Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

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Mike Pingleton
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Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Mike Pingleton »

The herping season is almost upon me so I need to wrap up Peru in a couple mega-posts. I want to share as much as I can but there’s no way I can cover everything :)

I took 3200-plus pictures and I regret not taking more, especially frog pix. One of the more visually stunning frogs for me was the Map Treefrog (Hyla geographica):
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Here’s a geographica up in the canopy at night:
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Other hylids included this Convict Frog (Hyla calcarifer), which unfortunately didn’t open its eyes for me:
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Note the pointy calcars on the hind leg joints.

The extra-large Gladiator Treefrog (Hyla boans):
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Marbled Treefrog (Hyla marmorata). This particular specimen hung out around our shower shack:
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Another large frog that we saw in quantities was the Rocket Treefrog (Hyla lanciformis):
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Here is another color variety of the Variable Clown Treefrog (Hyla triangulum)
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A smaller species, the Least Treefrog (Hyla minuta):
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One of our target frogs was the Amazon Milk Frog, Trachycephalus (Phrynohyas) resinofictrix. On our night hikes we could hear them calling up in the canopy – ‘wuuurk, wuuurk, wuuurk’. These frogs are cavity breeders, hiding out in hollow trees and stumps, and one night I spotted a likely candidate next to the trail - a dead tree with a ‘stumphole’ at the top, about ten feet up. Dick knocked on the trunk with his snake tongs, and sure enough, a frog poked up out of the top:
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Awesome frog. Formal portrait of Trachycephalus resinofictrix:
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Another Milk Frog species – Trachycephalus venulosa:
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I also found myself enamored of the Bromeliad Frogs (Osteocephalus). Big frogs with big heads and big, grippy feet and toes. Here is one of the more ornate species, Osteocephalus fuscifacies:
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The Flat-headed Bromeliad Frog, Osteocephalus planiceps:
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The Osteos were often difficult to key out, and some are in a state of taxonomic flux (I took pills to avoid that). Here is Osteocephalus deridens:
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One of the largest Bromeliad Frogs, Osteocephalus taurinus:
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Plenty of other species were seen, including some rainforest icons. Here is a Harlequin Toad (Atelopus spumarius) sleeping on a leaf:
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A spumarius out and about during the day.
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Another Atelopus, in situ:
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An awesome Crested Toad (Bufo margaritifer complex) on the trail:
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There were plenty of little anurans around. Painted Forest Toadlet (Physalaemus petersi)
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A microhylid, Bassler’s Sheep Frog (Chiasmocleis bassleri)
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I have a hard time shooting those tiny dart frogs with my point-n-shoot – tough to get a focus lock on those dark eyes. Here’s a Dendrobates (Ranitomeya) uakari that came out reasonably well:
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A little larger species – Three-striped Poison Frog (Epipedobates (Ameerga) trivittatus):
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One night we piled into the skiff and motored to a small creek for some frogging. We searched among the hyacinth and water lettuce for several specific species of frogs:
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We found a number of Pigmy Hatchet-faced Frogs (Sphaenorhynchus carneus):
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Also on hand were Spotted Hatchet-faced Frogs (Sphaenorhynchus dorisae):
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And a lone Polkadot Treefrog (Hyla punctata punctata):
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We missed out on the Greater Hatchet-faced Frog (Sphaenorhynchus lacteus), but caught up with one later in the trip:
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A month later I still have dreams where I walk through the forest. Hiking through the forest one day:
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Doug Kranich and I at the base of the biggest ceiba tree in the surrounding forest:
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Did a little kayaking on the Rio Orosa:
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Imagine giving your six year old his own canoe and turning him loose on the river! In the US he wouldn’t be going out there without a life jacket, helmet, training wheels, sunscreen, GPS, medical alert bracelet, snack in case he gets hungry and a GameBoy for when he gets bored…
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Some cool crocodilians – Smooth-fronted Caiman (Paleosuchus trigonatus)
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Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus):
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We looked for Black Caiman without success, but here’s a skull that resides in the cookhouse:
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that's it for this post - I'll finish up the serpents, lizards and the et ceteras in the next. Thanks for looking!

-Mike

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Mike VanValen
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Mike VanValen »

Props to you for including the crocodilians. That niger skull is crazy!

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Steve Barten
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Steve Barten »

Once again, epic. Together with the first installment, one of the best trip reports ever. Do you ever get tired of the praise? :beer:
I want to share as much as I can but there’s no way I can cover everything
Man, you do have some serious problems -- problems we all wish we had every trip. :D
Can't get over the variety and numbers you saw. Hope you'll do a CHS talk on this trip.
Keep 'em coming. I'm really looking forward to the snakes.

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Casey Lazik
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Casey Lazik »

Hi Mike,

I thoroughly enjoyed this. Looks like a trip of a lifetime. The diversity in frogs alone is incredible. Your photos are stunning. Thank you for taking the time to put this together for us. I sincerely appreciate it.

Casey

Kfen
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Kfen »

Sick. Absolutely sick.

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BillMcGighan
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by BillMcGighan »

Bravo... Sensory overload (in a good way)....
,,, You may have demonstrated the best way to get a ventral pic with that Marbled Treefrog!!!!

