We truly believe, and greatly hope, that you will appreciate this article about these 5 Befuddling Invertebrates of Borneo as much as we do. It’s always a true thrill for us to present such information to you. May it provide you with enjoyment and edification.
Understandably, however, the few species presented herein represent only the barest handful of the amazing species to be found here. Indeed, the region abounds with life of all kinds. We invite you to explore our other articles to discover more such wonders.
Gray’s Leaf Insect
Gray’s Leaf Insect Facts
- Leading off this article about 5 Befuddling Invertebrates of Borneo comes the magnificent insect known simply as the Gray’s Leaf Insect.
- This intriguing product of natural evolution most frequently goes by the somewhat informative common name for wholly understandable reasons. It also has another, less frequently used common name. That’s the equally informative term of the Java Leaf Insect.
- Professional entomologists, though, typically refer to the species by its formal scientific name. That, however, is the tongue-twisting term of Pulchriphyllium bioculatum. Regardless of the term used to refer to it, the insect remains a fascinating one.
- The first formal recognition of the arthropod as a separate and distinct species, furthermore, occurred in the year 1832. This took place as a result of the work of George Robert Gray, the highly respected English zoologist, and part of the British Museum.
- This particular small but nonetheless impressive animal also represented a personal milestone for the eminent researcher. That’s because the creature also represented the first phasmid he discovered. He later went on to discover many more, however.
- For the moment, the IUCN has no listing for the Gray’s Leaf Insect on its Red List of Threatened Species. That’s due to the fact that, for the moment, at least, it appears to be maintaining a population base that’s both sizeable and sufficient within its range.
- The amazing insect must nevertheless be considered to be facing at least some threats to its continued existence. Given the nature and location of its range, habitat loss poses a potential danger. Its greatest threat, however, likely consists of climate change.
Gray’s Leaf Insect Physical Description
It’s worth noting that, while the Gray’s Leaf Insect does impress those who encounter it, the creature does not do so due to sheer size. That’s due to the fact that it also ranks as a moderately-sized member of its Order. It’s nonetheless a respectable specimen.
Like many insects, it also displays a moderate degree of the physiological characteristic of sexual dimorphism. In its specific case, though, this trait mainfests itself in terms of simple physical size. Specifically, females attain a shorter length, though, thicker body.
More precisely, males attain an average overall length of roughly 2.6 – 3.7 in (6.6 – 9.4 cm). The shorter females, though, only grow to an average length of 1.8 – 2.7 in (4.6 – 6.9 cm). Females of the species also develop an abdomen that remains narrower at the base.
Both genders, however, manifest the same general color pattern. Both the body and the legs display a primarily green background, though shades vary. Random markings consisting of such hues as orange and yellow also manifest, varying between individuals of either gender.
Females of the Gray’s Leaf Insect further distinguish themselves from their male counterparts in yet another manner. Males typically possess significantly longer antennae than the females. Males, furthermore, have fully functioning wings, while females do not.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Phasmatodea
- Family: Phylliidae
- Genus: Pulchriphyllium
- Species: P. bioculatum
Gray’s Leaf Insect Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Fortunately, both for the Gray’s Leaf Insect, and those of us who appreciate Nature, the marvelous insect appears to inhabit a relatively large swathe of the globe. That’s due to the fact that its known habitat range covers a quite respectable portion of southeastern Asia.
It does, however, also appear in several other regions of the world. These consist of the Seychelles, Mauritius, and Madagascar. In its main area, though, it seems widespread throughout such countries as India, Sri Lanka, China, Borneo, Java, and Malaysia.
In whatever region one encounters it, though, it displays a strong preference in terms of its choice of habitat. The vast majority of individuals live in tropical regions. There, the arthropod mostly makes its home in sections of the locally abundant tropical rainforests.
It evolved as highly dependant on specific environmental conditions. These include warmer temperatures, between 75 – 82 F24 – 28 C). The species further requires moderately high humdity levels, not surprisingly, given the region in which the insect evolved.
Like most of its relatives, the Gray’s Leaf Insect further evolved as a strict herbivore. Wherever it lives, it adapts to the locally prevalent vegetation. It does, however, display certain strong preferences in its diet. These include such foods as guava and mango.
