As the most bio-diverse region on earth, it’s no surprise that a lot of people travel to the Amazon Jungle to see and experience its unique habitat and exotic inhabitants first hand. In fact, many travellers join Amazon jungle expeditions purely to learn about the environment, taking the opportunity afforded by the trip to get up close and personal with the region’s wildlife.
Though the Amazon is perhaps most famous for creatures like the pink river dolphin, the jaguar and the colourful macaw, around 90% of the species in the rainforest are insects, many of which are incredibly intriguing in their own right.
Every acre of the Amazon contains around 70,000 species of insect and around 10,000 new species are discovered every year. Though many are too well disguised, minute or illusive to spot, you should be able to see a good variety during your trip. Here are some of the most colourful and exotic to look out for.
Of all of the Amazon rainforest animals, butterflies are among the most beautiful and the most plentiful. Around 7,000 species of butterfly live in the jungle, with 1,300 in Peru’s Manu Reserve alone.
Some of the most colourful are the bright, metallic blue morpho butterflies and the hot pink and blue Claudina Agrias butterflies, both of which can be seen throughout the Amazon.
Another of the most colourful Amazon rainforest animals is the jewelled caterpillar. Appearing in a range of shades, the most vibrant variety of this gelatinous creature is the bright blue, yellow and green version.
Displaying an electric blue stripe down the centre of their backs, two yellow stripes on either side and a neon green body, these unmissable caterpillars eventually transform into equally stunning moths.
Nymphs are immature insects that undergo a gradual metamorphosis as they take on their adultform. Before they become adults, many of these young insects have brightly coloured, slightly bizarre forms that are unique to their species.
One of the most wonderfully weird was recently discovered by a team of Scientists from Harvard University. Sporting a shock of iridescent hair and bright orange detailing, the nymph is so new to science it is yet to be named.
Though the larger Amazon rainforest animals will always attract the most attention, these tiny creatures are often just as extraordinary. So if you’re planning a visit to the jungle, make sure you keep an eye out for the Amazon’s smallest residents.