The Rainforest Floor: home of the insects and bugs (and those who eat them!).

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Many soil-loving insects and bugs live on or near the forest floor. You need to watch where you step and where you put your hands!

Scorpion, Guatemala

Hercules beetle, Costa Rica

Some bugs are not as dangerous as they might appear, though! This hercules beetle's "pincher" is just for show - it's a bluff to scare off would-be predators.

The tarantula wasp attacks a tarantula with the intention of paralyzing it (not killing it!) with a sting, dragging it off to her hole, and laying her eggs on it so that when they hatch the larvae will have "fresh" food. We thought for sure that the spider would win the battle, but the quicker wasp won this one!

Tarantula wasp, Costa Rica

Funnel web spider, Costa Rica.

This funnel-web spider traps insects and small birds for its meal. These are not as poisonous as the funnel-web spiders in the South-Pacific area.

There are many interesting spiders in the rainforest!

Spider, Belize.

Cicada, Costa Rica.

Many cicadas look like leaves to help them avoid being eaten by birds, lizards, and snakes.

The saddleback caterpillar has numerous defenses against being eaten. It has stinging hairs, which its predators will remember due to his bright markings. In addition, his markings fool predators who are unsure which end is his head (it is the end without the extra "eye" spots).

Saddleback caterpillar, Costa Rica.

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