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Antonsrkn
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Antonsrkn »

This is the time of year that I feel like I'm going crazy from cabin fever, fieldherping season is getting here but still far enough away (especially for reptiles) that I get a little down. During this time I rely on excellent posts like this to keep me sane. I really enjoyed all the frogs but the Paleosuchus takes the cake in my book. I'm curious how did you get ahold of the crocodilians for those photoshoots, just fished them out of the water? Waiting impatiently for part 3...

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Crazins
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Crazins »

Really great post, Mike! So many cute froggies!

-Marisa

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Dell Despain
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Dell Despain »

Sweet Mike, nice showing of Hyla. I've only been able to go over this quickly as I'm making dinner. But I'll return to check it out in full.
That is a giant M. niger skull, I thought I'd seen big Blacks before but that dude must have been an impressive specimen to behold. The skull alone is impressive.

later,

-Dell

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Mike Pingleton »

thanks for the comments, everyone. It's great to post this stuff when you have an appreciative audience!

Steve, I'd be happy to talk to the CHS again (speaking of appreciative audiences).

Anton, I didn't participate in capturing either of the caimans, but I don't believe they're any more difficult than grabbing small gators. The Smoothies might be easiest, since they're often found up in the shallow creeks.

Mike and Dell, I was really hoping for the Black Caiman - we made a difficult hike to a lake where they were present, but the lake was completely taken over with water lettuce and nothing could be seen. Here's another shot of the skull (along with my buddy Doug):
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The Paleosuchus are such primal-looking critters.
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-Mike

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justinm
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by justinm »

Mike,

The quality of your shots is amazing, you've really learned that camera. I don't think I can even appreciate the diversity and breadth of your trip. I can't wait to hear more of it in greater detail. I have a new place added to my list of "dreams".

millside
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by millside »

nice,
and don't stop now

MuayThaipan
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by MuayThaipan »

That niger skull is crazy!
HEY HEY now theres no need for such blatant raci.....Oh wait nevermind
(Isnt latin fun?)

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KevinS
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by KevinS »

Wow, very nice! I never knew Doug was such a globetrotting herper. I don't know him personally, but I bought my first cornsnake from him about 10 years ago. Anyway, that caiman skull is awesome, but I especially enjoyed the frogs.

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Mike Pingleton »

KevinS wrote:Wow, very nice! I never knew Doug was such a globetrotting herper. I don't know him personally, but I bought my first cornsnake from him about 10 years ago. Anyway, that caiman skull is awesome, but I especially enjoyed the frogs.
That was Doug's second trip to Peru. He's one cool dude.
-Mike

Paul White
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Paul White »

:shock:
that's one huge skull.
Love the map frog :D

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Melissa Coakley
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Melissa Coakley »

I think we were at the same ceiba tree, Mike! :beer:

Image

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Cole Grover
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Cole Grover »

Excellent, Mike! It would be hard to imagine a better Amazonian frog post. Thanks for sharing this with us. I see you've included the Ranitomeya epithet in this post, you Dendrobater you... :D Looking forward to Part 3.

-Cole

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Ross Padilla
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Ross Padilla »

Great shots, Mike. Looked like a lot of fun. :thumb:

RobK

Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by RobK »

Mike Pingleton wrote:Imagine giving your six year old his own canoe and turning him loose on the river! In the US he wouldn’t be going out there without a life jacket, helmet, training wheels, sunscreen, GPS, medical alert bracelet, snack in case he gets hungry and a GameBoy for when he gets bored…
So true! :lol: Bet they have some tough looking kids down there.

You've just raised the bar on your Hot Stove Herping posts.

Great stuff!

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Mike Pingleton »

thanks, guys!

Melissa, I think you're right! That tree was just massive!

Cole, don't I get bonus points for Ameerega? :D

Rob, the kids down there were great!

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-Mike

dickbartlett
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by dickbartlett »

As Justin indicated, Mike, you and that camera surely do have an understanding! Wonderful!

Melissa--there has been a goodly number of folks in the shade of that old cieba!

Cheers/Dick

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peterknuteberg
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by peterknuteberg »

Hope you'll do a CHS talk on this trip.
I second the motion.

Mike, the anurans are a sensory overload of diversity. How does that even happen? Great photos and good job on learning all those names. :beer:

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Ames
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Ames »

Wow!
muchas bonita amphibian. My spanish sucks, but I try. Those are sum goood. Good Frogs
looking forward to the final installment.
-Ames

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Mike Pingleton »

thanks, Dick, I appreciate that.

Peter, now that I've learned some names I'm ready to go back and find the stuff I missed.

Ames - ranitas y sapos, amigo.

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) »

How did I miss this the first time around? I think it's the first South American post where I actually looked at the frogs twice. Color me deeply impressed (by their cool names, too!) If I lived there, I wouldn't know what to feed my snakes.....those frogs are insanely spectacular!

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Carl Koch
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by Carl Koch »

You da man, Pingleton! Stunning photography, great report. Beyond epic. Sensory overload indeed. :crazyeyes:

Carl

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The Real Snake Man
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Re: Hot Stove Herping: Peruvian Interlude Part 2

Post by The Real Snake Man »

Great stuff. I especially love those first few frogs.

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