Malagasy Nature Photographs – Mitsinjo Forest Reserve & Parc a Orchidees (Nocturnal Walk) 3

Hi Everyone,

Welcome back, in this photograph blog entry, I will be in the Mitsinjo Forest Reserve (Analamazaotra Forest Station) and the Parc a Orchidees (Orchid Park) for a night hike (which would have been the third time I entered the forest at night – at this point I had pretty much worked out that going out on Nocturnal walks was in fact the best time to go.)

I came across a great and varied amount of species for this night of hiking in the rainforest, some of these species such as younger specimens of the Lowland Streaked Tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus) – which I have found quite common to stumble across -, the Graceful Ground Gecko (Paroedura gracilis) and the Malagasy Scops Owl (Otus rutilus) were all amazing to see. Some of them were highly unexpected however including the Otus rutilus specimen that I really wasnt banking on seeing, especially as I have only been managing to hear them.

The amount of species I saw this night were as follows:

Mammals (Mammalia): 2
Amphibians (Amphibia): 5
Reptiles (Reptilia): 3
Invertebrates (Arthropoda): 12
Birds (Aves): 1

DSC_0007
Flamed Bright-eyed Frog (Boophis pyhrrus) male specimen that we found on his platform, calling with his beautiful song. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0011
Along the treks within the forest, you would come across several of these completely stunning Dragonfly species. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0012
Seeing these Dragonfly wasn’t difficult, infact you only had to shine your headtorch to reveal their position. Their wings acting like a neon sign, giving themselves away. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0013
Andasibe Eyed Butterfly (Heteropsis andasibe) specimen, freely hanging from his nocturnal perch. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0014
A Green Ariel Branch Orchid (Aeranthes ramosa) specimen found within the Parc a Orchidees. Beautiful species in its simplicity. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0015
Regardless of its colouration, it is still a beautiful species with its petal formation. Always a pleasure to see Orchid species in the wild. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0024
This stunning Malagasy Scops Owl (Otus rutilus) specimen didn’t even budge from his perch. We must have be no closer than 5 feet away from him when I took this photograph. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0030
Needless to say, this particular O.rutilus wasn’t best impressed with being disturbed for a photoshoot and certainly didnt enjoy our meeting, even if I did! © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0033
My guide walked completely past this young Lowland Streaked Tenrec (Hemicentetes semispinosus) specimen, which made me laugh as it was quite obviously scurrying around the pathway as noisely as it could! © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0040
Such a tiny creature, what I couldnt capture in a still photograph was its quills performing their stridulation behaviour, clearly communicating with siblings etc. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0054
This was/is the first time I saw this species in the wild, a Graceful Ground Gecko (Paroedura gracilis) male specimen. Ironically, my first meeting with this species was not upon the ground but 4 foot on a branch. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0060
Was incredibly fortunate to be able to get so close and take these photographs. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0067
At this point, I spooked the Paroedura gracilis and in seer panic I instinctively caught him in mid air (obviously from my days working at Sparsholt College catching animals jumping out of their cages when students entered their exhibits). © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0068
This stroke of luck did give me the benefits of being able to take some photographs of its gorgeous patterning! © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0069
After our brief encounter, I decided it was time to stop stressing him and let him go. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0042
Not entirely sure what the species is, but this isnt anything new. A majority of Madagascar’s animalia (especially Arthropoda) are undescribed and possibly new species. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0043
Yet again, I have no idea what these are on this Vakona Leaf, but there was over 50 of them along the leaf itself. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0072
A Perinet Stripped Chameleon (Calumma gastrotaenia) female, yet again another one that appears to be carrying eggs. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0073
A species I like to call the “Ying & Yang Moth” (Unknown sp.), which are incredibly common to see, so it is suprising they havent been described properly yet. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0074
The feathering on the bottom edges of the wings fascinate me. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0076
You don’t expect to see unusual or amazing animals and their behaviours on ventures through the forest, you just come across them! Especially with this little/big chap we found in a tree. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0079
I have no idea which species of Rodent (Obviously its a rat) this is to be honest, but my first thoughts are that this couldnt be endemic to the forests of Andasibe, surely? © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0083
As always, great to see these Grandidier’s Giant Frogs (Mantidactylus grandidieri) specimens jumping and swimming around the stream within the Mitsinjo Forest. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
DSC_0084
A rather large Grandidier’s Giant Frogs (Mantidactylus grandidieri) specimen, the biggest I have seen so far. © 2015 – Joshua Ralph – All Rights Reserved.
%d bloggers like this: