Insects of the Amazon Rainforest

Learn about the Insects of the Amazon Rainforest.

The Insects of the Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest home of millions of Insects. View of towards the south in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve. All the forest in the distance is lacking protection.

The Insects of the Amazon Rainforest are the most diverse group of creatures living, adapted to live everywhere you look in the forest. these forest creatures can be found in different shapes and colors.

The Amazon Rainforest Insects are exceptionally diverse, sometimes considered as the most successful creatures living in the forest. The Insects in the Amazon Rainforest are greater in numbers than in any other class of animals.

It is not surprising that the Amazon Rainforest, a place containing more diversity than anywhere else, contains a fantastic assemblage of colorful, strange and interesting insects.

The Insects of the Amazon Rainforest
Long-horned Beetle visiting the Blacklight in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador.

Many species of the Insects of the Amazon Rainforest are capable of powered flight, insects can navigate the often complicated habitats of the Amazon Rainforest to find food, water, and mates.

Insect Metamorphosis Stages:

Complete Metamorphosis consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. However, the Incomplete Metamorphosis consists of three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The main difference: Complete Metamorphosis consists of a very active, ravenously eating larva and an inactive pupa whereas incomplete metamorphosis consists of a nymph, which resembles a miniature adult.

The Insects of the Amazon Rainforest
Complete Metamorphosis consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa, and adult. However, the Incomplete Metamorphosis consists of three stages: egg, nymph, and adult. The main difference: Complete Metamorphosis consists of a very active, ravenously eating larva and an inactive pupa whereas incomplete metamorphosis consists of a nymph, which resembles a miniature adult.

Complete Metamorphosis occurs in wasps, ants, and fleas while Incomplete Metamorphosis occurs in termites, praying mantis, and cockroaches.

Habitats to find Insects in the Amazon Rainforest.

  • Varzea, seasonally floodplain along the major rivers.
  • Terra firme, a high forest where flood records over 200 years.
  • Forest Swamp, Swampy areas along rivers and oxbow lakes.
  • Forest Streams, collects all water from rainfall, some rocky.
  • Moriche Swamp,  a dense population of palm and wild ginger.
  • Oxbow lakes, Shortcuts leave behind by the rivers

The Easy Orders of Insects living in the Amazon Rainforest.

Learn some of the Orders of Insects living in the Amazon Rainforest.

  • Diptera (Flies & Mosquitoes)

Hindwings are reduced to tiny knobs (halters). They use one pair of wings. They are Holometabolous

  • Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies)

All have four large wings, covered by scales. Often one of the colorful Insects of the Amazon Rainforest.

The Insects of the Amazon Rainforest
Ithomidae Butterfly
  • Hymenoptera (Bees, Wasp, Ants)

Head shaped like a beak, with chewing mouthparts. Body not exceptionally soft, often with a narrow (snatched) “waist. They have stingers! 🙁 They are Holometabolous.

Family Formicidae
The Insects of the Amazon Rainforest
Ectatomma Ants feeding on Maxillaria orchid. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador.
  • Coleoptera (Beetles)

Four wings; the pairs thickened or hardened (elytra). They are Holometabolous

Family Curculionidae
The Insects of the Amazon Rainforest
Palm Weevil at the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge, Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador
Family Cerambycidae
The Insects of the Amazon
Long-horned Beetle at the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge, Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador.

Shiripuno Amazon Lodge is a great place to Watch the Insects of the Amazon Rainforest.

All photos were taken in the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, northeast Ecuador, known for exceptional animal diversity with a diverse number of primates, frogs, birds, and, of course, insects.

We organize Insect photography tours with our guides, photographers of many of these insects, and take a family vacation in the world’s largest home of wildlife, the Amazon Rainforest.

The Insects of the Amazon
Amazon Nature Tours
Eight Days $1,650
Shiripuno Amazon Lodge. Yasuni, Ecuador
In Shiripuno Amazon Lodge you can visit an extensive trail network for observing a high diversity of Amazon Jungle monkeys. In fact, the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve was founded to protect the diversity of life. With your Private guide (as standard), you will take Amazon jungle tours in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve and you can choose from the greatest number of options in Amazonia.

 

  • Orthoptera (Grasshoppers & Crickets)

Four wings, front ones thickened. Jumping hind legs. Hind wings, when open, spread like fans. Sound producers.

The Insects of the Amazon
Grasshopper at the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge, Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador
  • Blattodea (Cockroaches & Termites)

Flattened body, long antennae, and no enlarged legs Head under throated.

The Insects of the Amazon
Blattodea at the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge, Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador
  • Dermaptera ( Earwigs)

Short-winged covers and with abdominal forceps “pincer tails”

  • Odonata (Dragonflies & Damselflies)

Juvenile: aquatic. Enormous eyes. Two pairs of membranous wings were similar in size and texture. Wings cannot be folded.

Dragonflies – Wings held folded vertically above the abdomen.
Damselflies – Front wings larger than hind ones. Abdomen with two or three long filaments.

Insects of the Amazon Rainforest
Dragonfly at the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge, Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador
  • Hemiptera (True Bugs, Aphids, Cicadas, Leafhoppers)

Sucking mouthparts. Two pairs of wings either: lie flat on the back at rest, forming an “X”; held straight along back, or absent.

Ciccada at the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge, Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador.
  • Order Ephemeroptera – Mayflies

Similar to Ephemeroptera but wings are held over the abdomen. No abdominal filaments.

  • Order Neuroptera – Antlions, Lacewings, and Allies

Similar to Neuroptera but with two or three abdominal short filaments.

  • Order Plecoptera – Stoneflies

Wings held rooflike over abdomen. Large head. Sucking, piercing mouthparts.

 

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador are definitely one of the easy animals we find during our experience in the Amazon Rainforest.

The Butterflies in the Amazon Rainforest are active all year round, all different species living in different niches and habitats throughout the forest. The go under the metamorphosys: starting from a resting egg, usually laid next to their host plant; later hutch into a larvae or into an eating machine that keep stretching; later internal changes goes wild at the protein level to finally emerge as a new adult butterfly.

Where to find butterflies in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador?

We can find them from early in the morning: the Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest are active, ready to go! We will locate them inside the forest whether resting on a leaf or taking gentle samplings of bird poop or sipping into ripe fruits -the rotten ones are the best!- fallen from the canopy as leftover from canopy wildlife. We will find them everywhere in the forest.

The coloration of the Butterflies in the Amazon Rainforest is an important survival feature, the position of the scales in the wings can be found in all the colors combinations possibles, a remarkable adaptation to  establish in all the forest niches.

Watch the Video Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador 

The clouds of Butterflies often seen on the canoe rides along the Shiripuno River, another colorful experience, all of them end up coming to the Amazonian River sandbars and scouted for mineral accumulations left behind by another wildlife such as capybaras, birds or reptiles.

We can see them from the canoe when feeding along the sandbars of the Shiripuno River, sometimes in large and colorful groups flying over the river.

The most famous Butterfly of the Amazon Rainforest is the impressively sized Blue Morphos, named after Morpheus the greek god of the Dream. This huge butterfly it’s easy to be recognized by the huge splash of electric blue you will see in the forest.

We would like to nominate all the Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest Butterflies  as “Honorary Vertebrates”.

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest Butterflies as “Honorary Vertebrates”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

The Blue Morpho Butterfly Blue Morpho Butterflies are Not Technically Blue Turns out the Blue Morpho’s wings are not actually blue at all! Of course, they certainly appear this way, but this is not the result of pigmentation. It is actually caused by the way light reflects off the microscopic scales on its wings. The scales are diamond-shaped and the color results from their specific formation and placement on the wing membranes. This is a phenomenon known as iridescence, a type of optical illusion which describes how hues change according to the angle from which they are viewed. #BlueMorpho #BlueButterfly #AmazonButterfly #ButterflyScales #SumacoÑahui #Yasuni #YasuniWilderness #ShiripunoLodge #YasuniNationalPark #YasuniWildlife #Ecuador #Crowdfunding #Conservation

A post shared by Jarol Fernando Vaca (@jarolfernandovaca) on


Blue Morpho Butterfly

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Common Blue Morpho Butterfly in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Shiripuno River, Ecuador

The Blue Morpho, belongs the genus Morpho, is a huge butterfly with a flash of electric blue you will see on our boat trip, or during hikes in trails, the Blue Morpho with a wingspan of about 4 inches long. Their wings express the Best Technology in nature to reflect light with energy efficiency. They feed on falling rotting fruit on the ground it can be in front of you, and you won’t see it, because it eat with its wing close to melt in the background color of the floors. The Blue Morpho caterpillars defend themselves with a defensive smell.

