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Flora and Fauna

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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Equality in the rainforest: White-fronted lemurs

White-fronted lemurs (Eulemur albifrons) carry their name thanks to the appearance of the males: They have white fur around their face, which makes them look a bit old and wise. The corresponding females are rather unobtrusively colored and have completely brown fur. With two to two and a half kilos the lemurs are not very large, the weight is more …

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Mysterious and nocturnal: The Votsotsa

A very special inhabitant of Madagascar is the Votsotsa. It looks like a mixture of a rabbit, a kangaroo, and a rat. Big ears, cute black button eyes, a partly jumping locomotion and a hardly hairy, narrow tail. In fact, the Votsotsa belongs to the Madagascar rats, a separate genus that only lives in Madagascar. It is the largest rodent …

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Mother of Thousands: Kalanchoe daigremontiana

In the south of Madagascar, many strange plants thrive. Only very special plants can adapt to the extremely dry and hot climate. One of them is the Mother of Thousands, with the scientific name Kalanchoe daigremontiana. It is still unclear whether the species should be assigned to the genus Kalanchoe or to the genus Bryophyllum. There is still a lack …

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Trickster with plumage: The Crested Drongo

Drongos populate the entire continent of Africa. Their habitat on the island of Madagascar is just as variable as the African continent. From dry forest to rainforest, from intact primary jungle to man-made farmland, the Drongo can cope with almost any environment. But the Drongo species on Madagascar is a special one: Here live the Madagascan, endemic subspecies of the …

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The Ankarana Sportive Lemur

Sportive Lemurs are everywhere in Madagascar. But every place has its own species. In the far north of Madagascar, in the dry forests of Ankarana, lives the eponymous Ankarana Sportive Lemur (Lepilemur ankaranensis). It is widespread as far as the nearby rainforests and dry forests of the Amber Mountain as well as Analamerana and Manongarivo and is only about 25 …

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Perfectly camouflaged giants: Uroplatus giganteus

Madagascar’s reptiles offer many a superlative. The smallest lizard in the world, the most colorful chameleons, the smallest iguana, the rarest tortoise – all that is missing is a record-breaking gecko. The Giant Leaf-tailed Gecko (Uroplatus giganteus) fills exactly this gap. It measures up to 34.5 cm and is thus the second largest gecko in the world. The giants among …

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The Crested Coua

Couas are only found in Madagascar. A particularly pretty representative of these colorful birds is the Crested Coua (Coua cristata). The back and tail feathers are purple, the breast feathers are rust-red, the head carries the eponymous mop of feathers. Around the eyes, as with all Couass, there is naked skin around the eyes, which glows blue in this species. …

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