Spiders and Snakes 
Bugs, Worms and the Eew Factor!

“I don’t like spiders and snakes, and that ain’t what it takes to love me…” 

Do any of you remember that song?  It’s definitely an oldie.  But whenever we get into jungles and other wildlife situations where we see them, that song runs through my head.

Maybe it’s because sometimes we travel with a buddy who hates snakes, and it’s a way to tease him. 

We actually do like spiders, snakes and all kinds of bugs and slimy creatures.

(...As long as I know where they are!)

We were on a night walk in Ecuador…

A spider walk is what WE called it.


Our guide showed us tarantulas, and wolf spiders… big spindly scorpion spiders, and smaller garden spiders. 

Don't Scare The Spiders?

And Luis kept saying, "Slowly, quietly... you don't want to scare the spiders."  We kept thinking... wasn't it the other way around? 

He was so gleeful when he found big spiders and bugs at every turn.  Just made you wonder what ELSE was out there in the dark!!! 

Then on some of our canoe rides, we saw snakes soaking up the sun on branches or swimming in the river… whipsnakes and boas.  I was tickled to see a couple of anacondas even though they were babies.

We kept humming the chorus of that song… then it occurred to me that it would be fun to put up a page with that song as a theme… no you’re not going to hear it right away.  You’re going to see some of our photos first.

The song will come at the bottom.

Click on any of the pictures to start a slide show and get bigger photos and a little more of the stories behind them.


Want to see some of these spiders and snakes?

What’s Out In the Jungle At Night?

They tell you to wear rubber boots, long pants and long sleeves for these night walks... so you'll be less likely to come into contact with anything dangerous. 

I didn't care how hot it was... I was covered up like a monk!  Like I said, we like seeing rain forest animals.... as long as they're not sneaking up on us!

Bird Eating Tarantula

Bird Eating Tarantula

Wandering Spider

Wandering Spider

Whip Tailless Scorpion Spider

Whip Tailless Scorpion Spider

Wolf Spider

Wolf Spider

Spiny Lobster Katydid

Spiny Lobster Katydid

Leaf Mimic Katydid

Leaf Mimic Katydid

Snakes On The Edge Of The River

During the day and early evening, the best way to see things in the Amazon region is to travel by canoe.  We love the smaller rivers because you get closer to the edges, the better to see what's lurking there....

Anaconda

Anaconda

Amazon Tree Boa

Amazon Tree Boa

Rusty Whipsnake

Rusty Whipsnake

Do spiders and snakes go together?  Oh yea... spiders are out in the daytime too... we were getting closer to one of those baby Anacondas when we discovered this one hanging over our heads!

Big Spider (species unknown)


Moving Beyond Spiders and Snakes

Slimy, Crafty, Amazing Shapes

Speaking of Slimy

Big Earthworm? Yes, but...

Big earthworm

A big earthworm? 

We thought it was when we saw the first one in Peru...

Then we found this Giant Earthworm at Bellavista in the cloud forest of Ecuador!

GIANT Earthworm!

Giant Earthworm


Crafty Critters

Some critters have interesting habits. 

Dung beetles roll the dung of animals like monkeys into balls, or they may just burrow under it.  Some species lay eggs on it; some species return to eat it later.  This disperses seeds the monkeys may have eaten.  Gross as it sounds, it helps the rain forest.

Dung Beetle

Dung Beetle

Look carefully at this leaf--->

There is a dead ant at the bottom, a slender thread running up it. 

That's a fungi... it invaded the ants brain, got it to move around the jungle floor...

Then, when the ant died, it grew that 3 inch long thread with the little knob on top to disperse spores back into the jungle to start the process all over again.

Cordyceps Fungi and Ant...

Wait a Minute...

What's going on here???

Ant controlling fungi

Rhinoceros Beetle
Just plain amazing to look at!

Rhinoceros Beetle


Leeches???

I hate leeches, but you know, they have been used in medicine.

Leech and earthworm... who's winning?

Earthworm and Leech

Leech hitching a ride in the bottom of our boat.

Leech in our boat

And speaking of medicinal uses, sometimes spiders and snakes have been used by Shamans....

Medicinal materials on display in the office of a Shaman in Quito

Shaman's display wall


But Really… Some Bugs Are Beautiful

Some spiders really are beautiful.  Many snakes are beautifully marked.  And then there are the ones that we can all agree are beautiful... Like butterflies.  So I thought I'd put a couple in here to end on a beautiful note.

Morpho Butterfly

Morpho Butterfly

Just pretty - species unknown

Pretty butterfly Peru

These are all spiders and snakes and other denizens of the Amazonian regions of South America.  Other places certainly have their fair share of these less loved creatures.  These made our page because that's where we were when we got the idea.

Let's see... I think the song says something about a frog.  Guess I should include one of those too...

Poison Dart Frog - Manu, Peru

Now, here's what got us started on this page...  Are you ready for this?  Here's the song.  They just don't write 'em like this anymore.  Wait for the chorus... that's the best part.

Yea, it's a dopey song, but don't blame us if that chorus runs through your head the next time you see spiders or snakes!

Where and How...

For those of you who might want to know more about where we went and how we did it…  Capedm Adventures in Quito set up our visits to the Siona Lodge in the Cuyabeno Reserve in the Ecuadorian Amazon and the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve and Lodge.  Some of the photos are from a trip to Manu National Park in Peru where we stayed in the Manu Wildlife Center.

Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it! Judy and Mark

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Thanks, Judy and Mark

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