Amazon Owl Butterfly

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Amazon Owl Butterfly in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Shiripuno River, Ecuador

The Amazon Owl Butterflies belongs the genus Caligo, a huge brown butterfly, active at crepuscular times of the day, they are known for their huge eyespots on their hindwing, which resemble owls’ eyes. During adult it feeds on rotting fruits, on larvae stage on they feed on Heliconias plant.  They are found in all the habitat of the Amazon Rainforests in Ecuador.

Rhetus Butterfly

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Rhetus butterflies in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Shiripuno River, Ecuador

Rhetus butterflies are usually found singly or in very low numbers, in the vicinity of streams or rivers. Thirsty for Minerals! It can be also be found along tracks through primary or disturbed rainforest or cloudforest habitats. The butterfly occurs at elevations between 0-1800m, and flies throughout the year.

Haetera Piera Butterfly

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Haetera Piera Butterfly in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Shiripuno River, Ecuador

The Haetera Piera Butterfly is a glass-winged butterfly . Almost nothing is known about the caterpillar stages of this butterfly and little is known for the whole butterfly tribe this species belongs to, the Haeterini. The butterflies fly close to the ground and are widespread across South America’s lowland forests. They have a subtle coloration over their transparent wings, which are each patterned with two eye spots.

Sulphur Butterflies Puddle Drinking

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Sulphur Butterflies in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Shiripuno River, Ecuador

Sulfur butterflies, known as pierids as they’re in the Pieridae family, are often seen around puddles of water and include around 70 different species throughout the Neotropics. The butterflies aren’t just after water but important minerals like sodium. A favorite photograph for Amazon Rainforest tourists to capture, you can sometimes see butterflies drinking from the eyes of aquatic reptiles like turtles and caiman.

Kite Swallowtail

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Eurytides Butterfly in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Shiripuno River, Ecuador

Safety in Numbers

These are kite swallowtails in the Eurytides genus that often join sulfur butterflies as they do their puddling behavior. They too drink the water to obtain different minerals and can be distinguished from the sulfurs by their tails and black markings. It’s safer for butterflies to drink in groups as they benefit from safety in numbers. If a predator attacks these highly conspicuous animals, a single butterfly in a group is less likely to be eaten than if drinking alone.

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

Butterfly Watching in Ecuador

Yo can go Butterfly Watching in Ecuador at any direction: from the towering Andes to the dense Amazonian rainforest, Ecuador is incredibly diverse. Ecuador is arguably the butterfly capital of the world!

Ecuador contains approximately 2850 species in the families Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae, Riodinidae and Lycaenidae, about 50-55% of all Neotropical species in these groups (25% of the World’s species), making it one of the world’s three most diverse countries, along with Colombia and Peru.

The Butterflies  families, genera and species of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador:

NYMPHALIDAE

The Nymphalidae are the largest family of butterflies with more than 6,000 species distributed throughout most of the world, belonging to the superfamily Papilionoidea. These are usually medium-sized to large butterflies. Most species have a reduced pair of forelegs and many hold their colorful wings flat when resting. They are also called brush-footed butterflies or four-footed butterflies because they are known to stand on only four legs while the other two are curled up; in some species, these forelegs have a brush-like set of hairs, which gives this family its other common name. Many species are brightly colored and include popular species such as the emperors, monarch butterfly, admirals, tortoiseshells, and fritillaries. However, the underwings are, in contrast, often dull and in some species look remarkably like dead leaves, or are much paler, producing a cryptic effect that helps the butterflies blend into their surroundings.

  • Many-banded Daggerwing, Marpesia chiron

  • The Walter Daggerwing, Marpesia zerynthia

  • Ruddy Daggerwing, Marpesia petreus

  • Amber Daggerwing, Marpesia berania

  • Livius Daggerwing, Marpesia livius

  • Pansy Daggerwing, Marpesia marcella

  • Sunset Daggerwing, Marpesia furcula

  • Banded-white Ringlet, Pareuptychia ocirrhoe

  • 89 Butterfly Diaethria, clymena

  • Blue-and-Orange 88, Callicore molina

  • Cyane Emperor, Doxocopa cyane

  • Doris Longwing, Heliconius doris

  • Malachite, Siproeta stelenes

  • Rusty-tipped Page, Siproeta epaphus

  • Midnight Purplewing, Eunica norica

  • Orange Admiral, Hypanartia lethe

  • Clearwing-mimic, Queen Lycorea ilione

  • Orea Banner, Epiphile orea

  • Orange-banded Emperor, Doxocopa elis

  • Thessalia Sister, Adelpha thessalia

  • Cocala Sister, Adelpha cocala

  • Blue Aeilus, Baeotus aeilus

  • Dazzling Glasswing, Godryis duillia

  • Rose-colored Cytharia puerta

  • Scarlet Peacock, Anartia omathea

  • Julia Heliconia, Dryas julia

  • Pastazena Crescent, Tegosa pastazena

  • Pink-bodied Altinote, Altinote neleus

  • Orange-bodied Altinote, Altinote alcione

LYCAENIDAE

Lycaenidae is the second-largest family of butterflies (behind Nymphalidae, brush-footed butterflies), with over 6,000 species worldwide, whose members are also called gossamer-winged butterflies. They constitute about 30% of the known butterfly species.

Adults are small, under 5 cm usually, and brightly colored, sometimes with a metallic gloss.

Larvae are often flattened rather than cylindrical, with glands that may produce secretions that attract and subdue ants. Their cuticles tend to be thickened. Some larvae are capable of producing vibrations and low sounds that are transmitted through the substrates they inhabit. They use these sounds to communicate with ants.

Adult individuals often have hairy antenna-like tails complete with black and white annulated (ringed) appearance. Many species also have a spot at the base of the tail and some turn around upon landing to confuse potential predators from recognizing the true head orientation. This causes predators to approach from the true head end resulting in early visual detection.

The Butterflies of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Arawacus separata
  • Striped Hairstreak Arawacus separata

RIODINIDAE

The Riodinidae are members of the Superfamily Papilionoidea, the true butterflies. They typically thrive in the tropical latitudes, especially those of the Americas, and approximately 1,300 species are known. Small to medium in size, metalmarks vary widely in their patterns, behavior, and postures. Males have reduced front legs that are not used for walking, and females have three pairs of walking legs. Adults usually perch with their wings spread open or cocked slightly, while many tropical species habitually perch upside down on large leaves. Males locate mates by perching, rather than patrolling. Egg shape varies widely, but caterpillars are typically slug-shaped. Metalmarks overwinter in the larval or pupal stage.

  • Neurodes Metalmark Siseme reurodes

  • Aulestes Swordtail Ancyluris aulestes

  • Black-edged Bluemark Lasaia moeros

PIERIDAE

The Pieridae are a large family of butterflies most pierid butterflies are white, yellow, or orange in coloration, often with black spots. The pigments that give the distinct coloring to these butterflies are derived from waste products in the body and are a characteristic of this family.
The sexes usually differ, often in the pattern or number of the black markings.
The larvae (caterpillars) of a few of these species, commonly seen in gardens, feed on brassicas and are notorious agricultural pests.
Males of many species exhibit gregarious mud-puddling behavior when they may imbibe salts from moist soils.

  • Philoma White Leptophobia philoma

  • Salmon-lined White Perrhybris lorena

  • Tailed Sulphur Phoebis neocypris

  • Mimosa Yellow Pyrisitia nise

PAPILIONIDAE

The Papilionidae belong to the Superfamily Papilionoidea, the true butterflies. Swallowtails are worldwide in distribution and comprise approximately 560 species. They are richest in the tropics, and their brilliant colors make them favorites of butterfly enthusiasts. Many swallowtail species, especially in the tropics, mimic other butterflies that are distasteful, while others are distasteful and cause birds and other vertebrate predators to regurgitate. Swallowtail adults are medium to large and may or may not have tails, while parnassian adults are medium, tailless, and have translucent wings. All adult parnassians and swallowtails have three pairs of walking legs, and adults of all species visit flowers for nectar.

