Wildlife photos at El Espino, Panama (Birds and Insects)
This time I bring you a mixed post of birds and bugs, particularly common species I find in the area surrounding my house at El Espino, a town located in lowlands in the newly formed province of Panamá Oeste, formerly the western part of Panamá Province. This area has been impacted since a residential project has been developed but yet I find a lot of biodiversity in the areas that are untouched as of yet, a stream, gallery forests and open grassy areas.
The dragonfly is an insect belonging to the infraorder Anisoptera. It is characterized by large multifaceted eyes, two pairs of strong transparent wings, and an elongated body. Dragonflies can sometimes be mistaken for damselflies, which are morphologically similar; however, adults can be differentiated by the fact that the wings of most dragonflies are held away from, and perpendicular to, the body when at rest. Dragonflies possess six legs (like any other insect), but most of them cannot walk well. Dragonflies are among the fastest flying insects in the world. Dragonflies can fly backwards, change direction in mid-air and hover for up to a minute.
Hoverflies, sometimes called flower flies or syrphid flies, make up the insect family Syrphidae in the Diptera order. As their common name suggests, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers; the adults of many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen. Hoverflies are harmless to most other animals despite their mimicry of more dangerous wasps and bees, which serves to ward off predators.
Flying ant, a mature ant colony seasonally produces winged virgin queens and males. Unfertilized eggs develop into males. Fertilized eggs usually develop into wingless, sterile workers, but may develop into virgin queens if the larvae receive special attention.
About 450,000 species of beetles occur – representing about 40% of all known insects. Such a large number of species poses special problems for classification, with some families consisting of thousands of species and needing further division into subfamilies and tribes. This immense number of species allegedly led evolutionary biologist J. B. S. Haldane to quip, when some theologians asked him what could be inferred about the mind of the Creator from the works of His Creation, that God displayed "an inordinate fondness for beetles".
The Grey-breasted Martin (Progne chalybea) is a large swallow from Central and South America. It's very common nearly throughout the country. Adults are 18 cm (7.1 in) in length, with a forked tail and relatively broad wings. Adult males are a glossy blue-black with the grey-brown throat, breast and sides contrasting with the white lower underparts. Females are duller than the male, and juveniles have dull brown upper parts.
The Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) is the most widespread species of swallow in the world. It is a distinctive passerine bird with blue upperparts, a long, deeply forked tail and curved, pointed wings. It is found in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. The barn swallow is a bird of open country which normally uses man-made structures to breed and consequently has spread with human expansion. The barn swallow is the national bird of Austria and Estonia. In Panama it's a very common transient and common winter resident, found throughout the country.
The Rufous-capped Warbler (Basileuterus rufifrons) is a New World warbler native from Mexico south to much of Central America, rarely occurring as far north as southeastern Arizona and south Texas. Rufous-capped warblers primarily feed on insects and spiders, foraging through dense brush and scanning close to the ground for movement. They are not generally known to flycatch from perches. In Panama it's fairly common on Pacific slope eastward to eastern Panamá Province and on Caribbean Canal Area and Colón. It's found in undergrowth in woodland, forest edge and second growth.
The Lesser Kiskadee (Pitangus lictor) is a species in the Tyrannidae family. It is found in Belize, Argentina, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist shrubland and swamps. In Panama it's fairly common on both slopes from Canal Area eastward, and occurs in lowlands, in shrubs and trees on the margins of lakes, ponds, marshes, and slow-moving rivers and streams.
The Tropical Kingbird (Tyrannus melancholicus) is a large tyrant flycatcher, in Panama it's abundant throughout the country, and found in open areas, forest edge and clearings and urban habitats. This bird breeds from southern Arizona and the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the United States through Central America, South America as far as south as central Argentina and western Peru, and on Trinidad and Tobago. Birds from the northernmost and southern breeding areas migrate to warmer parts of the range after breeding.