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Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 2:56 pm
by lanceolatus
Hi everybody,

I've been to Costa Rica for two weeks in May 2015. Here comes the acceptable pics I've brought back with me.
I'm not a pro, some pictures aren't that good, I don't have big lens and so on, and above all, at certain moment, humidity damaged mystuff !
But hell, I'm very happy with what I've seen !

After a night in San José, I've made a quick walk in the city to saw that squirell :

Sciurus variegatorus

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But clearly we weren't here for the urban side of the Country. We went to the south, in Orotina where we met our first reptile, in a not so glamour biotope.

Hemidactylus frenatus

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The first amphibian was not found in the tropical forest as expected. After I woke up I saw that big toad drowning in a little pool nearby.

Rhinella marina

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He's better now. Those one can reach some veryacceptable size.

After a quick breakfast we went to the Carara park. On the road we've met some cool guys.

Iguana iguana

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Ctenosaura similis

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In the rio, some big crocs :

Crocodylus acutus

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Meanwhile...

Ara macao

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A few kilometers away, Parc Carara.

Ctenosaura similis

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Anolis biporcatus

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Ameiva leptophrys

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Anolis oxylophus

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Dendrobates auratus, Pacific locality.

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Craugastor fitzingeri

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Basiliscus basiliscus

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An Agouti, Dasyprocta punctata.

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Cebus capucinus

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Some pictures of the biotope:

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Ctenosaura similis juvenile

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Diclidurus albus

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A coati hanging around with a Ctenausara , "What’s up bro ? "

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Nasua narica

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Ara macao

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We briefly saw a Puma too, but it was too fast to take a picture.

The day fater we went to the Cangreja park, a very young, thus not overcrowded, park. Some pictures on the road.

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Unfortunately we were here just for the morning, but we've met some great species.

Ameiva leptophrys, again.

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Dendrobates auratus

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The only two pictures we were able to take of this Gymnophtalmus speciosus, a 4 cm lizard, adult size.

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Several specimens of Bufo sp. (It looks a lot like juvenile Bufo valliceps, but that species only live in the north of the Country, so if anyone have an idea…) :

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Rhaebo haematiticus

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Lythobates warszewitschii

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A good sight of the park :

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The day after we took the road to tortuguero. The arrival in the Limon was beautiful. The weather was really different with a lot more rain. Also the vegetation took on a new level.

Tortuguero is a village on the Carribean sea rim only reachable by boat. 1h30 of boat on the rivers in the tropcial forest.

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At our arrival we went for a small walk in the village and we found on the football field near the beach that small sleeping Agalychnis callidryas :

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After a talk with our host, he told us about a path to enter the park for free. We went there, knowing we would enter the park again the day after, and officialy this time

Some interesting species but still no snakes...

Incilius aucoinae

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Corythophanes cristatus

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Anolis sp.

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Biotope :

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The evening we were supposed to do a night tour, but the heavy rain and thunder make oour guide quite worried and he decided to cancel the tour for this night. No problem. I took some rest in my bed and when the rain was decreasing I took a short walk alone around the village.

Amphibian solidarity, with Leptodactylus savageii & Rhinella marina :

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Leptodactylus savageii, female.

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This is the biggest frog of the Country and it sometimes eat small mammals according to a local guy.

The nex day we visited the park "officialy" but the rain was so strong that every path wereflooded. We saw nothing except some spiders and some Anolis sp. sleeping under big leafs.

The park itself is too expansive for what it is I think, and you can find some cool places around the village.

The afternoon we've been on a canoe tour on the numerous rivers and channels, a few kilometers away from the border of Nicaragua.
It's raining again but I don't care, as the beauty of nature spread before me...

Here again we've seen beautiful animals.

Caiman crocodylus

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Iguana iguana, quite far…

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At this moment, my camera was temporary damaged by too much humidity, that could explain the following bad pics.

Basiliscus plumifrons male, very far.

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The female on the same tree just above him :

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An other male Basiliscus plumifrons :

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P*ss off, human !

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Cochlearius cochlearius

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Back at the hostel

Ramphastos sulfuratus

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But hell, still no snake !

At 19:00 It is still raining, but we decide to take a walk in the night.

Leptodactylus savageii

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Agalychnis callidryas

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We saw 5 or 6 specimens, male and female, climbing like monkeys...

But again, humidity affect my cam, and obviously that's exactly when we saw the first snake of our trip... Yeah I know, bad excuse.

8 meters highand & sleeping...

Oxybelis fulgidus, approx 180 cm.

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Leptophis depressirostris

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A sleeping Anolis

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We also saw a big tatoo crossing the path.

The next morning, just before we left I went on the same path to see if the Oxybelis fulgidus was still here, and that was the case.

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Next step, Siquirres, more in the south of Limon, and the Guayacan forest:

We're heading to the C.R.A.R.C, Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center to meet Brian Kubicki. An American living here since 18 years to stuy amphibians
We arrived at night at 18:30, and it's already very active. A film crew is here to shot a documentary that will be broadcasted in October or November.