  • Lycidas Swallowtail Batis lycidas

  • King Page Swallowtail Heraclides thoas

  • Dioxippus Kite Swallowtail Neographium dioxippus

HESPERIIDAE

Skippers are a family, Hesperiidae, of the Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies). Being diurnal, they are generally called butterflies. They were previously placed in a separate superfamily, Hesperioidea; however, the most recent taxonomy places the family in the superfamily Papilionoidea. They are named for their quick, darting flight habits. Most have the antenna tip modified into a narrow hook-like projection. More than 3500 species of skippers are recognized, and they occur worldwide, but with the greatest diversity in the Neotropical regions of Central and South America.

  • Velvet Anastrus Anastrus baterias

  • Common Anastrus Anastrus sempiternus

  • Two-barred Flasher Astraptes fulgerator

  • Cryptic Mylon Mylon cajus

  • Passova Firetip Passova passova

  • Teleus Longtail Urbanus teleus

  • Split-banded Firetip Jemadia hewitsonii

  • Violaceous Bent-skipper Cycloglypha thrasibulus

 

butterfly watching tours
Come and Join Us to Our Butterfly of Ecuador Tour!! We visit all the major ecoregion such as the Andes, Amazon Rainforest, Cloud forest, Beach

The Best Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador

The Best Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador

Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador
The Best Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador

The Best Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador, Driving and Exploring Andean Volcanoes, Cloudforest and Amazon Rainforest, Drive to the Pacific Beach.

To experience the Best Nature and Adventure Road Trips in Ecuador, its easy! a country with many unique natural ecosystems, seriously to any direction you choose, you will be delighted by the new experiences you will add to while exploring Nature and  and doing Adventure Road Trips in Ecuador.

Here we list a few Classical Ecuador Road trip

  • The Beloved Road Trip Quito Baeza Tena Misahuallí
  • Andean and Cloudforest Road Trip
  • Andean Forest, Choco Cloudforest to Pacific Coast Highway, Manabi.
  • Pacific Coast Highway, From Colombia to Peru.
  • Papallacta, Baeza, Chaco Lago Agrio Cuyabeno National Park
  • Papallacta, Baeza, Sumaco, Yasuni
Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador
The Best Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador

The Pan-American Highway

The Pan-American Highway is a network of roads measuring about 30,000 kilometres (19,000 mi) in total length;  the roads link almost all of the Pacific coastal countries of the Americas in a connected highway system. According to Guinness World Records, the Pan-American Highway is the world’s longest “motorable road”.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

GOING TO PARADISE IS GOING TO MISAHUALLÍ When growing up, this was my office, a fun office, playing soccer with friends in the beach, feeling sand between fingers connect with NATURE, swimming across the river and jumping off from tree canopy, the free fall sense… #FunTown #MonkeyTown Next to it is a piece of Amazon Rainforest where I do #FreeNatureWalk using #INaturalist for any NATURE lover. It just takes 20 minutes loop. We learn about the nature of the TROPICAL RAINFOREST. #Misahuallí #MisahuallíNature #MisahuallíWildlife #Yasuni #YasuniWildlife #YasuniNationalPark #YasuniWilderness #ShiripunoLodge #EcuadorWildlife #Ecuador IR AL PARAÍSO es IR A MISAHUALLÍ Cuando crecia, esta era mi oficina, una oficina divertida, jugar al fútbol con amigos en la playa, sentir la arena entre los dedos conectarse con la NATURALEZA, nadar al otro lado del río y saltar desde el dosel, el sentido de caída libre … Al lado hay una parte de la Selva Amazónica donde hago #FreeNatureWalk usando INaturalist para cualquier amante de la NATURALEZA. Solo lleva 20 minutos en bucle. Aprendemos sobre la naturaleza del TROPICAL RAINFOREST.

A post shared by Jarol Fernando Vaca (@jarolfernandovaca) on

View this post on Instagram

 

SNOW in Ecuador!!! Was great to see NATURE with a different perspective. SNOW in my way to the Jungle!! 🏞 🗺 🌋 🍀 🌻 #SNOW #Snowfall #QuitoSnow #QuitoNieve #QuitoWilderness #Antisana #PapallactaEcuador #Sumaco #CloudForestRestoration #SumacoÑahui #Crowdfunding #Cloudforest #Ecuador #EcuadorWildlife #INaturalist #Wildlife #Conservation

A post shared by Jarol Fernando Vaca (@jarolfernandovaca) on

The Best and Most Scenic Road Trip in Ecuador

Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador
The Best Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador

Below are listed the Best and Most Scenic Road Trip in Ecuador you can drive when decide to drive in South America.

Road Trip to Pasochoa & Antisana

The Road Trip to Pasochoa & Antisana Wildlife Reserve will introduce to the most beautiful side of the andes going to still unexplored. Passing haciendas

Andean Road Road Trip Cotopaxi & Llanganates National Parks & Indigenous  Communities.

The Road Trip to Cotopaxi National Park & Llanganates National Park will introduce to the most beautiful side of the andes going to still unexplored. Passing indigenous communities.

Classic Road trip to the Adventure in Ecuador: Baños  a destination by tradition

Embark into the Classic Road Trip to the Adventure in Ecuador: Baños a destination by tradition, we leave Quito to enter the Cotopaxi National Park and explore the Andes to continue to Banos, where we have several day trips to explore the surroundings of these active destination in Ecuador.

The Beloved Road Trip Quito Baeza Tena Misahuallí

After visiting the Colonial Town of Quito and seen the Old City is time to head East, where the clouds are coming from; we drive along the Beloved Road Trip Quito Baeza Tena Misahuallí. Passing the Andes, Scenic views of the Quijos and Napo River drainages

Southern Ecuador Trail and the New National Park.

Parque Nacional Río Negro-SopladoraIn the south of the Ecuador, in the Cordillera Real Oriental, adjacent to the Sangay National Park is Río Negro-Sopladora, an area dominated by paramos and almost intact Andean forests that harbor a great wealth of animal and plant species.

Where are the best places to go on a road trip in Ecuador?

The best to enjoy the country is outside, go find yours near the cities are an excellent place to start, most of the food in Ecuador grown locally farm lands are near with access for road trips, each location have water supplies with drivable road for adventure, most towns and cities are connected in the grid with athenaes located in high near locations.

Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador
The Best Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador

What is the most beautiful road in the world?

The most beautiful road would be in the smart location with facilities for electric cars.

  • Andean Forest, Choco Cloudforest to Pacific Coast Highway, Esmeraldas.
  • Pacific Coast Highway,  Machalilla National Park and Pto Lopez. Manabi.

How long does the perfect Road Trip take?

The Best Nature and Adventure Road Trip in Ecuador

Combining the road trips with  exploration of emotions with Nature, you can easily add 2 or 3 weeks. Depending in your interest, localized explorations are worthed.

How long does it take to drive Classic Nature Ecuador Road Trip?

The drive on the Classic Nature Ecuador Road Trip along the Avenue of the Volcanoes, driving off to visit unique places like the Cotopaxi National Park, visit the capital of the adventure town in Ecuador Baños, Tena the capital for white water rafting and jungle tours in Misahuallí, move to the clouds in Baeza and visit the highest waterfall in Ecuador and others great waterfalls around and finish our road trip with an steamy bath at Oyacachi Hot Spring.

Total Days: 15 Days

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

The 10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, you will learn here.

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Bromeliad Tree Frog of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Genus: Osteocephalus. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

The Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador or “Oriente” is one of the most biodiverse places on the surface of our Planet! On this post, you will learn 10 amazing facts about the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest.

Animals in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

Ocelot in the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador.
The Ocelot is a medium sized cat that wanders in the trails deep in the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador.

Before we sink at some facts of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, let’s watch a video filmed in Yasuni Biosphere Reserve ( National Park & Waorani Reserve ). The Yasuni is said to be where Life exploded into millions of forms and shapes it is one of the most diverse ecosystem in the world.


Watch on YouTube via Fernando Vaca

Get your free Brochure for your Amazon Rainforest trip

Watch a Video of Yasuni National Park in Ecuador


Watch on YouTube via Fernando Vaca
Now, lets learn more about the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.

About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

The Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador represents only 2% of the Amazon Basin which is stretches across 9 countries, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guiana (Overseas France), Peru, and Suriname.

The Amazon Rainforest takes up only seven percent of the planet’s land mass, yet half the earth’s plant species are found in the Amazon Rainforest. A high net productivity is experienced on birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects, Life flourish in every corner here.

The following facts focus on the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest.

Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador: 10 Amazing Facts

1) There is an incredible number of tree species in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador,
Just 62 acres (1/4 of a square kilometer) of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador supports over 1,100 species of trees. That makes it among the highest of any region in the world.

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Amazon Rainforest Tree Canopy

Amazon  Nature Trips in Ecuador
There are more species of trees and bushes in one hectare here than in all of North America!

2) The Amazon Rainforest is the largest region in Ecuador.
There are several Bioregions on mainland Ecuador, the Costa (Coastal lowlands), the Sierra (Andean highlands), and the Oriente (the Amazon).

The Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador covers the eastern portion of the country. It includes six Ecuadorian provinces:  Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Sucumbios, Morona Santiago, and Zamora-Chinchipe.

Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador Map

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Map of Ecuador, Amazon Rainforest shown in green

Image Credit – Foros Ecuador

3) The number of animal species found in Ecuador’s Amazon is outstanding.
The Amazon in Ecuador is boasting with animal species with no rivals. In Yasuni Biosphere Reserve alone there are 150 amphibian species (more than the U.S. and Canada combined), 121 species of reptiles, over 200 species of mammals, over 596 of birds, and 382 species of fish.

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Rhinella Crested Toad, blend perfectly in the soil background of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.

Animals in the Ecuador Amazon

Insects also love the amazon. Over 70,000 species of insects can be found in one acre of rainforest.

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Rhetus butterflies are usually found singly or in very low numbers, in the vicinity of streams or rivers.

In the following video, you’ll see some of the animals who call the amazon home. This video was filmed in Yasuni National Park.

Animals of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador Video
Watch on YouTube via National Geographic
4) The Ecuadorian Amazon is a bird watcher’s paradise<span
With over 587 species of birds, the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador is a birders paradise. Birdwatching trips are a huge draw for visitors to this area. With a knowledgeable guide, you could see around 250 to 300 species during your trip.

Birdwatching in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Tourism in the Yasuni National Park

The following video highlights some of the bird species in the Ecuador Amazon.

Birds of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador Video

Watch on YouTube via Fernando Vaca

Learn more about Birds of the Amazon Rainforest.

5) There are 4 National Parks in Ecuador’s Amazon Jungle
There are 5 National Parks  in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador to promote the Conservation of Nature:

  • Yasuni
  • Cayambe-Coca
  • Llanganates
  • Sumaco Napo-Galeras
  • Río Negro-Sopladora

Yasuni National Park and Biosphere Reserve is said to be the most biodiverse place on earth. It’s Ecuador’s largest National Park and is a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.

Frogs in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Bromeliad Tree Frog are active during the night, it moves in canopy and occasionally comes down to check what to eat.

There are other areas such as Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve, Limoncocha, which provide safe areas for wildlife. These areas help protect the amazon and are wonderful places to visit.
The following video was filmed in Yasuni National Park and highlights 28 amazing mammal species in this area.

Mammals in the Amazon Rainforest of Ecuador

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
In lowland Ecuador, where they have not been hunted, they are the most abundant primate in terms of biomass and numbers of individuals. In 1997 was recorded a density of more than 31 individuals/km² in the Yasuní National Park, Ecuador.

Watch on YouTube via Fernando Vaca

6) There are 7 major cities within the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The seven cities include:

  • Coca
  • Lago Agrio
  • Tena
  • Puyo
  • Macas
  • Zamora
10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The last bridge before you reach to Atlantic Ocean, over 3,500 kilometers away. El Coca. Orellana. Ecuador

The population in the Ecuadorian Amazon Rainforest is over 739,000, including the cities and six provinces found within the rainforest. There are still large areas in the Amazon Jungle in Ecuador that are uninhabited.

7) There are 9 indigenous cultures in the Amazon
There are 9 indigenous nationalities in the Ecuadorian Amazon: Kichwas, Shuar, Achuar, Shiwiar, Cofán, Siona, Secoya, Zápara, Andoa and Waorani . Some of them welcome tourists which is wonderful for family cultural experiences in Ecuador.

Visiting the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Amazon Birding in Ecuador


Two tribes (the Tagaeri and Taromenane) who live within the Yasuni National Park choose to live in isolation.

8) The climate is the same year round
The climate in the Ecuador Amazon is pretty much the same year round, warm and rainy.

Animals in the Ecuadorian Amazon

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Yellow-billed Jacamar sits and waits for food to fly by, most of the times can be seen at eye level.


The temperature averages around 28°C (82°F) in the daytime, and drops to around 17°C (62°F) at night. From February to May it experience the highest rainfall while July through August are the drier months.

The Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador usually receives around 3500 mm of rain every year, so even during the drier months heavy rainfall can happen at any time.

9) The Amazon River was discovered in Ecuador
The Amazon River was discovered by an Spanish expedition started in Quito in 1541 by explorer and conquistador named Francisco de Orellana. He discovered the river in 1542 and initially named it Rio de Orellana.

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Francisco de Orellana discover the Amazon River by accident while searching for El Dorado..

Travel to the Amazon in Ecuador

As he explored he battled with a tribe of Tapuyas. The women of that tribe fought alongside the men. He later named the river after Amazons – a tribe of women warriors in Greek mythology.

10) The Amazon in Ecuador is threatened. There is a lot of oil (around 800 million barrels) under the Ecuadorian Rainforest. Extracting it puts the Amazon at risk, including the plants, animals, and way of life for the people that live there. Deforestation and illegal logging also threaten the area.

Amazon Jungle in Ecuador

Efforts are underway to protect the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.

Will You Visit the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador?
The Amazon is an exciting place to visit. Are you planning a trip? Have you already visited the Amazon? Please share your thoughts by commenting on this post.

10 Amazing Facts About the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Best Ecuador Wildlife Canoe Trips.
We run all the Rivers in Ecuador.


Amazon Birding: The Shiripuno River

The Amazon Birding along the Shiripuno River: Lost Birding Deep in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve (National Park & The Waorani Reserve) in Ecuador.

Ecuador is a world birding destination by tradition, from Quito, its capital you to explore a wide array to ecosystem present in the country with such and easy stroke. The Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador offers many birding destination with chances of seen many colorful species from canopy towers to easy oxbow cruising dugout canoes and WIFI.

Blue-and-Yellow Macaw
The Blue-and-Yellow Macaw also known as the Blue-and-Gold Macaw, is a large South American parrot with blue top parts and yellow under parts. It is a member of the large group of neotropical parrots known as macaws. Wikipedia

Why is the Shiripuno River, the Lost Amazon Rainforest Birding in Ecuador?

Wild and Remote, away from everything. The Shiripuno Rivers is wild sandy river, nestled core of the Yasuni, with many bends with trees covered in epiphytes and lianas and with many tree trunks in the river bottom already, shallow in most parts; The Shiripuno River is surrounded by miles of unbroken Amazon Rainforest.

When birding along the Shiripuno River, you will be transported to the early adventures of the greatest naturalist such as Henry Bates, Alfred Wallace, Humboldt or Darwin, watching toucans, macaws, oropendolas, Flycatchers or Tanagers and mammals, frogs, snakes, trees.. many trees.

The Logistics of the Shiripuno Rivers is unique, the exploration goes beyond the limit of human interaction, it’s the beginning of the wild and unpredicted.  We had entered the domains of the forest tales and forest gods: Jaguars, Harpy, Anaconda, Caiman.

Rufescent Tiger-Heron
Rufescent Tiger-Heron is a species of heron in the family Ardeidae. It is found in wetlands from Central America through much of South America. Wikipedia

The Amazon Birding along the Shiripuno River

When going Amazon Birding in the Shiripuno River start scanning to the Treetops, always searching for the Queen: Harpy Eagle, check the tallest point in the area, dead branches, for falcons; watch on brand new palm spikes for puffbirds, kingbirds, shaded horizontal medium-sized branches for nunbirds, trogons. From time to time also check the the big branches for Curassows and Large Raptors Search ahead of time, predict in the next River Bend, check on logs and trunks for swallows, Kingfishers, Sunbitterns, Sungrebe or Herons.

The Hoatzin, also known as the Stinkbird, or Canje pheasant, is a species of tropical bird found in swamps, riparian forests, and mangroves of the Amazon and the Orinoco basins in South America. Wikipedia

The Birding in the Shiripuno River, might catch you off guard.., be ready for birding in move! Practice with Oropendolas, Flycatchers and other easy to spot. You will be birding as the boat move, you will lose a few individuals until pick it up.

