Flying into Belize was similar to flying into Brazil, given the palm trees and rustic architecture and wide open blue skies. The airport felt familiar, the streets felt familiar, the people looked familiar, despite having never been to Belize. I breathed in the lack of American polish, the charm of the narrow, broken roads and the beauty of the uncropped environment. Somehow it felt like home, and I was quickly reminded of why I love the tropics more than any other place on earth.
We flew in, landed smoothly, got in the van, and started our three hour trip to Crystal Paradise ecolodge. It’s a beautiful and well-run place, clearly meant for tourism, that feels and looks very similar to Anavilhanas, the ecolodge I stayed in when I went into the Amazon rainforest five years ago.
Crickets were bountiful in volume. We arrived at night, and immediately I could hear crickets chirping, crafting the hum of the rainforest. I got lucky and heard one on a very nearby bush. Upon further investigation, it was indeed a cricket, with long antennae and a well-camouflaged torso and head, but a red abdomen. Though I couldn’t identify the exact species, I assume it to be either in the superfamily Gryllidae or Gryllacrididae. I’m honestly quite nervous about being able to properly identify any cricket at all, and hope I get better as time passes. Attached is the best picture of the cricket I could obtain.