Camp Tuanan, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia
October 2014 I embarked on an adventure like no other. I boarded a plane in Philadelphia, PA and landed in Borneo to head into the remote depths of peatland forest as a volunteer research assistant for the Rutgers University Primatology Lab.
I had the privilege of working with both foreign and domestic researchers and local assistants to find, follow, and collect data on orangutans that lived in the research forest.
At a remote field station where there is limited electricity, food options, beverage options, and minimal connection to the outside world, it helps to have a hobby.
Of course as an entomologist, mine was to find, watch, and if possible photograph the little lives that leaped and flew and scurried around camp and the forest.
Indonesia consistently makes the lists as one of the most biodiverse places in the earth. I was prepared to come across some ridiculously awesome critters. The peat swamp forest of Central Kalimantan, Borneo did not disappoint! Here I present a collection of some of the entomological highlights.
Food In The Forest
Masters of Deception
Walking stick insects [Phasmatodea] avoid
being eaten by avoiding being seen as a meal in the first place.
They will not only camouflage to look like dead leaves or branches but will often even have what looks like lichen or moss on their exoskeleton.
A walking stick insect [Phasmatodea] sits unmoving in the dark of night.
Raspy crickets [Gryllacrididae] take a different approach to protecting themselves. They puff themselves up into a threat display to present themselves as big and threatening.
Purple eyes, cyan and red palps?!
What an unusual combination.
Spiders are everywhere in a forest. Ranging from underground burrows to webs high up in the canopy.