Photo and Video at Punta Cana


Greater Antillean Grackle (Quiscalus niger) Hispaniola subspecies: Q.n. niger

    Photo<1> (iris color: adults of both sexes are yellow while immatures are light brown)    <2>   ; tail-less & broken leg - <1>  

In North American grackles, the tail feathers are shed synchronously, typical when the outer primaries are being molted (their prebasic molts occur on breeding grounds, before the onset of winter or migration.).  Flocks of "tail-less" grackles flying around are thus a common sight in late summer and fall.   Steve Howell's book on Molt p.235

"August 26: Adult male Boat-tails have now shed all their tail feathers and are in very ragged moult ( 衣衫襤褸的換毛 )."  src


Little Blue Heron

    Photo:  adult - fish is yummy  (Can you find the fish?)   <0>   <1>   <2>   <3>   <4>   <5>  

    Photo:  juvenile - <1>  


Yellow Crowned Night Heron

    Photofly away (zoom-in
Video - <1>


Spotted Sandpiper

    Photo<1>   <2>   <3>  


Common Ground-dove

    Photo<1>   <2>  


Yellow-faced Grassquit



Smooth-billed Ani



Village Weaver

    Photohanging nest  


Hispaniola Woodpecker

    Photo:  injured juvenile - <1>
Video - adults & a helpless juvenile (4/7 Thu)


Hispaniola Lizard Cuckoo




    Photo<1>   <2>   <3>   <4>   <5>  


Gray Kingbird

    Photo:   <1>


Loggerhead Kingbird

    Photofood for girl    <2>   (cf. this found on Web)


Antillean Mango (Anthracothorax dominicus)  安的列斯 芒果 蜂鳥  / 黑胸芒果蜂鸟 

    Photo: outside our room - <1> (probably a female)

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis, 黑喉芒果蜂鸟) is a similar one found on Trinidad and Tobago.  由于 Trinidad 多蜂鸟,素称"蜂鸟之乡" (Land of the Hummingbird)。 蜂鸟也是该国的国鸟。其国徽中心图案为盾徽。盾面上部为黑地上两只蜂鸟,象征着这个人口只有120万的国家不畏强权、酷爱独立和自由的精神。 src

達爾文的夢幻蜂鳥 - sciscape   mirror

Info:  p.135   p.136   info in chinese   Photo found on Web - male  mirrorfemale front  mirrorfemale back  mirrorfemale  mirrormother feeding young?  mirror

Birds of Peru  (2007) By Thomas S. Schulenberg : p.217   p.218   p.219  


Vervain Hummingbird (Mellisuga minima)

Photo found on Web - <1> 


Black crowned Palm Tanager & Red Legged Thrush - Video<1>


Unknown birds

    Photo:  (1) a juvenile (Mourning Dove or Zenaida?)  <1>    <2>    <3>    compared with found on Web:  Ring Neck Turtle Dove Juvenile   Nestling Mourning Dove 1  ( mirror: Late nestling Mourning Dove , Fledgling Mourning Dove Adult with fledgling Mourning Dove   Mourning Dove parent with two chicks in Mesa, Arizona

    Photo:  (2) at Fruit Garden (Jardin Frutal)  <1>   (Black-whiskered Vireo?)
    Photo:       One Black-whiskered Vireo nest found in Florida was composed of carpet fibers and duck feathers, and was suspended by nylon fishing line.   src



Land Hermit Crab (Caribbean Hermit Crab, Coenobita clypeatus; also known as Soldier Crab, Tree Crab, & Purple Pincher (due to the distinctive purple claw)

    Photo<1>   <2>  


Other Crabs

    Photo<1>   <2>  



Lizard incl. Anole (Green, Bark? & Brown?)

    Photo:  1. Brown Anole? - close up of head    <1>    <2>    <3> ;   <4> 
    Photo:  2. Hispaniolan Green Anole (not an adult male, probably an adult female) - <1>   
    Photo:  * saw many of them repeatedly protracting and retracting its dewlap (or throat fan, 垂肉,垂皮,頸袋) & doing "pushups."

