Thus far entomologists are stumped as to what it is.
Troy Alexander, a graduate student visiting the center in early June was the first to discover the structure this past summer, first on the underside of a tarp and then on tree trunks.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Phil Torres (https://twitter.com/
Suggestions range from the structure being a spider egg sac to an incomplete cocoon. Other suggestions are funnier. “I have seen people say that it’s been built by a spider from Mars, that it's a navigational aid built by mosquitos for navigating the dense jungles, to alien communication arrays built by local arachnids under the influence of alien mind control.” Jeff Cremer (https://twitter.com/
Tory Alexander’s favorite theory, described on Facebook, is that “there are spider eggs in the base of the pole, and the spiderlings climb the pole and sail away on silken parachutes, protected by the fence the whole time.”
This region is no stranger to new species. In early 2012 the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) reported on 365 previously undocumented species found in Bahuaja Sonene National Park in the Tambopata River region of southeastern Peru. More recently in September 2012 a new spider species that created “false” decoy spiders as protection was found at the center.
Rainforest Expeditions offers the following programs where guests may come across this “unicorn” or other rare species while exploring jungle trails:
Tambopata Research Center Tour, four, five and six-day programs from $684 per person double for the four-day program. See: http://www.perunature.com/
Rainforest Wildlife Photography Tour, five day package from $1,900 per person double. See: http://www.perunature.com/
Ranforest Expedition lodges are accessed from Puerto Maldonado airport arriving from Lima or Cusco on daily commercial flights lasting 45 or 90 minutes respectively. A bus transports guests to the Infierno River Port to board motorized wooden canoes for a 45-minute trip to the first lodge, Posada Amazonas. Refugio Amazonas, the second lodge, is a 3.5-hour boat trip after departing the bus. The third and most remote is Tambopata Research Center, requiring a 4-hour additional upriver boat ride from Refugio Amazonas. Each lodge is only a few minutes on foot from the river bank. See: http://www.perunature.com/
Outside Magazine in its current October 2013 issue featured Rainforest Expedition’s Tambopata Research Center as one of its recommended destinations to “Live Life Bravely.”
About Rainforest Expeditions
Rainforest Expeditions (http://www.perunature.com/)
Since 1989, guests of first one and now three Rainforest Expedition eco-lodges have added value to the region’s standing tropical rainforest. A sensitively conceived and managed (in some cases by native communities)
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Sara Widness / 802-234-6704 / firstname.lastname@example.org
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