Category Archives: Creatures

The Creatures of Dominican Republic

On the island of Hispaniola in the country of Dominican Republic we do have some wild life to speak of. I’m not referring to the human-type of wild life, although this is here in abundance. The creatures, small and smaller are what we will include. The endangered, extinct and the creatures that thrive on this tropical island.

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Hispaniolan Hutia/ Capromyidae

Agouta or Juron/ Hispaniolan Solendon

Cacata/ Tarantula

Manatee

Heteropoda Venatoria/ Huntsman Spider

Noseeums (biting insects)

The Hispaniolan Woodpecker/ Pájaro Carpintero de la Hispaniola

Hispaniola Boa/ Boa de la Hispaniola

Jaragua Sphaero

Assorted Pictures

The Village Weaver / Madame Sagá

Black Witch Moth

Under The Dominican Sea – Picture Album

Dominican Republic has no creatures that will kill you

Here we have no large animals to speak of. Nothing that is going to eat you alive, except for the mosquitoes (which I think should be considered as being the new national bird), and the no-seeums, that I have no idea what they look like but they leave their itchy red mark on the flesh. There are no really dangerous creatures on our island, other than maybe a rare crock, cayman, a scorpion, or a spider. Most tourists and people living in the cities never come across these things. Even the Dominican tarantula, known as the Cacata, is not an easy crawly to see. They usually don’t live in the cities and they usually only come out at night. Most of the cacatas/ tarantulas I have seen were thin anorexic spindly looking arachnids. I know people that have seen giant car-covering spiders carrying a cat away in its dripping fangs, lol. Really there are some very large spiders here but not quite that big.

The Birds

The island seems to be inhabited mostly by birds, of all types and colors and lizards, of many sizes and shapes. There are the basic domestic animals not native to the island. There are many cows, goats, chickens and horses. You may even encounter a rabbit that escaped from captivity and made its home in the countryside. There used to be wild boars but they are almost gone and have only been spotted in the mountains where there is little human population.

Creatures 5 – Bugs

Creatures – Dominican Republic Bugs

The Dominican Republic has more bugs than humans, as with most countries. Some bugs are beautiful while others are just nasty and evil looking.

Red Bug |

St Andrews Cotton Stainer from Dominican Republic

The Red Bug is the simple name; the real name of this bright red bug is the St. Andrews Cotton Stainer (scientific name is Dysdercus andreae). These bright red mean-looking bugs are frightening looking yet do not bite humans. They are dangerous to cotton and other fruit trees and plants.

The Red Bug of Dominican Republic - St. Andrews Cotton Stainer feeding on portia seeds.
The Red Bug – St. Andrews Cotton Stainer feeding on portia seeds.

St. Andrews Cotton Stainers grow inside the of the Portia tree also known as the large-leaved tulip tree, a member of the mallow family. The red bugs also develop on cotton, where the species can grow much larger than on the portia tree. They feed on the seeds of the Sea Hibiscus (Hibiscus tiliaceus) plant where they are found in large numbers feeding under the leaves or where the seeds fall to the ground.

Wild cotton growing in Dominican Republic, the favorite food of the Red Bug , St. Andrews Cotton Stainers.
Wild cotton growing in Dominican Republic, the favorite food of the Red Bug , St. Andrews Cotton Stainers.

These bright red-orange bugs with their distinctive markings are easy to see. The larvae are red and white. The adults have the distinctive white cross, the St. Andrews cross, filled in with black.

Close-up of the Red Bug of Dominican Republic adults and larvae feeding on portia seeds.
Close-up of the Red Bug of Dominican Republic adults and larvae feeding on portia seeds.

Found in South Florida and most of the West Indies islands, the bugs are considered to be agricultural pests. They are named cotton stainer because they stain the cotton bolls that they feed on. The red bugs puncture the boll, enter, feed and leave behind a stain ruining the cotton. They are one of the most destructive cotton pests. They also can damage orange and peach trees, okra and other plants.

Recources:
http://www.americaninsects.net/ht/dysdercus-andreae.html
https://www.farmersweekly.co.za/farm-basics/how-to-crop/know-your-crop-pests-cotton-stainer/

Creatures Of Dominican Republic 4 – Pictures

Creatures of the Dominican Republic – Pictures

Miscellaneous pictures of different creatures found in The Dominican Republic

Under The Dominican Sea | Miscelaneous Pictures

Under the Caribbean Sea with Buddy.

Beautiful images of the aquatic life under the waters of Dominican Republic. This slide show presentation has many amazing shots. All are available for sale for framing.

Swimming with the fish
Swimming with the fish

Contact us here at jan@colonialzone-dr.com and let me know what you’re interested in and I will get you in touch with the photographer so you can discuss what you want.
Under The Dominican Sea

The invasive Lion Fish
The invasive Lion Fish

Under The Dominican Sea

Miscelaneous Pictures

Dominican crocodile - Cayman in Lago Enriquillo
Dominican crocodile – Cayman in Lago Enriquillo
a small Chameleon hiding in a tree
a small Chameleon hiding in a tree
Iguana at Lago Enriquillo
Iguana at Lago Enriquillo
Crab on Playita Montecino
Crab on Playita Montecino
Small Carb known as a Jaiba
Small Carb known as a Jaiba
A small falcon - American Kestrel also known as a Cuyaya or Ser Nicolá
A small falcon – American Kestrel also known as a Cuyaya or Ser Nicolá
A peacock (in Spansih Pavo Real) that lives in Case Reales in Colonial Zone
A peacock (in Spansih Pavo Real) that lives in Case Reales in Colonial Zone
A House Centipede better known as a Thousand Legger
A House Centipede better known as a Thousand Legger
Ants dining on a large Cockroach
Ants dining on a large Cockroach
An amazing bee hive on the side of the Ruinas San Nicolas de Bari in the Colonial Zone
An amazing bee hive on the side of the Ruinas San Nicolas de Bari in the Colonial Zone
Honey Bees enjoying a small piece of candy.
Honey Bees enjoying a small piece of candy.
A humming bird enjoyiong some nectar.
A humming bird enjoyiong some nectar.

