Nature class in the zoo

We were supposed to go somewhere else, but because of the strong winds and rain we ended up in the zoo. To my surprise we explored a part of the zoo that I have never been to before. We went to the Insect Valley. Kids kept asking if it's really a zoo, as there were no (big) animals, only insects.






So we walked on the path where we were able to spot many caterpillars:


Cocoa tussock moth caterpillar - 小白紋毒蛾幼蟲 
 - Orgyia postica

巨網燈蛾幼蟲 - Macrobrochis gigas


暗點燈蛾 - Lemyra imparilis


Not a very good photo, sorry.
Geometer moth caterpillar - 尺蛾幼蟲 - Geometridae 

Gąsienica motyla nocnego z rodziny miernikowcowatych



Of course all the kids wanted to know which caterpillars are safe to touch and which we should avoid getting in contact with.




W spotted not only caterpillars, but adult insects too, although not many as they must have been hiding from the rain:



The plant on the photo below produces some sweet sap that attracts ants. The sap stays only in spot that the stem comes out. The plant counts on ants to scare other insects that would otherwise eat the leaves. Smart, isn't it?



This is not a snail trail as many think. It's a tiny larvae moving inside the leaf and feeding off it.




Huge insects were everywhere:


We also looked at some trees and shrubs and even tried a few wild fruits:

Oldham's Saurauia - 水冬瓜 - Saurauia oldhamii
It's berries are really yummy!


These blue berries also taste nice.
Round-leaved lasianthus - 圓葉雞屎

 - Lasianthus wallichii

Yellow sage - 馬櫻丹- Lantana camara - Lantana pospolita

Do you know why the branches of this tree fern do not fall off when they dry? By bending down instead of dropping off the dead branches help to protect the tree fern from vines wanting to climb it and live off it.


On our way back to the exit we strolled through the area of the zoo where animals living in the wild in Taiwan are kept. We met some macaques grooming and eating.



A Formosan wild boar 台灣野豬:







Young Formosan sika deer - 台灣梅花鹿





Visit to the zoo was around Christmas time, so you could also see some tacky Holiday decorations:



Our last stop was at the koala house.



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