BBC Edens

20 September, 2021

Had a great trip with a great BBC team to the jungles of Danum Valley in Borneo last year. Filming for the Borneo episode of Edens: Untamed Planet for BBC America, we went out to record insects, orangutans, and general jungle life in an incredibly special place that is one of my favourite places I’ve filmed. With Justine Evans on the ropes filming from a tree platform high in the canopy I was following orangutans from the ground all the while looking for interesting insects to film.

Leeches are everywhere and manage to attach themselves to everything.

The guys we were working with told us about an insect that used latex from tree wounds. When we got to the tree we found an assassin bug (Amulius sp., family Reduviidae) that was wrapping latex around its front legs. As we watched the female over the next couple of weeks we saw it using its sticky front legs to catch termites, duel with a male, and dab it on her rear to facilitate some sort of mating. An amazing variety of tool use by an insect!

Assassin bug with latex-covered front legs.

We followed a female orangutan and her young baby each day, the youngster was old enough to explore by itself and was fun to watch messing around (and probably learning a lot too) in the trees.

Eat everything.

Edens: Untamed Planet is out on BBC America now.