This little spider is one of the most intelligent arthropods on the planet. Their behaviour is bizarrely familiar, and they show signs of reasoning, planning, and focus. I encourage you to read the wikipedia article about them.
I found this individual on the wall of a hotel in eastern central Madagascar, just outside the Anjaha Community Reserve. I have a deep love of salticids, and although I couldn’t identify it initially, I immediately knew it was something special. The result was the most satisfying photoshoot I can remember. Such an enchanting animal.
A Brookesia cf. lineata. These delicate little lizards make everything else in the world seem a little too fast. I’m waiting on the genetic results to confirm the identity of this specimen (and others collected this year).
I spent this winter in a forest in northwestern Madagascar, where my team and I were investigating the herpetofaunal diversity of some unstudied tracts of forest, and how their distribution is affected by proximity to the edge of the forest. The next few months will be spent processing the data and writing reports and papers. I estimate we found at least four, but perhaps as many as ten, new species. I’ll keep you posted on progress! In the mean time, my blog will be featuring some photos from the field :)