Reptiles, amphibians and insects

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The Ecuadorian Amazon and Arutam Rainforest Reserve are home to an overwhelming variety of reptiles, amphibians and insects. There are some 350 species of reptiles in Ecuador, containing over 200 species of snakes alone and around 400 species of amphibians – with an incredible amount of frogs.

There has been made no inventories in Arutam Rainforest Reserve to this point, but the numbers are high and each hike into the forest always reveals new species – even to the locals. Especially the insects are numerous. The number of insects in Ecuador is unknown but they are expected to reach into the hundred of thousands.


Reptiles and frogs are often hunted for foods and some insects like the rhinoceros beetle are often kept as pets or toys by the kids.


The most infamous and well know species are the tarantula, anaconda and caimans. The tarantula is very common in Arútam, but is normally very quiet if left undisturbed. Anacondas belong to the lower parts of the Amazon where there are more swamps and slower streaming rivers. However, local stories and sightings in the Pastaza River makes the myth live in Arútam. Although very rare, there are smaller caimans living in the larger rivers in the reserve. The caimans are likely young caimans that migrate up the smaller tributaries to the big rivers to find a quiet and safe territory to grow up in.