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Flora and Fauna

The Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec

In the southwest and deep south of Madagascar, you can encounter it: The Lesser Hedgehog Tenrec (Echinops telfairi). It lives in dry and spiny forests as well as savannahs, but also occurs in areas populated and destroyed by humans. Larger populations are however above all in forests, that obviously offer bigger protection from food-enemies. The northern distribution limit is the …

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The little brother of the giraffe-necked weevil

The giraffe-necked weevil is one of the most famous insects in Madagascar. Named after its long neck, it is regarded as absolutely unique on the red island. However, there is another, the smaller brother of the giraffe-necked weevil on Madagascar. The species Trachelophorus madegassus occurs in the rain forest of Ranomafana and some other areas of the Madagascan highlands. The …

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The White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog

A true giant among the frogs of Madagascar is the White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog. Its scientific name is Boophis albilabris. Males measure up to 8,1 cm of length, the long jump-legs not yet measured. A very generous “handful of frog“! Presumably, Boophis albilabris is Madagascar’s biggest tree inhabiting frog. Only the tomato frog living on the ground is bigger. Between fingers …

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The Madagascan Nightjar

Swallows are actually known as diurnal. In the early morning, you can hear their shriiieeh calls, they spend the day in the air. However, the Madagascan Nightjar (Caprimulgus madagascariensis madagascariensis) is an exception. This unusual bird sleeps during the day, pressed close to the ground. The marbled plumage camouflages the animals perfectly, they disappear almost completely from the ground. Even …

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The black Vasa Parrots

Madagascar has many fascinating animals. There is only one thing the island in the Indian Ocean does not have: large, colorful parrots. Instead, evolution has come up with something very special here. In the Malagasy tropics, parrots are completely black. The unusual birds are called Vasa Parrots. There are different species: One is the Greater Vasa Parrot (Coracopsis vasa). It …

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The greater hedgehog tenrec

Why it is called “great” is not known exactly. In fact, it is only slightly taller than his closest relative, the smaller hedgehog tenrec. Perhaps the term derives from its area of distribution: it covers almost all of Madagascar. Only in mangroves and marshes, the greater hedgehog tenrec does not occur. You can meet the greater hedgehog tenrec regularly in …

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The Green Bright-Eyed Frog

Anyone who has ever been on the road in Andasibe-Mantadia will surely have discovered it at night: Boophis viridis, the Green Bright-Eyed Frog. Most specimens have a lot of red dots on their body, which is especially noticeable at night. They only grow to 29 to 35 mm, with the females occupying the upper size places. You can easily distinguish …

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The Walking Stick, Achrioptera impennis

You have to look very closely to discover this Malagasy camouflage artist. Achrioptera impennis, that’s the scientific name, looks like a dry branch. But in fact, it is a living animal. Achrioptera impennis belongs to the stick insects (Phasmatodea). These are herbivorous, harmless insects that camouflage themselves perfectly in the middle of their own food by their extremely deceptive appearance. …

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The Madagascar Diadem

Madagascar is a paradise for butterflies. The island is home to over 3000 species, from the tiny moth to the Rainbow Butterfly (Chrysiridia rhipheus), which shimmers in all the colors mentioned in its name. One of these Malagasy butterflies is the Gladiator Butterfly or Madagascar Diadem (Hypolimnas dexithea). It is especially popular among collectors, as it is particularly large with …

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The giraffe necked weevil

One of the most famous, but also most bizarre bugs of Madagascar can be found in the eastern rainforests of the islands: Due to its longs neck, it is called giraffe necked weevil (Trachelophorus giraffa). The best time and places to find it are the national parks of Andasibe-Mantadia, Marojejy and Ranomafana in spring. In 1860, the French entomologist Henri …

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