    VideoMale Anole doing pushups and dewlap display   Anole with a purple-blue head   Hispaniolan Green Anole (Anolis chlorocyanus) - an adult female (or juvenile?)   Anole in brown color

Bark Anole is so named due to its extraordinary ability to blend into the bark of whichever tree it happens to be resting upon.  Anolis scriptus is an endemic species known only to the southern Bahamas and Turks & Caicos. [1]  
The North American species Green Anole (Anolis carolinensis 綠變色蜥 / 綠樹蜥 / 綠安祿蜥 / 綠變色龍) has recently become the first reptile to have its complete genome sequenced. [2]   Mating picture found on Web
The Hispaniolan Green Anole (Anolis chlorocyanus) is a species of anole native to the island of Hispaniola.  Photo found on Web:  adult female  adult male  juvenile
Anolis distichus (Bark Anole)
Polychrotidae: commonly known as anoles.  Anole lizards are frequently and incorrectly called American chameleons or geckos (壁虎 : 垂直型瞳孔; 体通常为暗黄灰色,带灰、褐、浊白斑;但产於马达加斯加岛的日行壁虎属(Phelsuma),却含鲜绿色型,且白天活动。 src), although they are not closely related to either of those groups. In fact, they are more closely related to iguanas. These misconceptions are likely due to their ability to alter their skin color and run up walls.
Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei) also called the Cuban Anole.  Females have diamond-shaped patterns down back; males may display patterns, but never diamond shapes; dewlaps are red to red-orange with a yellow border.  Male Brown Anoles will also display dewlap and do pushups when approached by people.
Males of both Green and Brown Anoles also do "pushups" as threat gestures and when competing with other males for territory or females; the pushups combined with the dewlap display and roach down the back make the male anole look larger (size does count in threat displays). : Florida Bark Anole, Cuban Brown Anole, North American species Green Anole, & Knight Anole.
Photo found on Web:

Anolis fowleri, a rare Anole from Dominican Republic.
香港仔郊野公園 影 變色樹蜥 食 麗眼斑螳 及 鐵線蟲 出現



    Photo:  Female Nephila clavipes - <1>  <2> ;  another - <3> 

my spider note : Nephila clavipes has an abdomen whose dorsal (upper) surface is marked with a multitude of white or pale yellow spots on a gold background. 




All termites eat cellulose in its various forms as plant fibre. Cellulose is a rich energy source (as demonstrated by the amount of energy released when wood is burned), but remains difficult to digest. Termites rely primarily upon symbiotic protozoa (metamonads) such as Trichonympha, and other microbes in their gut to digest the cellulose for them and absorb the end products for their own use. Gut protozoa, such as Trichonympha, in turn rely on symbiotic bacteria embedded on their surfaces to produce some of the necessary digestive enzymes. This relationship is one of the finest examples of mutualism among animals. Most so-called higher termites, especially in the Family Termitidae, can produce their own cellulase enzymes. However, they still retain a rich gut fauna and primarily rely upon the bacteria.

In the colony, only the workers can digest wood.

Termites share food with others. Furthermore, termites share not only share liquid to communicate, but they share liquid that contains organisms to digest their food. In addition to these modes of transmission, termites eat other dead termites.  They also eat back their feces. The organisms are transferred to each other through their fecal matter.  Newly hatched termites are first inoculated with these indispensable protozoans by eating the feces of their older brothers and sisters.  src: [1] [2]

A better one found on Web:  Due to evolution, termites began to produce a bodily fluid containing the microorganisms known as protozoa millions of years ago. Termites excrete this liquid when they defecate. After being born, the termite larvae consume the adult termites' feces and they, in turn, ingest the protozoa which then live inside their digestive systems. When termites molt, shedding their exoskeleton in order to grow, they lose the protozoa within their digestive system. To get more protozoa, which they need to survive, the termites ingest the feces of another termite, thereby reintroducing protozoa to their bodies to aid in digestion.   Read more: How Do Termites Digest Wood? |






    Photo<1>    <2>    <3>  
    Photo:  Malachite (cf. here mirror) : M1 under    M2 upper   (The malachite has large wings that are black and brilliant green or yellow-green on the uppersides and light brown and olive green on the undersides.)

