The Borneo Forest at Night

Part I – Tambunan

I head out with Phil Lewis into Tambunan, western north Borneo to search for critters in the forest at night.

This video was loads of fun to film, and most of it was done in one hurried night. We had arrived on location well after the expected time (10:30 as opposed to 6) so time was very limited. We managed a heap of species, all of those seen on this video were found on that one night, but there had to be some fill-in work later to round off the shots – especially of the frogs and the pit viper.

While filming, Phil did not actually see the snake yawning in front of him! If you listen you can hear me gasping behind the camera!

Also the scene of the Horned Frog nailing that cicada was sort of an accident. We had been filming for ages trying to get the frog to eat something but with no luck. Only after it was handled and put back down on the ground did it do anything! This is not unusual with frogs, sometimes gently picking them up sort of “wakes” them up and they readily feed right away, even in the hand! When this guy was put on the rock for some pictures, a stick insect crawled past and was grabbed before I could turn on the camera. A cicada flying into the light was next and I was ready!

All in all it was a great time out in the jungle. We saw loads of things and managed some good footage too.

-Nathan Litjens

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