Luna Llena

15 Feb 2014

February 2 was designated as World Wetlands Day, making this a good opportunity for reflecting on this matter. In 1971, representatives from all over the world met in Ramsar, Iran, with the purpose of discussing wetlands and their protection. The Ramsar Convention was then signed by representatives of all these countries, including Panama, and came into force in 1975.

16 Jan 2014

They are highly recognizable. When you see a large bird grasping its prey with its strong talons, chances are this may be an osprey or fish eagle. Its scientific name is Pandion haliaetus. Pandion is a character from the Greek mythology and haliaetus comes from the combination of the words halos (sea) and aetos (eagle).

17 Dec 2013

Today, the pigeon pea is very important in India, where approximately 90% of the world production is grown. It is also grown in other tropical regions as southern and eastern Africa and also Central America. Congo pea, frijol quinchancho, quinchonchillo, guandul, gandule, pois d’Angole, are some of its common names.

12 Nov 2013

According to an orthodox botanist, when you eat an orange, you are technically eating “a ripe ovary from a flower-producing plant, seeds and everything”.

17 Oct 2013

Jorge Ventocilla interviews Yehudi Rodríguez, who has devoted her career to the study of sharks. This full moon, we would like to present the second part of this interview.

19 Sep 2013

Jorge Ventocilla interviews Yehudi Rodríguez, who has devoted her career to the study of sharks. This full moon, we would like to present the first part of this interview.

20 Aug 2013
Nance bottle

Byrsonima crassifolia, scientific name for the nance (Savanna Serret), is a flowering plant native to the American continent, with a natural range extending southern Mexico to Peru and Brazil. Undoubtedly, this is very popular in Panama. It is frequently found on the Pacific coast, close to either urban or rural areas and, in less numbers, in mature forests.

22 Jul 2013

Ants are everywhere…we should get to know them better. They can be found in large numbers, even larger than other species on earth. For example, in a leafcutter ant nest, you would find that there are more ants than there are humans in villages, towns and cities combined in Panama.

23 Jun 2013

Hablemos en esta Luna de un árbol bastante frecuente en pueblos y ciudades de Panamá. En la Calzada de Amador y en los alrededores del Biomuseo también lo podemos encontrar. Árbol que da buena sombra y  crece rápido y tolera cuando es preciso, suelos donde otras especies no prosperan, como las cercanías del mar.

24 May 2013

Chilean poet Pablo Neruda claimed the following in his “Self-Portrait” (Autorretrato):


For my part I am or believe I am
hard of nose, minimal of eyes…

…slow in going…

…unrustable (sic) heart, fan of the stars…

…admirer of scarabs…

(Translation by Janine Pommy Vega, from the book Windows that Open Inward: Poems by Pablo Neruda, edited by Dennis Maloney)


In his biography, Neruda explains he was fascinated by beetles ever since he was a little kid. He used to look for beetles through the fallen leaves of the cloudy rainforest in Temuco, southern Chile, where he grew up. I am certain that Neruda was just like the entomologists* I know: he never lost the ability to marvel at these small bugs (*entomologists are biologists who study insects).