Basilisk, Corytophanes cristatus, Municipio de Livingston, Izabal
There are several basilisk lizards in Guatemala:
- Guatemalan helmeted basilisk, Corytophanes percarinatus
- Golden-colored Smoothhead helmeted basilisk, Corytophanes cristatus
- Yellow Striped Basilisk, Basiliscus vittatus
- Common Basilisk, Basiliscus basiliscus, Peten, Guatemala
While on a field trip to the Caribbean coastal area of the Municipio de Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala, someone noticed a basilisk. UVG university student Boris Llamas identified this as a Corytophanes cristatus. You can see lots of photos of this camouflaged lizard on our webpage.
We are now preparing a photo essay with dozens more photos, especially to show the various colors it changed to (it’s not a chameleon, but it can change from brown gray to green).
Bats of Tapon Creek nature reserve, FUNDAECO
Bats of Guatemala like to sleep under palm fronds
like coconuts at the beach
Municipio de Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala
FLAAR (USA) and FLAAR Mesoamerica (Guatemala) are working together with the personnel of the Municipio de Livingston, on a project of cooperation via the Alcalde de Livingston, Daniel Pinto.
On our one-week long field trip to swamps, wetlands, and associated biodiverse ecosystems along the coast of Amatique Bay groups of bats were photographed by Boris Llamas, student of Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG).
Photographs by Boris Llamas, on project of FLAAR Mesoamerica, in Aldea Buena Vista
Camera: Nikon D850, Lens: Nikon VR ED AF-P NIKKOR 70-300 mm 1:4.5-5.6 E ,
Settings: RAW, 300 mm, f/stop: 8, speed: 1/100th, ISO: 250, October 12, 2020.
Since we did not wish to disturb them, we did not use a net to capture them, so no measurements. But Boris estimates they are Artibeus lituratus (great fruit-eating bat) from the subfamily Stenodermatinae family Phyllostomidae.
In other areas of the Maya Lowlands other species of bats sleep hanging from the fronds of other palm species. As soon as a biologist can suggest Genus, we will update this NEWS.
Butterflies in Yaxha park are friendly, photogenic, and relaxing
I go to the rain forests of Guatemala to see spider monkeys and howler monkeys. And I must admit I like to see and photograph crocodiles in the rivers and lakes (yes, crocodiles around the Maya cities of Peten; not alligators; the alligator relatives are caimans near the Pacific Ocean).
But when I walk through my garden it’s butterflies that I like to see. It reminds me of a Disney animated paradise.
An excellent place to experience butterflies (and do selfies with them in the background) is at Parque Nacional Yaxha Nakum Naranjo, Municipio de Flores, Peten, Guatemala.
So we have posted an entire page on these friendly, peaceful, fluttery insects. They are also helpful pollinators. You will want to visit Yaxha to experience the sunset, the majestic Temple 216, the causeways, palaces, acropolises. But when here, also enjoy the butterflies. We hope in the future to publish a full-color photo album of all the species we have photographed so far.
Yellow-fronted Owl-Butterfly, Caligo telamonius, Guatemala
I turned the wing 90 degrees so you could more easily see the two eyes of the snake (and it’s “nose”).
This was photographed at Auto Safari Chapin, a park with lots of interesting local plants and insects (plus animals). I was able to identify it as the Yellow-fronted Owl-Butterfly, Caligo telamonius.
There are lots of other butterflies with owl eye tricks on each lower wing. As soon as we return to continue fieldwork in the Caribbean area of the Municipio de Izabal, Guatemala, we will see how many butterflies we can find, photograph, and identify.
Several helpful books on insects available from entomologist Dr Jiichiro Yoshimoto and colleagues
We highly recommend these books. The identification guide is a super helpful checklist. We are sending each of our flora-and-fauna scouts a copy of this essential book. This way they can more easily identify insects in areas so remote there is no Internet to search on Google.
We thank Jiichiro Yoshimoto for providing these books for our team.
Two frog species are unique to Municipio de Livingston, Izabal
While doing research on a species of Howler Monkey that in Guatemala is only found in Izabal (not far from Honduras) I found a list of endangered endemic species that listed two frog species that are barely known outside the Santa Cruz Mountain area of Municipio de Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala.
- Craugastor trachydermus, family Craugastoridae
- Ptychohyla santaecrucis Chinamococh stream frog, family Hylidae
So as soon as the coronavirus travel shutdown in lifted (hopefully by July), we will keep our eyes open for these two species of endangered frogs when we return to accomplish more field work in remote areas of the Municipio de Livingston.
In the meantime, Juana Lourdes Wallace Ramírez already in March 2020, found a Heliconia in Chocon Machacas that had a bright colored frog Metasesarma aubryi.
David Arrivilaga, María Alejandra Gutierrez and I photographed it (see lower down on the NEWS posts on this home page).
Howler Monkey species ONLY in Izabal; not in Peten
The rare Mantled Howler Monkey, Alouatta palliata, is not in Peten nor Alta Verapaz. The “rust colored back” Mantled Howler Monkey, Alouatta palliata, is in the Municipio de Livingston, Izabal, Guatemala. More are on the east side of the Rio Motagua (towards Honduras, where Alouatta palliata it occurs from Honduras through the rest of Central America, and through South America to northern Peru).
Alouatta palliata is also in Veracruz, Chiapas, and Tabasco, Mexico. But no longer in adjacent Peten. Wikipedia is totally incorrect in a copy-and-paste error claiming Alouatta palliata is in Chiquimula, Guatemala. No, sorry, only in two areas of Izabal: along one segment of Rio Dulce and east of Rio Motagua.
We will work to find, photograph, and publish flora and fauna of the Caribbean area of Guatemala, the Livingston area, from July or August onward (as soon flights from USA are allowed back into Guatemala, hopefully in July).
The popular Alouatta pigra, known as the Guatemalan black howler monkey, is easy to see, and hear, at Tikal and especially at Yaxha. This Guatemalan black howler can also be seen and heard at Las Guacamayas biological research station, Rio San Pedro (Peten). This howling monkey is also present in northern Alta Verapaz and well known for forested areas of Izabal (so there are two species in Izabal; but one in Peten and Alta Verapaz).