Documenting nature in the Amazon through photographs and sketches

Manaus

Piranhas at the market

This month’s meeting of the Photography group was at the recently inaugurated market in Manaus.  It is a very nice market, the construction is from the colonial times, with material brought from England and France.  The crafts section was my favorite, and the most colorful one. I found some piranhas there.  The fruit and veggie section had just a few stands, but with lots of different herbs, dried and fresh. We got jambu for today’s lunch, pato no tucupi.

Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus, Amazonas

Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus, Amazonas

Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus, Amazonas

Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus, Amazonas

Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus, Amazonas

Mercado Municipal Adolpho Lisboa, Manaus, Amazonas


blue weevil!

Last weekend we went for a walk to the Bosque da Ciencia. It was a short visit but we found a beautiful beetle, a blue weevil!   It is a broad-nosed weevil (Curculionidae: Entiminae) with some blue on its legs and antenna.

Entiminae


Brazilian coloured beetle

This weekend we went for a walk to the Reserva Duke, in the northern part of Manaus. Part of the reserve is a botanical garden (Jardim Botanico) with nice trails in the forest and new exhibition areas in the forest.  I really liked the little pirarucu we saw, it was just a few months old, and about 20 cm long.  I will write a post about them later on.  While we were looking at the exhibit about frogs and toads, I saw a beetle on the floor.  I stopped paying attention to the frogs at that point.  Here’s what I saw:

 

 

Scarab

 

Scarab complete

Jardim Botanico, Reserva Duke, Manaus

 

 

 


Into the forest

Into the forest

On our way to the research site. It is a long road through the forest.  When one is lucky some animals can be seen crossing the road, ant eaters, wild boars, and last week a black jaguar! I wish I had been there.


sunset

sunset Manaus

Ponte Rio Negro, Manaus

I decided to take the challenge to photograph the sunset.  It is a different subject from what I usually photograph. I am happy with this result. I want to try different locations around Manaus to have a different view of the bridge.

The bridge, Ponte Rio Negro, links Manaus and Iranduba, and was inaugurated less than two years ago.  We have crossed it a couple of times.


Peixe-boi

Amazon or South American manatee (Trichechus inunguis) is commonly hunted for meat and oil along the Amazon River. I don’t know how people manage to find them, but they do, and it is common that little ones are left without their mothers. They also get hurt by the boats. There are programs to help manatee populations recover and to reintroduce them in some areas with support of the local people. Researchers at INPA are also working on this. This photograph was taken at the Bosque da Ciencia where some manatees are brought in for recovery.

Trichechus inunguis

Bosque da Ciencia, Manaus, Amazonas

 


Guan couple

Two weeks ago I saw a couple of Guan on the mango tree in our garden.  We’ve identified them as Spix’s guan (Jacu-de-spix)
Penelope jacquacu.  The one on the left was cutting leaves of maracuya and giving them to the one on the right. After a while they each rested on separate branches of the tree. It was the first time I saw them, and I haven’t seen them back since.

Spix's guan

guan resting


maracuya

A beautiful flower from our patio.

maRACUYA flor


leaf-cutter ant

One of the reasons I was so excited to come live here in Manaus was for all the insects I could encounter here.  However, there are some that have given us trouble, and I’m thinking about ants.  There are many species of ants in the garden and house, some are eating one of the bedroom doors, others decided that they like the dog food and sometimes the plate is covered with ants and other little ones just like sweet stuff, but those don’t bother me that much, except when my juice glass gets covered by them.  Then there are many others in the garden.  Those that like dog food, seem to like everything, I have seen them taking chicken feathers into their nest.  but the worst are leaf-cutter ants!  They have cut leaves of so many of our plants, just in one night the hibiscus were without leaves, and then they went for the nonis, and they have also gone up the mango tree.  However, with so many of them I had the chance to practice taking photographs of moving insects. It has been complicated as they move so fast and so much.  It’s the first time I try using a white background thanks to some macrophotography tips shared by my friend The Bug Geek.

Atta leaf-cutter ant

Jardim Paulista, Manaus

This is a leaf-cutter ant of the Atta genus, (Hymenoptera, Myrmicinae, Attini).


Three-toed sloth Bradypus sp.

Since I’ve moved to the tropics, I’ve learned that there are two-toed sloths and three-toed sloths. I just recently found out that they each belong to a separate family, Megalonychidae (two-toed sloths) and Bradypodidae (three-toed sloths) and they are not closely related.

Sloths are arboreal mammals, the live up in the trees and their limbs are adpated to hang from trunks and branches where they sleep or rest for about 20 hours a day.  I find it very interesting that they have to go down from the trees to poo about once a week.  It’s also quite interesting that they have algae living on their fur.

There are four species within Bradypus, two of which can be found in this area, Bradypus tridactylus (pale-throated sloth) and Bradypus variegatus (brown-throated sloth).  The pale-throated sloth (Bradypus tridactylus) has a more resticted range east of the Andes and south of the Orinoco River, occuring in the Guyana Shield region including northern Brazil south to the Rio Negro-Rio Solimoes region (where Manaus is located).  The brown-throated sloth (Bradypus variegatus), on the other hand, can be found all the way from Honduras to northern Argentina.

A week ago, we went for a walk at Bosque da Ciencia, and we saw a sloth eating young leaves up on a tree.  I’m still not sure which species we saw, the pale-throated sloth or the brown-thrated sloth.  Can you help me identify it?

Bradypus  three-toed sloth

Bosque da Ciencia, INPA, Manaus

Bradypus three-toed sloth

Bosque da Ciencia, INPA, Manaus

Bradypus three-toed sloth

Bosque da Ciencia, INPA, Manaus


alguns insetos

A few insect photos taken during my most recent visit to Bosque da Ciencia, INPA.

Algumas fotos de insetos tiradas durante a minha mais recente visita à Bosque da Ciencia, INPA.

Algunas fotos de insectos que tomé durante mi más reciente visita al Bosque de Ciencia, INPA.


Cheia 2012 – The highest water level registered in the Rio Negro.

I went downtown Manaus last sunday to walk around the market and to see what was going on with the water level.  It is so high that the streets next to the river, by the port, are completely flooded.  You can see the boats on port at the level of the street.  There are little bridges to cross over from one side of the street to the other.  Lots of people gather around to see the phenomenon, and like me, they want to document it.

We’ve been living here in Manaus since October 2010. We missed the day where the highest temperature has been recorded (38.3°C on the shade*), as it was in September that year.  Soon after we arrived, we witnessed the lowest level of the Rio Negro.  The level was at registered at 13.63 m*, the lowest since the measurements started 110 years ago.  Last year, in August 2011, the lowest relative humidity of the past hundred years was recorded with an index of only 18%*, whereas in a hot (32.3°C) day like today we have 57% (according to our weather station). This has been recorded by my husband who maintains the weather station in our garage as well as others in the field sites where he’s working. A graph of the low relative humidity and other climate data from Manaus can be found at: https://www.bgc-jena.mpg.de/bgp/index.php/NorbertKunert/WeatherStationManaus

*  data obtained from: Portal D24AM  http://www.d24am.com/amazonia/meio-ambiente/clima-de-manaus-passou-por-cinco-fenomenos-extremos-em-tres-anos/59249


a few sketches

I’ve started sketching insects from the garden, here are a few.



We have a few floating plants in the garden pond.  The flowers only last for a day; they are pretty purple with a yellow spot in the middle (I will try to do a sketch with color next time there is a flower).