There is time to stop to watch birds while drifting in the afternoons or early mornings to listens to the dawn chorus with Chachalacas, Oropendolas, Antwrens, Antshirkes, Woodcreepers and many others join the party.

Salvin's Curassow
The Salvin’s Curassow is a species of bird in the family Cracidae. It is found in Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest. Wikipedia

Amazon Birding Riverine Habitats

The Shiripuno River is connected to a large community of birds living in the riversides of the main tributaries such as the Napo River and the Amazon River itself. Birds such as Hoatzin, Russet-backed Oropendola, Great Kiskadee, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw and many others rivers specialist are here. There is no River Islands along the Shiripuno River but enough soil conditions and dynamics to support same species community.

  • River Bends

The river bends are covered by early successional vegetation, constitute a large proportion of the total riverine habitat in Amazonia. After formation, these rivers bends travel downstream, in a sense, by constant erosion of the older, upstream portions, and the constant increase in size by the deposition of sand and silt on the downstream ends.

This constant change creates an array of early successional habitats on the river bends. The use of and specialization on such habitats by Amazonian birds has remained poorly known.

White-eared Jacamar
The White-eared Jacamar is a species of bird in the family Galbulidae. It is found in the Amazon Basin of western Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and northern Peru. Wikipedia

A series of dense foliage made with Giant Gynerium grass, Cecropia Trees, Red Guarea Trees, Triplaris Trees, Ficus Trees, Inga Trees, Mimosa Vines, Cats Claws Vines,Amazon Birding: The Shiripuno River

  • Moriche Swamps

The Moriche Swamps are made mainly by Moriche Palms (Mauritia flexuosa) a dominant palm tree, Wild Costus Ginger, Cats Claws Vine, Pseguria Vines and more.  Many animal species; several bird species, such as the Blue-and-Yellow Macaw, Red-bellied Macaw, Sulphury Flycatcher, and Moriche Oriole, use it for nesting and food. Tapirs, peccaries, fish and monkeys depend on the forest habitat.

  • Oxbow Lakes

Along the Shiripuno River creates a meander over the time, due to the river’s eroding the bank through hydraulic action, abrasion and erosion. After a long period of time, in the Shiripuno River the meander becomes very curved, and eventually the neck of the meander becomes narrower and the river cuts through the neck during a flood, cutting off the meander and forming an oxbow lake. The bird community living in here are Hoatzin, Kingfishers, Flycatchers, Donacobius, Herons, Oropendolas and Caciques colonies can be found.

Laughing Falcon
The Laughing Falcon also called the snake hawk, is a medium-sized bird of prey in the falcon family, the only member of the genus Herpetotheres. This Neotropical species is a specialist snake-eater. Wikipedia
  • Várzea Forests: Seasonal Flooded Forest

As many location through the Amazon Basin and its tributaries, high annual rainfall that occurs mostly within a rainy season results in extensive seasonal flooding of areas from stream and river discharge. The result is a 1–6 m rise in water level, with nutrient rich waters. Specialized avifauna such as the Great Antshrike, Undulated Tinamou, Dusky-throated Antshrike flocks also presents when the plant community allows it.

  • Terra Firme

Terra Firme (“solid ground”) is the most widespread topographical feature: Gently undulating hills composed of layers of alluvial soil that were deposited as much as 2.5 million years ago and subsequently uplifted to positions above flood level.

In the terra firme, the dead organic matter quickly decays and is recycled. Much of the Ecuador Rainforest is covered by an immense terra firme moving towards the west into montane forest in the Andes. The bird species richness in the Amazon Rainforest reaches its peak in terra firme forest, home of Antbirds, Antwren, Antshrikes, Woodcreepers, Foliage-Fleagers and Forest Falcon and many joining the mixed flocks moving around through the dense foliage.

White-necked Puffbird
The White-necked Puffbird is a species of puffbird in the family Bucconidae. It is found in forest and woodland from southern Mexico through Central America to the Chocó, northern Colombia (including Magdalena Valley), northern Venezuela, and the western and southern Amazon Basin.  Wikipedia

Special species

The special species we focused during our Amazon Birding in the Shiripuno River show a little bite a degree of specialization on specific microhabitats, such as palms trees, lianas, treetops, and foraging substrates, such as suspended dead leaves, dead trunks, flowers and fruits.

Greater Yellowlegs
The Greater Yellowlegs is a large North American shorebird. Adults have long yellow legs and a long, thin, dark bill which has a slight upward curve and is longer than the head. The body is grey-brown on top and white underneath; the neck and breast are streaked with dark brown. Wikipedia.

Although, The Shiripuno River avian richness is the contribution by habitats other than primary forest that elevates the richness to such high levels in western Amazonia, some of the specie you can be seen while birding in the remote location in Ecuador.

  • Hoatzin
  • Salvin’s Curassow
  • Amazon Kingfisher
  • Blue-and-Yellow Macaw
  • Great Kiskadee
  • White-throated Toucan
  • Black-capped Donacobius
  • Bat Falcon
  • Sunbittern
  • and more…

Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest

The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.

Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest

A Quest of Beauty and Mystery is around Amazonian Orchids in the Yasuni, with many hours in the field rescuing and collecting fallen specimens deep in the Jungle.

The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Perfume of the Orchids is a trick, it attracts to Orchid Bee males, the insect needs the essential oil to elaborate its sexual ritual fragrance. The Orchid Bee has to visit many orchids flowers for several days, the next generation of Orchid in the Rainforest is granted.

The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador are easily distinguished plants, with blooms that are often colorful and fragrant. Amazon Orchids combine their special apomorphies like bilateral symmetry of the flower (zygomorphism), many resupinate flowers, a nearly always highly modified petal (labellum), fused stamens and carpels, and extremely small seeds.

The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador are still a mystery for science in many ways. From simple question like How many species of Orchids live in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador?We do not know. We know very little about this diverse family of plants present in the Amazon Rainforest at all strata.

The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Selenipedium-palmifolium, Amazon Slipper Orchid, Selenipedium, The name of the genus is derived from the Greek selen, which means “moon”, and pedium, which means “slipper” (referring to the pouch). The seed capsules of these Central and South American lady’s slipper orchids were formerly used as vanilla substitutes, but selenipediums are now rarely cultivated. Partly this is because of the difficulty of doing so but is probably also due to the relatively small size of the Selenipedium’s flower. The wild flower’s Amazonian habitat is also under threat, so extinction is a risk for all species of Selenipedium.

 

 

While most of the Orchids of the Amazon live in the canopy, some live attached to the tree trunks under the thick canopy with less light, just a few can live inside the Terra Firme undergrowth, and there are even fewer that are able to survive in swampy habitats.

In-Situ Amazon Orchid Garden in Ecuador

Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest

Most of the Orchids of the Amazon recorded in Ecuador can be seen In-Situ at the Wild Amazon Orchid Garden held by the Shiripuno Amazon Lodge in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve. This remote garden was started with a single question: Where are the Orchids around here?

A simple Orchids question led us to a frenetic quest to find and study them, but as we all know most of the Amazonian Orchids live up 40 or 50 meters above the ground where under the different and challenging conditions of the canopy, most of them have adopted a lifestyle to limited conditions of soil and water.

How we have the largest living collection of Orchids Amazon of the Amazon Rainforest?

The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest

The collection of Amazon Orchids takes place as part of our Nature Trips, during our Forest Walks, we started searching for orchids plants along the paths, during these process, we trained our eyes to recognize orchids and found that many had fallen from the treetops.

We learned that after heavy rainstorms, thousands of branches fall down to the forest floor loaded with orchids and many of them bring rarities.

Parts of an Orchid Flower

  • Bloom – the actual flower once it is open.
  • Bud – the flower before it is opened.
  • Column – the tiny, rounded, column-like extension between the two largest petals. This little guy is the central reproductive organ of the orchid flower.
  • Inflorescence – the flowering part of a plant.
  • Keiki – a small plant growing from a node on the flower stem.
  • Leaves – located above the roots.
  • Lip – the part of the flower that is almost completely divided from the rest of the flower, however, it is connected by the column. The lip is specialized to aid in pollination.
  • Medium – the material added to an orchid’s container, which can range from varieties of materials such as soil to bark.
  • Node – a distinct joint or notch on the inflorescence from which a secondary flower stem can emerge from after the primary inflorescence has finished blooming.
  • Roots – located just below the leaves.
  • Sepal – the outer segments on an orchid flower. Similar to petals, sepals are the three smaller segments of the flower that create a triangular shape.
  • Spike/Stem – a flower stalk.
  • Stake – a wooden stick to support the orchid spike.
  • Throat – the inner portion of a tubular orchid lip, often quite colorful.