During breeding season, the females lays approximately 100 eggs. She lays these, however, over a period of several days. She also lays eggs with or without fertilization, in a process called parthenogenesis. Those laid without fertilization invariably produce females.
Long-Horned Orb Weaver
Long-Horned Orb Weaver Facts
- Next up among our choices for inclusion in this compilation of 5 Befuddling Invertebrates of Borneo we give you the Long-Horned Orb Weaver.
- This incredible arachnid most frequently goes by this appropriate and descriptive common name. Like many species, the invertebrate does have one other alternate name, however. It’s sometimes known by the equally apt term of the Curved Spiny Spider.
- Meanwhile, professionals, such as researchers, more typically use its formal scientific name to refer to it. That, though, is the somewhat hard to pronounce technical name of the Macracantha arcuata. Whichever name one uses, it’s a remarkable species.
- The visually impressive creation of evolution received its formal name at the hands of the renowned Danish zoologist, Johan Christian Fabricius. He made the first formal acknowledgement of the insect as a separate and distinct species, in the year 1793.
- It stands out from the many other related creatures around the globe in an uncommon way. That’s in its uniqueness. That’s because, for the moment, this species constitutes the only known member of its genus. Further research may change that, however.
- Currently, the Long-Horned Orb Weaver appears to be maintaining a population base that’s both sizeable and stable. This further seems to hold true throughout the entirety of its range. The IUCN, therefore, presently has no listing for it on its Red List.
- This marvel of Nature nevertheless must be considered to be facing several threats to its continued existence. Habitat loss forms an ever-present danger, due to the expansion of man, of course. Its greatest threat, though, likely consists of ongoing climate change.
Long-Horned Orb Weaver Physical Description
The magnificent, not to mention distinctive, Long-Horned Orb Weaver easily impresses those fortunate enough to view it. The invertebrate does not, however do so due to sheer physical size. That’s because it’s actually quite tiny, especially compared to some others.
Much like many arachnids, though, it also displays the physiological characteristic of sexual dimorphism. In its specific case, this trait manifests itself in terms of pure physical size. That trait further results in a rather extreme difference in the sizes of the genders.
Among the females, body lengths average 0.8 – 1.0 in (2.0 – 2.6 cm). This measurement, however, narrows to about 0.31 – 0.35 in (0.8 – 0.9 cm) at the waist. The males, meanwhile, only reach a fraction of this size. They measure about (0.15 cm) at the waist.
The body also displays different color patterns between the upper and lower surfaces. The upper surface of the body ranges in color from red, to yellow, to white, or even black. It also displays black spots. The underside of the body, though, shows yellow or orange.
Yet the amazing Long-Horned Orb Weaver stands out for one more reason. That’s the long horn-like structures, displayed only by the females. That’s yet another form of gender-based difference it manifests. These reach many times the length of the body of the arachnid.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Family: Araneidae
- Genus: Macracantha
- Species: M. arcuata
Long-Horned Orb Weaver Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Luckily, both for the Long-Horned Orb Weaver itself, and those who appreciate the wonders of Nature, it evolved as native a relatively broad swathe of the globe. That holds true due to the fact that the intriguing Arthropod evolved as native to a large part of Asia.
More precisely, evidence indicates that it developed as endemic to the southern and southeastern portions of the large continent. There, it makes appearances from the countries of India and China in the south, and all the way to Borneo in the southeast portion.
In every region in which it appears, however, it displays decidedly strong preferences in its choice of habitat. The remarkable spider makes its home in regions of either temperate or tropical forest. The majority of specimens seem to live in areas of tropical rainforest.
The females of the species typically construct their nests between the branches of various trees. These they further design with an average width of between 3 – 4 ft (1.0 – 1.2 m). The webs also generally have hollow hubs and white silk beads on their radial threads.
Unlike some spiders, though, the female Long-Horned Orb Weaver rarely sits in her web to await her prey. Instead, she typically waits beneath leaves located nearby. Like most spiders, this species feeds opportunistically, on any species it successfully traps in its web.
From this vantage point the arachid can wait for its victim, and remain safe from its own predators. These mainly include various types of local birds. The venom of this species, though lethal to smaller creatures, generally poses no known serious threat to humans.
Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis
Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis Facts
- Placing third in this listing of 5 Befuddling Invertebrates of Borneo, the amazing Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis does so only due to random selection.
- The most frequently used common name for this marvel of Nature and evolution perfectly, as well as informatively, describes the impressive creature. However, it’s also sometimes referred to by the somewhat misleading term of the giant dead leaf mantis.
- Professional researchers, though, typically refer to it by its formal scientific name. That term, however, like many such technical names, remains somewhat hard to pronounce. That’s because professionals refer to the insect by the term Deroplatys desiccata.
- Regardless of what one chooses to call it, it’s a fascinating and captivating creature. The alternate common name, though, is slightly misleading. That, however, isn’t at all unusual, as common names frequently give a false impression of the species.
- Though larger than some of its kind, it’s by no means a giant among its roughly 1,800 known related species, overall. It does qualify as a giant, in a way, though. That’s because it attains a somewhat larger size than any other leaf mantis, specifically.
- The highly respected English entomologist, as well as archaeologist, John Obadiah Westwood, made the first recorded recognition of it as a separate and distinct species. This scientifically noteworthy achievement he accomplished in the year 1839.
- Fortunately, its population base appears to be both sizeable and stable. This situation further appears to hold true throughout the entirety of its native range. Unfortunately, it’s also become quite popular among those who keep insects in captivity.
- Due to these facts, the IUCN presently has no listing for the Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis on its Red List. In the wild, it nevertheless faces several potential threats. Habitat loss poses an potential danger to it, along with the effects of climate change.
Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis Physical Description
Like virtually all of its many relatives, the magnificent Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis ranks as a master of camouflage. In its specific case, its own name gives an indication its approach. That’s due to the fact that, when it wishes, it closely resembles a dead, dry leaf.
Like many insects of all kinds, it also displays the physiological characteristic of sexual dimorphism. In its case, this trait manifests itself in terms of sheer physical size. The overall size difference between the two genders, however, remains comparatively minor.
More precisely, the females, again, like many of its relatives, attains a greater length than the male of the species. Mature females reach an average length of 3 – 3.1 in (7.5 – 8 cm). Males, meanwhile, grow to a body length that averages roughly 2.6 – 2.8 in (6.5 – 7 cm).
Otherwise, the two sexes displays virtually identical patterns of coloring, with only slight variations among individuals. Those patterns, though, include a very respectable range of colors. These run from nearly black, to shades of brown, to an orange-brown hue.
The highly extended thorax possesses an extremely flattened shape. It also manifests intricate patterns, like the veins on a leaf, on the upper surface of its wings. The underside, however, has a mainly black background, with a large eye-like spot on each wing.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Mantodea
- Family: Deroplatyidae
- Genus: Deroplatys
- Species: D. dessicata
Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The mesmerizing Malysian Dead Leaf Mantis inhabits a moderately expansive part of the world. This range consists of the region generally known as southeast Asia. More specifically, it’s known to live in Sumatra, the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Within that range, though, it fortunately seems to be moderately adapable in terms of its habitat requirements. That’s due to the fact that specimens appear in regions of both tropical forest and scrubland. For now, no evidence that it ever lived elsewhere exists.
It’s also supremely adapted for the environment in which it lives. Its coloring, as well as its body shape and design, provides it with excellent natural camouflage. The insect even appears to sway in the breeze, mimicking the movements of a dried up leaf.
This learned behavioral pattern serves the amazing arthropod well in its typical habitat range, offering it a certain measure of protection from its own predators. Those include the usual species, such as tree climbing lizards, snakes, and birds, among others.
Like its numerous relatives, the Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis evolved as a carnivore. Also like them, it’s a master hunter, preferring to hunt as an ambush predator. It feeds opportunistically, consuming virtually any prey of sufficient size, most especially moths.
Kinabalu Giant Red Leech
Kinabalu Giant Red Leech Facts
- Next up among the species appearing in this compendium of 5 Befuddling Invertebrates of Borneo comes the remarkable Kinabalu Giant Red Leech.
