10 Animals to witness at The Machan in Lonavala

All around the Western Ghats, you can find fascinating animals, some unique to the area. With a huge amount of biodiversity, few resorts in Lonavala are blessed with the presence of some beautiful creatures like the famous Malabar Giant Squirrel. Be sure to look for these beauties on your next trip to The Machan.

Bullfrog

Bullfrog at The Machan
Bullfrog at The Machan

These large amphibians are well known for their deep croaks and immense strength. Capable of hunting even snakes, bullfrogs are a ferocious critter. However they can hurt humans and will in fact keep pest populations like flies and mosquitoes down. You go frog!

Fruit Bat

Fruit bat hanging off a branch at The Machan
Fruit bat taking a nap at The Machan

Seen here sleeping peacefully, fruit bats can be adorable. As their name suggests, they are unsurprisingly frugivores, meaning most of their diet consists of fruits. They act as pollinators and seed dispersers of the fruits they eat and are considered essential for an ecosystem. They also help keep pests away from spoiling fruits.

Indian Pond Heron

Indian Pond Heron enjoying a meal at The Machan
Indian Pond Heron enjoying a meal at The Machan

While you may think the Indian Pond Heron is unexciting upon first glance, it’s when they spread their wings to fly that we can see their brilliant white wings that make them very distinctive. They may also develop reddish plumage and legs during the breeding season, which furthers their beautiful appearance.

Purple Sunbird

Purple Sunbird at the Machan perches on a flower for its next meal
Purple Sunbird at The Machan perching on a flower

Purple Sunbirds can appear to be black under harsh sunlight but closer inspection will reveal their iridescent purple hues. These small birds are fast fliers and can feed on nectar by hovering like a hummingbird, though they usually prefer to perch on the base of the flower like in the photo.

Jewel Bug

Jewel Bug sits on a leaf in the dark at The Machan
Jewel Bug glowing in the dark of the night at The Machan

Jewel bug are easily recognisable for their brilliant coloration in shades of green, blue and yellow. They are also known as metallic shield bugs or shield-backed bugs because of their hard outer shell which glows like metal in good lighting.

Malabar Giant Squirrel

A large Malabar Giant Squirrel maneuvers its way on a branch
A chunky Malabar Giant Squirrel maneuvers its way across a branch at The Machan

Being one of the largest squirrels in the world reaching lengths of almost 3 feet from head to tail, the Malabar Giant Squirrel or Indian Giant Squirrel is quite a chunky sight. Sticking to the trees for most of their life; their diet primarily consists of fruits, flowers and nuts. You can often catch a glimpse of them jumping across trees in the early hours of the morning when they are most active.

Bronze Grass Skink

Skink basking in the evening at the Machan
Skink basks in the final rays of sunlight at The Machan

Bronze grass skinks are common, but shy, ground-dwelling reptile that is active both day and night. Like other skinks, the bronze grass skink feeds on insects and other invertebrates. Their scales which can be bronze, brown or olives gives them a shiny look in the sun.

Mantids

a brown mantis blends in with its surroundings using its camouflage at the Machan
A mantid expertly camouflaging itself at the Machan

You’re probably already familiar with nature’s tiny martial artist, the praying mantis. They are mostly ambush predators, using their highly adapted forelegs to catch their prey. Most of the time mantids camouflage themselves amongst foliage to avoid predators and stalk prey, making them hard to spot unless you’re looking for them.

Lantern Bug

A lantern bug lounges on the trunk of a tree at the Machan.
A multicolored Lantern Bug lounging around at The Machan

Lantern bugs are mostly of moderate size and often have brilliant and varied coloration. They can be quite the sight during the nights where they seek light sources.

Leafhopper

A leafhopper poses for the camera on a branch at the Machan.
An adorable leafhopper smiling for the camera caught at the Machan

Leafhoppers are a common name for species from the Cicadellidae family. They are plant feeders that survive on the sap of grass, trees and shrubs. The leafhoppers undergo direct development from nymph to adult without a pupal stage. While many leafhoppers are nothing spectacular, adults and nymphs of some species are quite colourful.

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