The Genus of Orchids found in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador:

  • Gongora is a genus of showy epiphytic Orchids family (Orchidaceae). It comprehends 65 species known from Central America, Trinidad, and tropical South America, with most species found in Colombia and Ecuador. The habitat of the Gongora species and especially the fact that the pendent inflorescences originate from the base of the pseudobulbs indicates that they all are true epiphytes. The Gongora genus has a complex pollination system. They are pollinated by male solitary bees of the Euglossinae family.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Genus: Gongora. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
  • Epidendrum is a large neotropical genus of the Orchid family (Orchidaceae). With more than 1,500 species, some authors describe it as a mega-genus. Their habitat can be epiphytic, terrestrial, or even lithophytic (growing on bare rock).
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Genus: Epidendrum. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
  • Sobralia is a genus of Orchid family (Orchidaceae) native to Mexico, Central, and South America. The plants are more commonly terrestrial but are also found growing epiphytically, in wet forests from sea level to about 8,800 ft.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Genus: Sobralia. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
  • Catasetum is a genus of showy epiphytic Orchids family (Orchidaceae) occur from Mexico to Argentina, including much of Central America, the West Indies, and South America. The largest number of species is in Brazil.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest. Ecuador Orchid Tour
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Genus: Catasetum. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
  • Stelis is a genus of orchids known as the Leach orchids, with perhaps 500 species. The generic name Stelis is the Greek word for ‘mistletoe’, referring to the epiphytic habit of these species. These mainly epiphytic (rarely lithophytic) plants are widely distributed throughout much of South America, Central America, Mexico, the West Indies, and Florida.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Genus: Catasetum. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.  Genus: Stelis. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
  • Maxillaria is a large and diverse genus of orchids with very different morphological forms. Their characteristics can vary widely. They are commonly called spider orchids, flame orchids or tiger orchids. Their scientific name is derived from the Latin word maxilla, meaning jawbone, reflecting on the column and the base of the lip of some species, that may evoke a protruding jaw.
Orchids of the Amazon
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Genus: Maxillaria. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
The Orchids have gained a global presence by being specialists with each species customized to a very specific habitat.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Most Orchids settle in inhospitable low-rent locations like bare bedrock soggy bogs or the branches of trees orchids have customised these miserly habits mooching off of fungi cheating pollinators and choosing cheap real estate.
The Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Wild Learning: Orchids of the Amazon Rainforest

 

The Yasuni National Park

The Yasuni National Park in Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse place on Earth.

The Yasuni National Park have an amazing diversity of Insects. Watch a daily activity in the forest, always improving for the challenges. Clear Winged Butterfly Gene crossing in the most biodiverse on Earth!

A Journey to the Diversity of Life!

The Yasuni National Park (PNY) is located in the Provinces of Orellana and Pastaza in Eastern Ecuador, a tiny spot in the Western Amazon Basin, it is arguably as one of the most biodiverse place on Earth.

The Yasuni National Park Information

Yasuni Habitats
Yasuni Habitats

The Yasuni National Park was established 26 July 1979, between the Napo and Curaray rivers. It is the biggest conservation unit Ecuador, encompasses an extension of 1´022.736 hectares of Tropical Evergreen Forest, with an Altitudinal Range between:190 – 400 meters.

Ocelot in the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador.
Ocelot in the Yasuni National Park in Ecuador.

The Yasuni National Park contains an amazing Diversity of Life, visible on its flora and fauna. There are amazing numbers!, for example, more than 200 mammalian species, more than 650 bird species, more than 120 species of reptiles, more than 147 amphibian species and more than 600 fish species. The Yasuni National Park is the core area of the Biosphere Reserve created 1989 by the UNESCO.

The Yasuni National Park Rivers.

Many rivers in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve are rich in sediments.

The rivers inside the reserve started at the end of the Andean Foothills at altitudes from 300 meters to 600 meters above sea level; the most important rivers that flow through the park are: Napo, Yasuní, Cononaco, Nashiño and Tiputini.

The Yasuni National Park Oxbow Lakes

Oxbow Lake
Oxbow Lake

The most important Oxbow Lakes through the park were created by the Napo River, all of them with black water systems: Añangucocha (Leaf-cutters Ant Lake), Yuturicocha, Pañacocha (Piranha Lake) and Jatuncocha .
Weather and Rainfall

Office in Coca

Yasuni National Park in Ecuador.
Yasuni National Park in Ecuador.

Calles Bolívar and Amazonas. Puerto Francisco de Orellana (Coca).
Province of Orellana.
Phone: (06) 288-2500
New Rocafuerte Office: (06) 238 2141.

People living the Yasuní National Park

The People living in the Yasuní National Park is a mosaic of ethnics groups with different lifestyles, all connected with the forest as their main source of food and supplies. and lately internal migration from other places to Ecuador come to work.

The Waorani People feeds from the forest directly, it provide them food, shelter, family.

The entire area between the Napo and Curaray rivers was home to a semi-nomadic hunter-gatherer: The Waorani People, lived throughout the area, hunting, collecting fruits and keeping small crops; in 1969 they were confined and grouped in an area that was called “protectorate”, located in the headwaters of the Curaray River. Some Clans that did not accept to live in the protectorate nor renounce their type of life are the seed of the Indigenous Peoples in Voluntary Isolation: The Tagaeri and Taromenane People.

Today, to the west of the park extends the Waorani Territory, which covers only a part of its ancestral territory, while the northern part of the Yasuní is concessioned to several oil companies.

The Kichwa People live in the northern part of the park along the Napo River is an itinerant population of dedicated to ecotourism, guides, students and researchers working at the two scientific stations that are located inside the park and in its buffer zone.

The Yasuni National Park Facts

The Shiripuno River is the deepest place to explore today.

The Yasuni National Park is located in the Napo Basin, a funnel shaped basin with 98445 Km2. Originates in the eastern of the Ecuadorian Andes and expands southeast to the convergence of the Napo and the Marañon Rivers in Peru.

The annual rainfall in the Yasuni National Park can reach 3800 mm with an average monthly rain of 260 mm.
The wettest month is, usually, July with 400 mm and the driest is December with 130 mm.

The rainfall seasonality in the Yasuni National Park is bimodal. In other words, there are two wet seasons, one between March and July, and the other between October and November.

The mean annual temperature is 25.5 °C with a mean maximum temperature of 30 °C and a minimum of 23 °C. November, December and January are the hottest months whereas July is the coldest.
The relative humidity is high during the whole year. In the dry season, the annual mean humidity is about 83% while in the rainy season is almost 90%.

The Yasuni National Park Oil Drilling

Oil blocks and oil access-roads of the Yasuni region

Oil exploitation affects local communities’ social practices and the natural ecosystem.
The Yasuni National Park curse is an estimated 1.7 billion barrels of crude oil – 40% of Ecuador’s reserves – in the Ishpingo-Tiputini-Tambococha (ITT) oil fields
The Yasuni National Park Map

The Yasuni National Park Tours

Tourism in the Yasuni National Park
Tourism in the Yasuni National Park

The best way to explore the Diversity of Life of the Yasuni National Park is by taking all different types of tours offered, Check below a short description.

Exploring, expending time in the Yasuni will help us to understand the most biodiverse on Earth.

Nature Tours

The best Nature Tours to explore the Diversity of Life of the Yasuni National Park, start from Coca, Orellana Ecuador. Check below a short description.
4 Days
5 Days
8 Days

Birding Tours

The best Birding Tours to explore the Diversity of Birdlife of the Yasuni National Park, start from Coca, Orellana Ecuador. Check below a short description.
4 Days
5 Days
8 Days

Wildlife Photo Tours

The best Wildlife Photo Tours to explore the Diversity of Life of the Yasuni National Park, start from Coca, Orellana Ecuador. Check below a short description.
4 Days
5 Days
8 Days

Cultural Experience

The best Cultural Experiences to explore the Diversity of Life of the Yasuni National Park, start from Coca, Orellana Ecuador. Check below a short description.
4 Days
5 Days
8 Days

Adventure Tour

The best Adventure Tour to explore the Diversity of Life of the Yasuni National Park, start from Coca, Orellana Ecuador. Check below a short description.
4 Days
5 Days
8 Days

The Yasuni National Park Biodiversity

The distribution of amphibian, bird, mammal, and vascular plant species across South America demonstrate the Yasuni National Park unique biogeographic position where species richness of all four taxonomic groups reach diversity maxima.