Creatures Of Dominican Republic 3 – Winged

Creatures of The Dominican Republic – Winged

Some of the birds and creatures with winds found in The Dominican Republic.

The Hispaniolan Woodpecker/ Pájaro Carpintero de la Hispaniola | The Village Weaver / Madame Sagá | Black Witch Moth

The Hispaniolan Woodpecker/ Pájaro Carpintero de la Hispaniola (Melanerpes striatus)

The Hispaniolan Woodpecker - Pájaro Carpintero de la Hispaniola in Zona Colonial
The Hispaniolan Woodpecker – Pájaro Carpintero de la Hispaniola in Zona Colonial

The Hispaniola Woodpecker is a medium-sized woodpecker is only found on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola in the countries of Dominican Republic and Haiti. They can be found throughout the entire island.

This noisy woodpecker travels in groups and is very social, unlike most woodpeckers. They also watch out for other colonies members nesting young.

The Hispaniolan Woodpecker in the Colonial Zone
The Hispaniolan Woodpecker in the Colonial Zone

They are easily spotted because of their pointy beaks, their yellow and black striped body feathers, their greenish grey rump and the distinctive red head. Of course, these birds have the noticeable red on their heads. The males red striped goes from the forehead to their heck and the female species red markings are much smaller and can only be seen extending from the nape to its neck.

A Hispaniolan Woodpecker/ Pájaro Carpintero de la Hispaniola on the wall of the Alcazar Colón
A Hispaniolan Woodpecker/ Pájaro Carpintero de la Hispaniola on the wall of the Alcazar Colón

Here in the Dominican Republic, many parts of the country do not like these boisterous birds. One of their favorite nesting places is in cacao (cocoa) trees damaging the tree and they also like to poke through the seed pod making it easy access for insects and other organisms that can damage the crop. According to (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09670878509370969#preview) pod damage was assessed at 3.7% in 1981 and 3.5% in 1982, close to the 4% estimate by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Dominican Republic. The Ministry established a bounty program on the Hispaniola Woodpecker in 1976, our study suggested this bounty should be discontinued. The program was found to be not cost effective, and did not reduce damage, and had an adverse effect on other avifauna.

http://planetbirds.blogspot.com/2011/06/hispaniolan-woodpecker.html

Madame Sagá also known as The Village Weaver (Ploceus cucullatus)

The yellow and blackish brown Village Weaver sitting atop the round nest he built in the trees of Parque Colon in the Colonial Zone.
The yellow and blackish brown Village Weaver sitting atop the round nest he built in the trees of Parque Colon in the Colonial Zone.

Madame Sagá was first record in Dominican Republic in 1796 originally arriving as a cage bird on the slave ships from Africa. In Africa there are many species in this family. They are common all over the country now and only recently have been spotted in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo.

The male is usually bright orange to yellow with a black hood, brown nape and red iris. The female is yellow-green. To me, a person not very knowledgeable about birds, they looked bright yellow with black heads and beaks with red eyes. They are eye-catching easy to spot.

Madame Sagá entering the round nest through the small opening in the trees of Parque Colón in the Colonial Zone.
Madame Sagá entering the round nest through the small opening in the trees of Parque Colón in the Colonial Zone.

The males build the round nests with a small opening. They are nicely woven usually using with palm leaves. Then he waits hoping the female will choose him because he is the best mate and nest builder. They nest in colonies laying between 2 to 4 pale green to blue eggs between April and September. You can usually hear them before you see these bright birds are their colonies can be very loud especially in the mornings.

The nest of the Madame Sagá / Village Weaver close-up
The nest of the Madame Sagá / Village Weaver close-up

Madame Sagá feeds on rice and grains making it very unpopular with the rice and millet farmers. This pretty and noisy bird may be small but it loves to eat and eat. They are considered pests by the Dominican farmers.

The Black Witch Moth (Ascalapha odorata)

The Black Witch Moth bringer of good fortune or death picture taken in Dominican Republic
The Black Witch Moth bringer of good fortune or death picture taken in Dominican Republic

The Black Witch Moth is called so because is considered to be a warning of death in Mexican and some places in the Caribbean. Other places in the Caribbean this giant moth is considered to bring good luck by blessing people with money. In Spanish it is known as “Mariposa de la muerte”. It is also called the Bat Moth because it is close in size to a small bat.

The Black Witch Moth close up in a dorway in Zona Colonial, Dominican Republic
The Black Witch Moth close up in a dorway in Zona Colonial, Dominican Republic

This huge moth starts out as a large caterpillar that can be up to 3 inches in length. It has beautiful intricate patterns of black and greenish brown spots and stripes. These caterpillars grow into the large moths with the males wing span reaching up to 7 inches and many are even bigger. Their markings are very beautiful and at night, when they usually fly, they are many times mistaken for a bat because of their size. They will not hurt you and are lovely to watch.

A beautifully colored Ascalapha odorata / Black Witch Moth in Dominican Republic close-up
A beautifully colored Ascalapha odorata / Black Witch Moth in Dominican Republic close-up

Black Witch Moth caterpillars eat legumes and especially like acacia and mesquite. They are harmless and not considered to be a pest. They do not have stingers or teeth.

Black Witch Moth in Dominican Republic has a very large wind span
Black Witch Moth in Dominican Republic has a very large wind span

They originally were found in Mexico and Central America but now can be found in North America as well.

Continue learning about The Creatures of Dominican Republic – Page 4 Pictures