Brian being busy with the film crew, we will do our first excursion with his wife and his neighbour, they know the field, the animals and the flora very well.

Agalychnis spurrelli

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Dendropsophus ebraccatus

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A strange insect :

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I forget the name of this toad

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Scinax elaeochrous amplexus

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Leptodeira septentrionalis

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Craugastor crassidigitus

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Agalychnis lemur

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Along some little streams we've found our first glass frog.

Teratohyla spinosa

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Craugastor crassidigitus

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Finally Brian joined us and immediately saw anImantodes innornatus 20 meters away.

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Oophaga pumilio.

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Lythobathes warszewitschii

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Agalychnis callidryas eggs

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Back at the lodge, nice place just in front of the forest.

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The next morning Brian accept to make us a visit of his lab.

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Ventral view of an other glass frog.

Cochranella euknemos

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Salamander's room :

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One of his Oophaga granulifera.

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We went to Siquirres for some gas and found a sloth crossing the road .
That was the 3 finger species, Bradypus tridactylus.

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Around the lodge to see some diurnal species

Oophaga pumilio

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Allobates talamancae

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Dendrobates auratus, Caribbean locality

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Anolis sp.

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I was quite impatient to do a new and more in depth night walk with Brian and I wasn't disapointed. 5 hours walk to enjoy the nocturnal lofe of the Guayacan reserve.

Diasphorous diastema

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Agalychnis spurrelli &Agalychnis callidryas's eggs

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Amblypygi :

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Agalychnis lemur's eggs

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Agalychnis lemur

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We were searching for a very interesting frog, that belonged to the Agalychnis genus before, but that is quite different at the end. Finally we found it and this specime jumped on me from a few meters high in the tree.

Cruziohyla calcarifer

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Corytophanes cristatus

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Duellmanohyla rufioculis

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Hyalanobatrachium valerioi

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Hyalanobatrachium fleishmanni

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Under the apparent nocturnal calm of the forest, there is a war.

Sachatamia albomaculata, males fight.

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Pristimantis cerasinus

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An unknown spider

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Hyloscirtus cerasinus

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Imantodes cenchoa

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Teratohyla spinosa.

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Imantodes cenchoa.

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Corallus anulatus

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Agalychnis lemur

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Next step La selva biological station in Heredia.

Lprimary forest are abundant here, though we didn't find that much animals.

Basiliscus vittatus

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Agalychnis callidryas

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Ectophylla alba

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Ameiva festiva

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Gonotades albogularis

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But above all

A big Spilotes pullatus, almost 3 meters:

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A big Tayra (Eira barbara) crossed the path right before me, but again it was too fast for me.
I don't put the pictures of the numerous Oophaga pumilio & Anolis that we met every 5 meters.

Biotope.

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A big and probably old Iguana iguana. Despite the fact it's a very common animal, I'm still impressed by this Dino face.

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Now the last step of our travel : Monteverde

Right in the front of our hostel, the other sloth living in Costa Rica:

Choloepus didactylus

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They were present during the whole trip, but it's just now I take the time to take some picture of those amazing creatures.

Colibri thalassinus

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Heliodoxa jacula

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Campylopterus hemileucurus

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Lampornis calolaemus

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The afternoon was dedicated to the visit of the incredible cloud forest. Very few animals here, but the plants are impressiv

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Moss, epiphyte and bromeliads everywhere. I've never seen so much vegetation on vegetation.

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Mr Sloth still doing nothing.

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First nocturnal walk.

Megaphobema mesomelas

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???? If someone can identify those...

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1450 meters high, approx 15/16°C.

Bothiechis lateralis. Sorry for the bad pics.

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Dynastes hercules septentrionalis, the biggest beatle in the world

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Bothriechis lateralis, specimen 2, quite far.

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Bothriechis lateralis, specimen 3.

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Bothriechis lateralis, specimen 4.

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The day after we went to the Santa helena cloud forest. and bam : Bothriechis lateralis specimen 5.

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Some pics of the forest

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It's almost the end of our travel, so I decide to do a last night tour, a short one because I'm tired as hell.

Bothriechis schlegelii

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I've also met some Craugastor crassidigitus, some glass frogs and a small Duellmanohyla rufioculis, some other sloth, sleeping toucans, an oppossum…

And the very last reptile of our trip

Bothriechis lateralis, specimen 6.

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Hope you enjoyed that report and if you have questions, just ask !

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 6:01 pm
by Berkeley Boone
That's a nice variety of critters!

I'm no arachnologist, but perhaps the unknown spider is a juvenile curly hair tarantula, Brachypelma albopilosum?

--Berkeley

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 9th, 2015, 7:37 pm
by John Martin
Wow, thanks for taking me on that trip! I enjoyed all of it: the birds, mammals, plants, invertebrates, amphibs and reptiles. And your photography is just fine! I'd say you had a successful journey :thumb: . From where did you travel? Just curious/nosy ;) .