The Yasuni National Park holds a world record of 150 amphibian species,121 reptiles species 382 fish species documented.

Yasuní Broad-headed Treefrog (Osteocephalus yasuní). A new species of the hylid frog genus Osteocephalus from the upper Amazon Basin
of Ecuador and Peru is described. It most closely resembles 0, planiceps, but it differs in the
absence of pale stripes on the heels and above the vent, in being smaller, and lacking brown spots
on the Hanks. The new species, O. yasuni, is unique within Osteocephalus in having extensive yellow
ventral coloration.

The Yasuni National Park is home to at least 596 bird species which comprises one-third of the total native bird species for the Amazon.

The park is also very rich with many species of bats.
On a regional scale, the Amazon Basin has an estimated 117 bat species but on a local scale,

Lophostoma_carrikeri-yasuni_synonymy-2016_Camacho-Chávez-Burne

Yasuni is estimated to have comparable richness.
In a single hectare, Yasuni has over 100,000 different species of insects which is roughly the amount of insect species that can be found in all of North America.
It is one of nine places in the world that has over 4,000 vascular plant species per 10,000 km2.
The park contains many species of trees and shrubs and holds at least four world records for documented tree and liana richness and for diversity in woody plant species.

The park also hosts a list of endemic species such as 43 different species of vertebrates and between 220-720 different plant species.

The Yasuni National Park Animals

Mammals

The Mammals of the Yasuni National Park is very well represented with 5 species of cats like Jaguar, puma, Ocelot, 12 species of monkeys, including the Pygmy Marmoset and the Yellow-bellied Spider Monkey, Giant Armadillo, Giant Anteater, Giant Otter, Lowland Tapir, Sloth and many other unique mammals from the Amazon Rainforest.

Giant Anteater. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador.

Birds

The Birds of the Yasuni National Park represents a third of all the Amazonian bird fauna with Macaws, Toucans, Harpy Eagle, Fiery Topaz, Rufous Potoo, Salvin’s Curassow, Antbird, Woodcreepers, motmots and many other birds from the Amazon Rainforest.

Blue-throated Piping Guan is the most hunted species for the taste of its meat.

Treefrogs

The Frogs and other amphibian of the Yasuni National Park have world record, with Smoky Jungle, Gladiator Treefrog, Yasuní broad-headed Treefrog, Green Glass Tree Frog, Ringed Caecilian and many others frogs from the Amazon Rainforest.

Amazon Tree Frog. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador.el

Insects

The Insects and other invertebrates of the Yasuni National Park are well represented by butterflies such as Morpho, the Owl butterfly, Heliconius, many species of Dung Beetles, tons of ants everywhere, Watch out for the Bullet Ant.

Amazon Rainforest Insects. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve in Ecuador.

Snakes

The Snakes and other reptilians of the Yasuni National Park are represented by Anaconda, Boa constrictor, Bushmaster, Emerald Tree Boa, Coral Snake and many other Amazon Rainforest Snakes.

Bushmaster molting: notice the whitish eye. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve. Photo by our guide Daniel Hicks

The Yasuni National Park Plants

The Flora of the Yasuni National Park consist of many emblematics species of tree such as Ceiba, the largest tree in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, Mahogany Tree, Red Cedar tree, Rubber Tree, Balsa Tree, and of course many lianas such as Curare to make hunting poison or Ayahuasca to connect with Mother Nature and many other medicinal plants use by indigenous people.

Heliconias

Heliconias are far relatives of bananas, can be easily confused for the shape of the leaves, when flowering it attracts several species of hummingbirds from a special group of the Amazon Rainforest: The Hermits.

Heliconia
HELICONIACEAE

Passiflora

The Passiflora or Passion Vines are bright colored flowers inside the forest, many species of butterflies from the family Heliconidae come to laid eggs on its fresh leaves.

Passiflora
PASSIFLORACEAE

Centropogon

The Centropogon genus is represented for several species, all of the seems to attract hummingbirds.

Centropogon
CAMPANULACEAE

Wildlife Trail Map

Follow the Wildlife Trail Map

Discover the world of the amazonian wildlife, hidden in our Amazon Wildlife Map, click on the icons to find sounds, images and motion of some the most rare and charismatic creatures of the Tropical Rainforest.

Sumaco Ñahui wants everyone gets involved! We want to start planting trees by May 2018. In order to get the project running, we have a fundraising program: a Conservation Timesharing program. Join Us!
Sumaco Ñahui is a Cloud Forest Restoration Dream to restore a deforested area next to Sumaco National Park & Antisana Ecological Reserve
Habitat of threatened species such as Spectacled Bear, Mountain Tapir, Military Macaw and Harpy Eagles is turned into pasture, affecting the cycles of nature.
We want to turn a cattle area into a wildlife sanctuary by planting natives species of trees.
We want everyone gets involved! We want to start planting trees by May 2018.
In order to get the project running, we have a fundraising program: a Conservation Timesharing program.
Join Us!

Watch incredible wildlife such Jaguars, Harpy Eagles, Anacondas and Tapirs!

The Amazon Rainforest is most biologically diverse  place on the planet. with millions of species of animal and plants and others realms .

Go through and discover wildlife videos and photos capture during our trips.

 

We will be adding more information to this interactive Map

Trail Network

Shiripuno Amazon Lodge have an extensive trail network of 30 km, perhaps longer than any other tourist facility in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

Trails:

  • Colibri
  • Mirador
  • Skutch
  • E. O. Wilson
  • Carue
  • Wallace
  • Bates
  • Puyuno
  • Misterioso
  • Saladero
  • Saladero 2
  • Mirador 2
  • Mirador 3
  • Moretal
  • Playa del Amor
  • Ceibo
  • Self Guide

We have set Trap  Cameras  to capture uniques images from the animals that wandering in the back-doors trails.

We have created our first drone fly and check the first featuring video of the Mirador Trail.

Stay close to this adventure!!

The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Rainforest

Learn about the Mushrooms and Fungi in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador.

The Fungi or Mushrooms are a phylogenetically diverse group of microorganisms that are all heterotrophic
(absorptive nutrition) eukaryotes, unicellular (i.e. yeasts) or hyphal (i.e. filamentous),
and reproduce by sexual and/or asexual spores.

The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest are essential functional components of the Amazonian ecosystem as decomposers, symbionts, and pathogens and fungi represent one of the most biodiverse groups of organisms on earth.

However, our knowledge of their diversity and ecological function in Neotropical Amazonian Lowland forests is limited.

The ecological interaction of macrofungi with other organisms in these forests is poorly understood due to the largely unexplored, but likely huge, fungal diversity, as well as the cryptic and ephemeral nature of many fungal species.

Where is located the Fungal Hub Diversity in the World?

A major part of the global but unknown fungal biodiversity is assumed to occur in Tropical Regions, where the diversity of fungi may be higher than in temperate regions.

  • Tropical Regions favor environmental conditions throughout the year, a higher diversity of vascular plants that create niches and microhabitats for fungi, and the presence of many ecotones.
  • The diversity of macrofungi in tropical forests showed that the highest diversity in the Neotropics occurred in the Amazon Basin with Agaricomycetes, Pyrenomycetes, Xylariaceous, and Hyphomycetous fungi being most species-rich.

The Amazon Rainforest is Heaven for Mushrooms

The Amazon Basin is the perfect location if you would like to become a Fungi, the constant humidity combine with heat is the perfect combination for fungi to diversity in the Amazon Basin.

The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. All taken at Shiripuno Amazon Lodge in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

The Mushrooms and Fungi in the Amazon Rainforest plays an important role in the ecology of this huge wilderness, these organisms do a critical job of decomposing all kinds of materials from the forest itself.

The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. All taken at Shiripuno Amazon Lodge in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

Everything is a resource in the forest, follow this: From an old and finished canopy leaf falling to the ground where the community of mushroom, fungi,  and many invertebrates specialized in turning useful everything to the basic elements of nature: Carbon, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, and Oxygen.

The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. All taken at Shiripuno Amazon Lodge in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

A tiny portion of the colors and shapes of the diversity of Mushrooms and Fungi of the Amazon Rainforest can be found during a short walk in the trails nearby.

