Most successful lifeform on Earth

Wildlife PanamaBeing the most successful form of animal life on Earth (almost one million species are described and estimates of the real number go from 2 to 30 million species of insects in the planet), insects do not gather much interest with the general public. In fact, I would say that most of the people who I know, are scared, feel threatened by or “get tired” in the presence of a bug. We can call it “negative feelings” towards those unknown animals and, to be fair, we should not have these feelings …let me explain myself:

Our “six-jointed legs” and “million exoskeleton shapes” neighbors, play definitive roles in every ecosystem in which they are present.  They inhabit every terrestrial and fresh water ecosystem on the Earth. They are predators, parasites, scavengers, pollinators, plant consumers, they break down dead plant or animal matter to return it to the ecosystem, and they are a very important step in most ecosystem’s food chains in that they are food! Insects are a great source of protein in big quantities for many animals.

Panama InsectIn the tropical forest of Bocas del Toro, they are part of every little piece of the gigantic puzzle that is a tropical ecosystem.  So many different colors, shapes, sizes, behaviors, and roles make tropical entomology interesting and, for most of us, unknown. Insect ecology is crucial for biodiversity in the tropics.

What I am trying to say is that they are so intricately linked to every other species in every ecosystem that, life without them is not possible.  So, maybe, we should be thankful for their existence and, perhaps, a little more patience in their presence.

Wildlife Photography Panama

Photo Gallery Preview: Grasshopper

Wildlife Bocas del Toro

We will post new and updated photo galleries to the website in July 2012.  For now, we are previewing some of the new photos here.  These are the predecessors to the big grasshoppers we find later in the year.  These black and yellow ones hatch and grow to a particular size then they go through another part of their metamorphosis to become the huge grasshoppers.