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  • Writer's pictureKevin Esser

Paraguay - Ybycui

The Ybycui National Park is located 150 kilometers from Paraguay's capital Asunción. It is a small (approx. 5,000 hectares) but beautiful park and protects a sample of the westernmost extent of the Upper Parana Atlantic Forest.

There are many waterfalls in the park. The summer in Paraguay begins at the end of December and ends at the end of March. Very high temperatures (48°C / 118°F) and little rain have caused a low water level.

Lasaia agesilas - Glittering Sapphire

Countless butterflies were seen on the rocks along the river. Very striking was the Glittering Sapphire (Lasaia agesilas), also called Black-patch Bluemark. I have never seen an animal with such an intense blue color before.

I was not the only one who was interested in the butterflies. This huge Rococo Toad (Rhinella schneideri) was hunting them. A rather rare observation for me to see a toad this active in bright sunshine. With this opportunity I tried to get the habitat into the picture.

Can you spot the dreaded beauty, hidden in this picture?

Bothrops araraca - Jararaca

Here it is up close, patiently and curled up: the venomous Jararaca (Bothrops jararaca). In Paraguay this snake is called Yarará. It is a very well camouflaged ambush predator.

Callicore pygas - Godart's Numberwing

The Godart's Numberwing (Callicore pygas) was probably my favorite butterfly of the trip to Paraguay. It was actually hard to take this picture and I had to crawl on the rocks for quite a long time.

The Brown Leaf Lizard (Stenocercus caducus) is very well camouflaged. This little reptile was sitting motionless in the vegetation. So I was able to get a nice macro shot.

Not as shiny blue as the Glittering Sapphire, but still a very nice looking Weevil. I don't know the exact ID of this cool insect, so maybe you can help me...

Lichtenstein's Green Racer (Philodryas olfersii) was a great sighting at the end of the day. This snake is venomous and there have been reports of serious bites causing local and systemic effects requiring medical treatment.


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