Move slowly, fix your looks in the ground, along the trunk, the nearby light gap can be very rewarding, some mushrooms and fungi are still in use by indigenous people to treat, diseases or food in some cases.

The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. All taken at Shiripuno Amazon Lodge in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

The diversity of Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador captured in photos after a short walk around the trails of Shiripuno Amazon Lodge. Enjoy it.

Where to find them?

You can find almost everywhere in the forest, here some locations within:

  • Light Gaps

Light Gaps in the forest form predominantly when trees fall by wind and storms. After a few months, we can find a whole series of fungi over time.

  • Rotting Trees

Rotting Giant Trees can be a perfect place to watch a timelapse of the different fungi community coming with different fruiting over and over.

  • The soil in Terra Firme

The Soil in the Terra Firme habitat is poor by nature in terms of nutrients for life, specialization is the key for those species living in here, many unique Jelly Fungi can be found around

  • Soil in Varzea

The Soil in the Varzea is a sediment-rich habitat, species of fungi needs to be faster decomposing all the flooded community.

  • Territories

The are many species of Mushrooms and Fungi with territories with more than 10 years!

Have fun finding them in the forest.

The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Rainforest

The true fungi (kingdom: Mycota) are divided into four divisions:

  • Chytridiomycota,

  • Zygomycota,

  • Ascomycota

  • Basidiomycota

ASCOMYCOTA: CUP FUNGI

The family of fungi  Ascomycota produces mushrooms that tend to grow in the shape of a “cup”. Spores are formed on the inner surface of the fruit body (mushroom)

  • Cookenia tricholoma

  • Cookenia speciosa

  • Phillipsia domingensi

  • Daldinia eschscholzii

  • Entonaema pallida

ASCOMYCOTA: CORDYCEPS & ALLIES

-discovered by the British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace in 1859.

  • Cordyceps cylindrica

  • Metacordyceps martialis

  • Ophiocordyceps amazonica

  • Ophiocordyceps nutans

  • Ophiocordyceps australis

ASCOMYCOTA:  XYLARIA & ALLIES

  • Camillea leprieurii

  • Xylobotryum portentous

  • Xylaria telfairii

  • Xylaria sp

  • Thamnomyces chordallis

Basidiomycetes mushrooms comprise a diversity of gill fungi that occur in most terrestrial ecosystems worldwide, their diversity and biological applications in tropical ecosystems remain almost unknown.

Some Basidiomycetes species from amazon tropical rainforests have been described as sources of primary and secondary bioactive compounds with antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, antiparasitic, and antitumoral metabolites and as nutraceutical foods.

In addition, some Basidiomycetes have demonstrated potential as producers of interesting prototype molecules for the development of drugs useful in medicine.

BASIDIOMYCOTA: JELLY FUNGI, GASTEROMYCETES, CORAL

  • Auricularia fuscosuccinea

  • Auricularia delicata

  • Dacryopinax spathularia

  • Tremella fuciformis

  • Tremellodendron schweinitzii

BASIDIOMYCOTA: GASTEROMYCETES

  • Laternea dringii

  • Phallus sp.

  • Staheliomyces cintus

  • Clathrus sp

  • Geastrum schweinitzii

  • Myriostoma coliforme

  • Lycoperdon nigrescens

    • Calvatia cyathiformis

BASIDIOMYCOTA: CORAL

    • Ramaria sp.

    • Scytinopogon angulisporus

    • Deflexula sprucei

    • Deflexula subsimplex

    • Phlebopus sp

MYXOGASTRIA: SLIME MOLDS

  • Arcyria denudata

  • Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa

BASIDIOMYCOTA: NON-AGARIC

  • Cymatoderma dendriticum

  • Cymatoderma dendriticum

  • Hydnopolyporus sp.

  • Cotylidia aurantiaca

  • Hymenochaete damaecornis

BASIDIOMYCOTA: AGARICALES – GILLED MUSHROOMS

  • Pleurotus djamor

  • Neonothopanus sp

  • Oudemansiella canari

  • Macrolepiota colombiana

  • Lepiota hemisclera

  • Leucocoprinus birnbaumii

  • Marasmius haematocephalus

  • Marasmius berteroi

  • Marasmius cladophyllus

  • Marasmiellus volvatus

  • Marasmiellus sp

  • Tetrapyrgos nigripes

  • Collybia nivea

  • Collybia aurea

  • Hygrocybe sp

  • Xeromphalina tenuipes

  • Trogia cantharelloides

  • Favoloschia sp

  • Schizophyllum commune

  • Psilocybe cubensis

  • Coprinellus disseminatus

  • Agaricus sp

  • Vovariella sp

  • Polyporus trichloma

  • Favolus tenuiculus

  • Lentinus concavus

  • Lentinus strigosus

  • Earliella scabrosa

  • Pycnoporus sanguineus

  • Lenzites elegans

  • Amauroderma sprucei

  • Ganoderma applanatum

  • Rigidoporus microporus

Common Mushroom and Fungi

Cookeina

The Mushrooms and Fungi from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador
Cookeina is a genus of cup fungi in the family Sarcoscyphaceae, members of which may be found in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Species may be found on fallen branches of angiosperms, trunks, and sometimes on fruits. (Source: Wikipedia )

Coprinellus

Ecuador Mushrooms and Fungi Trip
Coprinellus is a genus of mushroom-forming fungi in the family Psathyrellaceae. Accepted 62 species of Coprinellus.
Mushrooms and Fungi from the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve.

Ecuador Mushrooms and Fungi Trip

Come and Enjoy the Diversity of Mushrooms and Fungi on Our trip to Ecuador.

 

The Birds of the Amazon Rainforest

The Birds of the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador

The Birds of the Amazon Rainforest has captivated people’s attention for thousands of years. They are unique in many ways, by its colors like the fantastic Fiery Topaz, Paradise Tanager, Blue-and-Yellow Macaw and many others.

The Amazon Rainforest is home of the many of the largest birds like the Mighty Harpy Eagle, the most powerful Eagle in the world. This Eagle is the top bird hunter of the forest, it prefers arboreal animals such as monkeys and sloths.

The largest Bird of the Amazon Rainforest is King Vulture (Sarcoramphus papa). Reaching length ranges from 67 to 81 cm (26–32 in) and its wingspan is 1.2 to 2 m (4–7 ft). Its weight ranges from 2.7 to 4.5 kg (6–10 lb).

Hoatzin is a bizarre bird, eats leaves, social brooders, ancient bird group.
Hoatzin is a bizarre bird, eats leaves, social brooders, ancient bird group.

The smallest bird of the Amazon Rainforest is the Short-tailed Pygmy Tyrant (Myiornis ecaudatus) is a flycatcher. The species is one of the smallest birds on Earth and the smallest passerine. The average length is 6.5 cm (2.6 in) and the weight averages at 4.2 g (0.15 oz).

Where to find birds in the rainforest?

A short walk into the forest and it will start revealing by itself. The Birds of the Rainforest can be seen in the canopy,  when they are feeding as they move, picking fruits from figs, bromeliads, anthurium and other. In the canopy lives the toucans, tanagers, puffbirds, flycatchers, and others.

The Birds of the Rainforest living in the ground such as tinamous, wood-quail, curassows, trumpeters are very particular with their voices.

Many species of birds of several families in the Amazon Rainforest travel in groups through the forest, we called mixed species flock. They feed in packs wor a certain area, the advantage of having more eyes to protect the flock while feeding.

The Birds of the canopy of the Rainforest can be found at water sources especially in hot days, plunging in shallow water places.

All thought out the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve there is a series of clay licks inside the forest, named the “Forest Clay Lick”.

Several species of birds such as Macaws, Parakeet, Pigeon, Guans, gather by particular places known as the Clay Lick, they come down to eat clay or drink water. They go down only when all the conditions are perfect!.

Interesting Amazon Bird Stories.

Army Ants Swarm party for Antbirds.

In the floor of the Amazon Rainforest, there is a kind of social ants: The Army Ants wanders the forest floor searching for food: insects and other arthropods. Insects fly away from the ant’s swarms. A particular group of birds called the “Professional Antbird” they eat all the insects escaping the ants.

Plunged Kingfishers Use it All

When Amazonian Kingfisher feel empty stomach, they use all the resources at the other end. They defecate in the river water to attract fish. Fish react to all the drops, most of the times are food. Except for this time.