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 10th, 2015, 12:08 am
by lanceolatus
I come from France Mr nosy ;) Thanks for your comment ! That was indeed a marvelous trip.
Berkeley thanks for the information. I'll go on that way for a few research.

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 10th, 2015, 5:32 pm
by NACairns
Great post and narrative, no wonder you were tired by the end, that was quite the trip. The diversity you got especially for frogs is outstanding. Lots of great shots as well, I'm especially partial to the leaping basilisk. Seems like a dream trip. Thanks for posting.
Nick

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 11th, 2015, 7:46 pm
by LouB747
Great post.

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 12th, 2015, 1:57 am
by lanceolatus
Thanks to you guys, yes, the amphibian diversity was awesome, and it's definitely one of the best country for such encounters. And I have not take the time to seacrh for newt and salamanders !

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 12th, 2015, 9:13 am
by AndyKraemer
Great finds! Let me echo everyone else here - the diversity you saw on your trip is astounding!

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 13th, 2015, 11:12 am
by shanicy
Awesome pictures!
Brings good memories from this amazing country.

Did u found the Bothriechis lateralis at the area of Monte verde and Sante elena by yourself?
I didnt found any good spot to self walk at that area. Only guided tour that was suck.

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 14th, 2015, 1:30 am
by Jeroen Speybroeck
Man, I need to go there... Thanks for posting!

( You might also be interested in this recent species-rich trip report by a Dutch friend of mine.
http://gjv-natureview.jimdo.com/trip-re ... mmer-2015/ )

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 15th, 2015, 12:59 am
by lanceolatus
@ Shanicy : A lot were found by the local guides. In fact it's very difficult to have access to "free" forest in that area. Everything is made for tourism and there is almost no wild trails. But I've managed to find one or two by myself. :) I remember an afternoon where I tried to find wild path... I ended up walking in some private property very quickly.

@ Jeroen : Yes ! I recently saw that report ! He went to the CRARC as well and found more snake than me !!!

Again, thank you al for the comments. That is a real pleasure to share with you my first big trip outside of Europe. That's where I learned to make not-disgusting pictures, that's where I learned to move in tropical foirest, that's where I learned how to search animals, and so on. And puting my ego aside, every pictures of beautiful nature should be shared.

Too bad I wasn't able to find Bothrops asper and Lachesis sp. Those snakes passionate me at the highest point.

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 20th, 2015, 8:58 am
by will lattea
wow... the lateralis are really awesome - way cooler than seeing a Bothrops in my opinion! Your first toad looks like a young melanochlorus and your frog pair look like crassidigitus to me.

:beer:

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 21st, 2015, 2:29 pm
by lanceolatus
Thank you Will. Yes, that's definitely some crassidigitus again. Well, Bothrops is one of my favourite genus so...
Maybe the next time ! We've already planned to go back there in order to visit other places like Corcovado, Guanacaste, etc.
And this time we'll try the dry season, or what they call summer ;)

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 26th, 2015, 10:25 am
by lanceolatus
will lattea wrote:wow... the lateralis are really awesome - way cooler than seeing a Bothrops in my opinion! Your first toad looks like a young melanochlorus and your frog pair look like crassidigitus to me.

:beer:
Will, that's not Incilius melanochlorus. Those toads were found in the south and that specie lives in the north.

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: October 26th, 2015, 12:56 pm
by will lattea
Wups... I had photos from Osa mislabeled. I. aucoinae perhaps?

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: December 24th, 2015, 5:28 am
by Daniel.Iversen
i really love those photos !! wow!

one question: did you see some Lampropeltis triangulum hondurensis or were you outside the areal of this specie ?

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: December 26th, 2015, 8:32 pm
by jason folt
Great report! In the last pic of B. lateralis "specimen 6" aren't there two specimens?

Jason

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: January 15th, 2016, 8:58 am
by lanceolatus
Daniel : No, unfortunately (almost) all species I've seen are in this topic. I surely have been where they are but haven't seen one. Actually when I was in orotina, the guy who own the place I slept showed me a piture on his cell phone of a dead one that he found the day before. A quite big specimen ! Thanks for the comment by the way !

Jason : Thank you ! No, there is only one specimen of lateralis on this picture.

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: January 15th, 2016, 9:07 am
by lanceolatus
Oh no sorry, I mixed up with an other Lampropeltis... L.t.hondurensis lives in the north of the country right ? Then no, I haven't been there.

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: January 29th, 2016, 1:18 pm
by Jon Wedow
I also count 2 snakes in your last photo ...

Amazing trip! Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed all the B. lateralis shots :)

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: June 2nd, 2016, 2:03 am
by lanceolatus
Oh "insert profanity here" yes ! I haven't noticed that !!!! Thanks to the both of you !

Re: Costa Rica, May 2015

Posted: July 7th, 2016, 6:17 pm
by AZherper
Awesome stuff, love both Bothriechis, the Corytophanes, and Spilotes. And damn, some of those anurans are sweet. Great report, looks like you killed it down there.