- This marvel of Nature, which evokes fascination in the minds of some, yet repels many others, is perfectly named. Unlike many species around the world, though, for now, it lacks any other generally accepted general name. That may change in the future.
- Professionals, such as researchers, however, refer to the creature by its official, scientific name. That term, though, is the tongue-twisting term of Mimobdella buettikoferi. By either term, however, it remains a remarkable product of evolution.
- It further received that hard to pronounce technical name in the annals of science in 1897. The respected French naturalist, Raphaël Anatole Émile Blanchard, accomplished the first recorded recognition of it as a separate and distinct species at that time.
- Surprisingly, due to the nature of its habitat range, the IUCN presently has no listing for this intriguing animal on its Red List of Threatened Species. That situation, however, could easily change in the future, as environmental factors around the world decline.
- Numerous factors pose potential threats to the existence of the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech. Habitat loss, largely due to human expansion and the resulting alteration of local environments represents a definite threat to this specifically evolved creature.
- This poses an especially severe danger for this invertebrate, though. That’s because it’s entirely evolved to live within its native habitat. It only feeds on one prey, which also happens to only live in its region. Climate change also obviously poses a severe threat.
Kinabalu Giant Leech Physical Description
The perfectly named Kinabalu Giant Leech garners a great deal of attention, when it’s actually seen, that is. That actually holds true for several reasons, however. While sheer physical size therefore isn’t the sole reason, it’s nonetheless among the main ones.
That holds true due to the fact that, as the name implies, it’s among the largest of its kind in the world. Like most members of its Class, however, it evolved as a hermaphrodite. The physiological trait of sexual dimorphism, therefore, does not apply to it.
Individual specimens of this amazing species vary in overall length, of course. Exceptional specimens, though, sometimes attain measured lengths of as much as 20 in (50 cm)! The great majority of individuals, though, remain somewhat smaller than that.
The invertebrate further draws the eye for yet another reason, as well. That’s due to its impressive pattern of color, in fact. This fascinating Annelid evolved a bright, attention-grabbing color scheme consisting of a bright orange-red shade, across the entire body.
The body of the distinctively hued Kinabalu Giant Red Leech itself, however, has a design and construction in keeping with its Phylum. That evolved along the same lines as its prey, in fact. That’s because the body displays a highly jointed and segmented construction.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Annelida
- Class: Clitellata
- Order: Arhynchobdellida
- Family: Salifidae
- Genus: Mimobdella
- Species: M. buettikoferi
Kinabalu Giant Red Leech Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Most unfortunately, both for it and for those of us who appreciate the wonders of Nature, the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech has an extremely limited range of habitation. That’s so restricted, in fact, that this marvel of evolution only appears on a single mountain!
That mountain itself appears in an isolated, and extraordinarily unique part of the region of the globe now known as Asia. Its precise location, however, sits apart from the continent itself. That’s due to the fact that its home lies on the incredible island of Borneo.
Even on that isolated and ecologically unique site, this creation of natural evolution survives in a tiny zone of habitation. It appears only on the similarly-named Mount Kinabalu. Evidence further indicates that the remarkable creature never appeared beyond there.
Yet even there, it only makes its home in very specific environments. The selective species at altitudes ranging between 8,200 – 9,800 ft (2,500 – 3,000 m). It further resides only in fissures in the local rocks that possess a loose collection of damp soil and leaves.
The astounding Kinabalu Giant Red Leech differs from most of its kindred, though. In its case, this difference manifests itself in terms of its diet. That holds true because, unlike most of its kindred, it does not feed on the blood of its prey. Instead, it feeds carnivorously.
Even in this, however, it demonstrates an extraordinary degree of specialization. It consumes only worms for its nourishment. It further feeds almost exclusively on a single species, the Kinabalu Giant Earthworm, which likewise lives only on the same mountain.
Giant Forest Ant
Giant Forest Ant Facts
- Closing out this article concerning these 5 Befuddling Invertebrates of Borneo comes the tantatlizing Arthropod appropriately known as the Giant Forest Ant.
- This impressive and distinctive creation of Nature and evolution, quite understandably, most frequently goes by this common name for very clear reasons. Unlike many species around the world, for the moment the insect has no other common name.
