April Costa Rica trip

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Kfen
Posts: 421
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:51 am
Location: CT

April Costa Rica trip

Post by Kfen »

In the middle of April I went on a short trip to Costa Rica with my family. We stayed in the La Fortuna area for 4 days. Here are some cell phone photos from the trip.

One day was spent rafting down a slow river looking for wildlife. There were lots of green iguanas perched both high and low on branches along the river.

Image20240417_090352 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Iguana iguana

One of the highlights was seeing this big male green basilisk. I had seen green basilisks on previous trips, but never an adult male. They have to be one of the coolest lizards

Image20240417_091008 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Basiliscus plumifrons

We also saw a few younger ones

Image20240417_095018(0) by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Basiliscus plumifrons

Overall the rafting trip was really fun. Got to see some cool mammals and birds too. The last herp seen there was an American crocodile, but I didn’t get a good photo.

We did two hikes during the trip, one around Arenal volcano, and one at the hanging bridges in the area. Both produced a couple herps.
These whiptails were seen pretty much everywhere throughout the trip.

Image20240416_105144 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Holcosus festivus

One of the herp highlights of the trip was an anole that I didn’t even know existed. There was a troop of spider monkeys crashing around that everyone was interested in, but then I saw this anole high up on a trunk. I spent my time admiring the lizard while everyone watched the monkeys. I was so impressed with how big it was. This photo was taken with my phone through a spotting scope.

Image20240417_171058 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Anolis insignis

I only saw 2 snakes on the trip, but the first was a species I had wanted to see for a long time. It was found crossing the trail. Unfortunately it would not sit still, so I only got some in hand shots.
Image20240416_123955 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Image20240416_103932 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Phrynonax poecilonotus
There were 2 criteria when I was picking the lodge for this trip, a pool for my kids, and it needed to have its own trails. That way I could easily go for a quick walk if given the opportunity day or night. The rest of the herps are from the hotel grounds.
The spotting scope came in handy for this striped basilisk

Image20240419_112759 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Basiliscus vittatus

I spent quite a bit of time stalking, sneaking up on, and trying to get some good photos through the scope of some black wood turtles. Here is one

Image20240419_113832 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr

However, it turned out I could just walk right up to within 20 feet of them and they didn’t care. They were along a trail that gets walked every day during a guided tour. I guess they are used to people. Unaided cell phone shots:

Image20240419_113921 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Image20240419_113912 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Rhinclemmys funerea

This gecko greeted us at our room

Image20240416_095244 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Pretty sure it’s the native Thecadactylus rapicauda

I saw a few of these anoles hopping around

Image20240416_164713 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Anolis limifrons

I was able to get out 2 nights for only about 30 -45 minutes each. I didn’t have to go far to find this coffee snake. Despite having been to Costa Rica 3 times prior, this was the first time I have seen this supposedly common snake.
Image20240417_225944 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Image20240417_230023 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Ninia sebae

That was the only snake I saw on the grounds, but was able to stir up some frogs.

Image20240418_213309 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Rana vaillanti

Image20240417_232105 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Leptodactylus fragilis

Image20240417_232033 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Leptodactylus savagei

I wish I got to see an adult of these toads, but I had to settle for a couple juveniles.

Image20240418_211923 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Image20240417_232338 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Rhaebo haematiticus

Because it was the very end of the dry season, we didn’t see a drop of rain the entire time, I wasn’t expecting any treefrogs. So I was surprised to see this perched kind of low in the middle of the forest. At first I thought it was a red eyed tree frog, but on closer inspection I was even more surprised and thrilled to see it was another species I had never seen before.

Image20240416_223832 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Agalychnis saltator

One other tree frog species made an appearance

Image20240418_214453 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Smilisca baudinii

In total I saw 20 species of herps, many of which were lifers for me. Even at the end of the dry season, with limited actual herping time, Costa Rica once again did not disappoint. Ill leave you with a few mammals.

Image20240419_100850 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr

Image20240417_172305 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr

Image20240417_193135 by Kevin Pollack, on Flickr
Gekkotan
Posts: 28
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:18 am

Re: April Costa Rica trip

Post by Gekkotan »

Nice! The gecko is actually Lepidodactylus lugubris
Kfen
Posts: 421
Joined: June 17th, 2010, 5:51 am
Location: CT

Re: April Costa Rica trip

Post by Kfen »

Gekkotan wrote: May 22nd, 2024, 2:45 am Nice! The gecko is actually Lepidodactylus lugubris
Thanks, I think you are right but are you positive? I was going back and forth between the two. The 2019 Leenders guide doesnt have them ranging anywhere near there which was one reason I skewed toward Thecadactylus. But I just checked Inat and they are all over La Fortuna.
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Jefferson
Posts: 187
Joined: March 2nd, 2014, 6:50 am
Location: Southwest Missouri

Re: April Costa Rica trip

Post by Jefferson »

Nice stuff! That coffee snake is nice, and I am glad you got it after several attempts. Apt name for a Central American species....
Gekkotan
Posts: 28
Joined: May 6th, 2011, 6:18 am

Re: April Costa Rica trip

Post by Gekkotan »

Yeah, I am pretty sure.
Kfen wrote: May 22nd, 2024, 6:37 am
Gekkotan wrote: May 22nd, 2024, 2:45 am Nice! The gecko is actually Lepidodactylus lugubris
Thanks, I think you are right but are you positive? I was going back and forth between the two. The 2019 Leenders guide doesnt have them ranging anywhere near there which was one reason I skewed toward Thecadactylus. But I just checked Inat and they are all over La Fortuna.
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