A practical way to learn about fauna is by observing it while immersing in nature. It is good to keep one’s eyes open to be aware of the natural surroundings, especially to have the privilege of looking at certain animal life or behavior that is rarely seen due to diverse reasons.
Following many years of experience as an environmental interpreter guide in Puerto Rico, I want to tell you about five examples of animal-related presence that are not ordinarily witnessed in natural areas typically open to the public. Below you will find a list of these examples for your benefit. If you plan an outdoors recreation in Puerto Rico and come face-to-face with animal scenes such as the ones listed, you may be more aware to pay attention to and appreciate these.
Examples of Peculiar Animal Scenes to be Attentive For while Doing Outdoors Activities in Puerto Rico:
1) Coqui nurturing its eggs
Finding a coqui nourishing its eggs is rare because coqui frogs tend to keep their eggs moistened away from direct sunlight in inconspicuous spots such as unused bird nests or on natural debris on forest ground.
While exploring a trail in Sendra Natural Protected Area, located in San Juan Municipality, Puerto Rico, I was surprised when finding a common coqui (Eleutherodactylus genus) nurturing its eggs on a dry leaf hanging on a small tree. Check out this article’s photo gallery to see a picture about this special experience.
2) Golden silk orbweaver spider surrounded by its web
The Golden silk orbweaver spider (Trichonephila clavipes) is difficult to find in some natural sites in Puerto Rico since, in general, it has relocated into deeper forested areas. You may find this spider’s web across trails during early summer; however, the webs are often impacted or destroyed as people hike the trails.
I was lucky to see a Golden silk orbweaver spider and its web in Sendra Natural Protected Area. As you browse this article’s photo gallery, look at the beautiful natural design of the female spider and her web.
3) Caterpillars on Host Flora
It is common to see butterflies while they are pollinating; however, they do not necessarily lay eggs on all plants pollinated by them. So it is not usual to watch caterpillars (wormlike larva stage of butterfly) standing on host plants. Next time you see butterflies flying, you may like observing plant leaves nearby to find out if caterpillars are present.
I was fortunate to have been at the right time and place when a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) green caterpillar was on a Senna poliphylla plant. You may browse this article’s photo gallery to see the pictures that captured this moment.
4) Chrysalis on Host Plants
In view of the above, it is not common either to see chrysalis (pupa stage of butterfly) on host flora. If butterflies fly near you, looking closely at plants nearby may help see if any of these are hosting chrysalides that you can admire.
Once I spotted a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) reddish-yellow chrysalis on a Senna poliphylla plant. You can see an image showing such in this article’s photo gallery.
5) Walking Stick
The walking stick, also known as stick insect, (Phasmatidae family) possesses one of the best hide-and-seek skills I have ever known. It has the ability of camouflaging and disguising among nearby foliage. For instance, this insect may disguise as a branch while on a host plant and stand still, making it difficult to spot it. Even when seen and disturbed, it can quickly jump on the ground, stay stiff, and camouflage among vegetation or debris.
The last time I observed a walking stick, it was swinging as it was trying to scare away a predator. An image of a walking stick resembling a branch while on a plant is included in this article’s photo gallery.
Whenever I witness unusual animal life or behavior during an outdoor recreation, I feel fortunate and cheerful and do my best to pay attention and enjoy such. I feel grateful for nature being so generous and letting me take pictures of such gifts. I hope you can do the same while protecting the environment.
Translated by N. Michelle Rodríguez Amadeo