wrath of the female, all dying in one way or another from mating. Individuals do not pass on their genes by living the longest [...]

The Good Intent of Deforestation

"To teach about sustainable farming practices such as permaculture, or the environment, biodiversity, so-on-and-so-forth. My problem with this is - although it may do some good - it's addressing the effect rather than the cause. Cutting rainforest is the effect of an impoverished community."

12 Tips for Jungle Hammock Camps

A combination of people asking me questions and people not asking questions when they should have, has prompted me to write this article. Experienced temperate campers sometimes fail to adapt to jungle and/or hammock conditions aderquatly. The following are 12 key factors to consider: 1) "Widow makers” is a term I was taught for branches [...]

Matapalo, Predatory Trees

This is the Spanish name in Latin American for the Strangler Fig (genus: Ficus) that translates literally in to “kill stick”, but means ‘Tree Killer’. There are 900 species of fig trees and all of which are believed to produce fruit similar to the figs you can buy in a western supermarket. These trees though [...]

In Search of Hooker’s Lips

Despite your possible first thoughts of the loneliness of the jungle finally getting to me, this search is botanical rather than brothel orientated. The plant scientifically known as Psychotria Elata – although commonly called Hooker’s Lips or Hot Lips - is endemic to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama and Columbia. It is a critically endangered plant [...]