Malachite underside Malachite upperside

Dragonfly & like

    Photo<1>   <2>  (a tiny dragonfly, Amberwing?) ;  Probably Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta) Skimmer Dragonfly (look similar to Carolina Saddlebags which is also a Skimmer.)
    Photo found on Web: Red Saddlebags, Florida   Red Saddlebags, female   Striped Saddlebags

   There are a few red dragonfly species known to occur around the Caribbean, and three of them (tsiu note: I think they are Red Saddlebag, Vermillion Saddlebags & Striped Saddlebags) were recorded on Curacao in March 2009. The fourth recorded for the region, T. insularis (Antillean Saddlebags), has not been recorded and is found in the West Indies (Bahamas, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Lesser Antilles).
Red Saddlebag (or called Red-mantled Saddlebags) is one of these red species that is widely distributed across the region. Its face is pale brown initially but turns red in mature males. The thorax is brown and unmarked. The wings have reddish-brown veins anteriorly and the hindwing have a large basal brown crossband that doesn't generally extend beyond the midrib of the anal loop. Generally there is a large central clear spot in this crossband. The legs are pale turning black more distally. The abdomen is yellowish-brown in females, but turns red in mature males. Segments 8-10 are black dorsally and pale laterally.
   On Curacao, they are pretty easy to photograph as they often perch at 'Wabi' twigs (Acacia's) and they are abundant all over the island. Very often, they fly in mixed flocks with T. abdominalis (Vermillion Saddlebags, also red) and T. calverti (Striped Saddlebags), making exact estimations difficult, but March 2009 several locations held 100's of Tramea's. This species is seen at temporary and permanent ponds, but also gardens, drier Acacia vegetation, parking lots near beaches at the south, the sheltered side of Christoffel Hill, in the north at Shete Boca and the vast Acacia field in the north (the 'mundi') and east of the island (southeast of Playa Canoa).  src
   Aruban Skimmer (Orthemis arubensis) is another skimmer red in color found in Caribbean.   src

Dragonfly &  Damselfly in Dominican Republic
   Odonata is a primitive order of winged insects that includes the dragonflies (Anisoptera) and the damselflies (Zygoptera).  In the West Indies (Bahamas, Cuba, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Lesser Antilles): 105 species in 46 genera of 8 families. In the Dominican Republic: 79 species described in 36 genera of 8 families.   src
   West Indian Odonata - University of Puget Sound    mirror
   comprehensive listings of Caribbean insect taxonomic scientific literature
   Dragonflies and Damselflies: Odonata of Monteverde, Costa Rica   Checklist of Monteverde Odonata with images of male and female
Dragonflies of Central America Exclusive of Mexico and the West Indies, The

A Guide to Their Identifiation

by  Förster, Steffen


ISBN: 3980436616





Fly & like

    PhotoTachinid?   (with black and gray longitudinal stripes on the thorax BUT NO checkering on the abdomen;  apex of abdomen is red;  like some flies in family Tachinidae (parasitic flies), family Sarcophagidae (flesh flies) or family Calliphoridae (blow flies))
    Photo:  Note: (1) Hineomyia setigera is one of several NE tachinids (in North America) in which the apex of the abdomen is bright red.  (2) Many tachinids are similar in general appearance to muscids (family Muscidae) and flesh flies; many are large, bristly, and beelike or wasp-like in appearance. Presence of a subscutellum is a useful character.  src   (3) Tachinid flies including Zygostrumia and Winthemia species, belong to a large family of parasitic flies. These flies are hairy and resemble house flies, but some species are slightly larger. The tip of the abdomen may be red.  src (has an image)   (4) The biology of the Muscidae of the world  (1985) By Peter Skidmore

    Photo:  <2>  


Turtle (Testudines)  [sideNote: 7/3/2010 pm Diamondback terrapin ( 菱斑龜/鑽紋龜 ) program; also 6/6/2009 (Sat) links]

    Photoclose up of head     <1>