- Professional researchers, meanwhile, generally refer to the remarkable creature by another term. That’s because those professionals usually apply its formal scientific name. That, however, is the less than easily pronounced term of Dinomyrmex gigas.
- The invertebrate received that official name at the hands of the renowned French zoologist, Pierre Andre Latreille. This respected researche made the first recorded acknowledgement of it as a separate and distinct species. That action occurred in 1802.
- Regardless of which term one chooses to employ when referrring to it, though, it stands out from the majority of its kin. It also represents the only known member of its genus, further distinguishing it. One known subspecies does appear to exist, however.
- The Giant Forest Ant appears to be maintaining a population base that’s both stable and sizeable. That condition further seems to hold true throughout the entirety of its native range. The IUCN, therefore, currently has no listing for it on its Red List.
- This majestic arthropod nevertheless must be considered to be facing at least some threats, like most species. These naturally include the potential danger of habitat loss. Its greatest threat, however, most likely consists of the ongoing peril of climate change.
Giant Forest Ant Physical Description
The amazing Giant Forest Ant impresses those whoe encounter if for various reasons, of course. Likely its most impressive feature, however, is its sheer size. That’s due to the fact that this particular variety of ant ranks as one of the largest in the entire world.
It further qualifies as the largest of all known ants in its region of the world. Sizes vary between individuals, of course, due to the very nature of ants. That’s because members of different castes have different attributes. That statistic extends to sheer size as well.
Normal workers within each colony attain an average overall length measuring an impressive 0.82 in (20.9 mm). The significantly larger soldiers of each colony, however, grow much larger. Members of that caste attain an average length of roughly 1.11 in (28.1 mm).
The queens, meanwhile, reach even greater sizes, as holds true for most known ants. Each queen of this remarkable invertebrate grows to about 1.22 in (31 mm) in overall length. These measurements truly drive home the incredible size of these invertebrates!
The physical appearance of the Giant Forest Ant, apart from its size, strongly parallels other ants. It does manifest bright yellow fur on its legs, unlike others. The main body shows a dark brown shade, yet the posterior displays a much lighter, reddish-brown hue.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Hymenoptera
- Family: Formicidae
- Genus: Dinomyrmex
- Species: D. gigas
Giant Forest Ant Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The marvelous Giant Forest Ant appears to inhabit a moderately large swathe of the globe. More specifically, the arthropod inhabits much of the southeastern portions of the continent of Asia. It’s still unclear, however, if the arthropod ever possessed a greater range.
The northern-most region of its range includes the countries of Thailand and the Philippines, though separated by a large area of ocean. From there, though, it extends its range through parts of Malaysia and Borneo, and into much of the country of Indonesia.
In all regions that it inhabits, however, the invertebrate displays strong preferences in its choice of ecosystems to dwell in. Primarily, the insect makes its home, as the name implies, in the relatively dense regions of rainforest found throughout this region of the world.
Yet this intrepid product of millions of years of evolution also appears, though, in smaller concentrations, in a few other types of habitat. These varying habitats might surprise, many, as they include such diverse areas as regions of mangrove forest, and peat swamps.
The extraordinary creature also lives at a wide range of altitudes, unlike some related species. In point of fact, it makes appearances from near sea level to (1,500 m) above sea level. There, the animal sometimes makes its home in regions of montane forest.
The impressive Giant Forest Ant also differs from many of its relatives in its behavioral patterns. Most ants forage primarily by day, but not this one. These productive ants conduct the great majority of the their activities at night, including, of course, foraging.
The vast majority of the diet of this ant, an impressive 90 percent, consists of honeydew. The remainder includes small insects, such as winged termites. The animal also consumes smaller quantities of such food as nectar, sap, and even quantities of bird droppings.
5 Befuddling Invertebrates of Borneo
We sincerely hope that you have thoroughly enjoyed reading, and hopefully learning from, this article about 5 Befuddling Invertebrates of Borneo. We additionally hope that having done so has left you with a new or renewed appreciation of such natural wonders.
Sadly, however, many of their relatives, along with countless other species around the world, now find themselves facing severe threats to their existence. That applies to both flora and fauna. It’s up to each of us to do all that we can to protect and preserve them.