Bosque del Cabo April 2011 Nature Review   1 comment

Felipe del Bosque Blog April 2011 Review

The high temperatures experienced in February and March continued into April.  This year the rains came a little earlier than would normally be expected. On one or two occasions we had torrential thunderstorms occurring overnight this month.  The heavy rain caused some very large trees to fall.  One large Monkey Comb tree fell not too far from the suspension bridge.  Even though the rain was lashing down so heavily it was hard to hear anything outside your immediate vicinity, everyone standing in the bar heard that particular crash.

In response to the first rains for 4 months, the amphibians were stimulated into action.  Huge breeding aggregations of Milky Frogs, (Trachycephalus venulosus),  filled the ponds with a choral cacophony of amorous males, each calling for a mate with such voluminous gusto, that their collective sound could quite easily be heard by guests taking their evening meal in the lodge restaurant.

Trachycephalus venulosus

Trachycephalus venulosus

Although the Milky Frogs were the most numerous and vociferous of the pond inhabitants, there were other frogs too vying with them for some breeding space.  We had our first sightings for the impending wet season of the Banana Frogs, (Dendropsophus ebreccatus) and the Masked Smilisca, (Smilisca phaeota).

Dendropsophus ebraccatus

Smilisca phaeota

There are many orchids around the grounds of Bosque, unfortunately most of them growing up at canopy level, but there is one species which grows closer to the ground.  Lady of the Night, (Brassavola nodosa), can be found growing in clumps on several trees close to the restaurant.  Once or twice a year it produces long white trumpet shaped flowers that give off a sweet perfume once the sun has set.  The scent attracts in night flying hawk moths with long proboscises that can be inserted into the deep into the flower searching for the sugary nectar.

Brassovola nodosa

In comparison, one of the trees on which we find the orchid growing is the Calabash Tree, (Cresentia alata), which flowers and fruits all year round.  Also in contrast to the orchid, the Calabash is a bat pollinated tree and consequently has large pale colored, night flowering blossoms that emits the bat attracting scent of sweaty cheese.

Cresentia alata

Paper Wasps can be identified to species level by the form the wasp’s nest takes.  In general wasps in the genus Polistes have open nests while those in the genus Polybia have enclosed nests.  This nest I found under a leaf with only one female in attendance, probably the dominant reproductive female whose close relatives and nest mates may have been away foraging for food.  You can see eggs and larvae in the open cells while one closed cell contains a pupa.

Paper Wasp

Over the course of the year the numbers of butterflies fluctuates greatly.  Some butterfly species you expect to see almost every day of the butterfly season but others you only see once or twice.  It may well be that they exist in small numbers or they may be secretive or they may inhabit areas such as the canopy where it is difficult to record them without resorting to bait trapping.   Even that may not work as not all butterflies are attracted to the bait.  This particular species, (Callicore lyca), of the Biblidinae subfamily I see only on one or two occasions a year.  This individual was on the Titi Trail and I could never get close to it, the image being captured from some distance using a 100mm macro lens.

Callicore lyra

That same lens was used to capture this White Hawk, (Leucopternis albicollis), which landed above my head in one the open garden areas.  White Hawks can generally be found in the company of moving troops of monkeys.  They have no interest in the monkeys themselves, it is the insect life that the monkeys scatter as they move through the vegetation that make an easily picked off meal for this beautiful raptor.

Leucopternis albicollis

Text and Photographs are taken from the forthcoming books:

The Natural History of Bosque del Cabo by Philip Davison

The Small World of Bosque del Cabo

The Colors of Bosque del Cabo

A Children’s Guide to Bosque del Cabo Rainforest Lodge

Temperature and Rainfall

Average M Temp High 94°F.  Average Daily Temp Low 74°F.

Average Daily Rainfall 0.04 ins.  Total Monthly Rainfall 1.28 ins

Average Daily Temp High 34.3°C.  Average Daily Temp Low 23.0°C.

Average Daily Rainfall 1.0 mm.  Total Monthly Rainfall 32.5 mm



One response to “Bosque del Cabo April 2011 Nature Review

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  1. What a tease!!! BDC was the best vacation ever. We long to come back! Would like to bring some friends with us; pictures do not do the place justice!! Let’s hope for a drop in airfares, then the trip will be sooner than later! Thanks for the memories.


    joanne fitzpatrick

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