Before our most recent trip to Ecuador, Chuck and I talked about trying to document habitats in a way that was directly useful and pertinent to the terrarium hobby. We played around with the idea of making a 2′ wire frame, which would act as a size reference, and additionally help to focus some of the hundreds of forest pictures we would accrue in a short period of time. Over the past few years, I have spent countless days scouring the internet in an attempt to find photos of south and central american forest that might lend some insights into how to create a terrarium that looks most similar to those habitats that we all dream of visiting. Ones where no treebark is visible because of all the mosses and epiphytes growing, and where giant Anthuriums and broad leafed aroids have their own microcosms of liverworts and seedlings growing on their very leaves. Flickr has been an excellent resource, as have Chucks descriptions of stream sides in Costa Rica and Panama, and high elevation forest in the Andes. One difficulty however, in trying to maintain some of the amazing qualities these forests have, is scale, and this is something that for me is still difficult to grasp, because I don’t want a mini tree in my terrarium, I want a real one! Below are a collection of images from several different forests in Ecuador, that are united in that what they contain can mostly all be encompassed in a relatively small space.
The most pristine forest we came across was Rio Blanco, around 1900m asl.
These images were all taken in and around Mindo, where Epipepedobates darwinwallacei occurs.