Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

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Kevin McRae
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Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Kevin McRae » July 30th, 2013, 8:13 am

Over the past two months I've had the pleasure of spending time in Panama for four weeks and immediately following herping Norway for two weeks. I apologize for the the vast amount of photos but with so many amazing herps it was hard to pick and choose these photos.

I'll start of with Panama. Most of the time was spent in the Bocas Del Toro region, although some trips were taken onto the mainland and the interior of the country. This was my first time visiting Central America and it definitely won't be my last. Biodiversity was extremely high and the locals were nothing but friendly. I went to Panama to take ITEC's Neotropical Herpetology course, loved every minute of it. It was a group effort finding all of the herps you'll see below.

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Amphibians

Leptodactylus pentadactylus - These frogs are gorgeous...and huge! I've always dreamed of seeing one of these frogs.

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Hyla colymba - Crazy looking colours and eyes.

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Hyla phlebodes - Were quite abundant following heavy rains.

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Hyla ebraccata

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Bufo hematiticus

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A glass frog - There was a huge down poor that last several hours, resulting in a fogged up DSLR.

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Bufo coniferus

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Rana vaillant

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Agalychnis callidryas were one of the most abundant frogs. Everyone loved red eyes!

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Craugastor spp.

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Diasporus diastema

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Bufo marinus

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Gymnopis multiplicata

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Everyone's favourite....including mine!

Oophaga pumilio

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Phyllobates lugubris

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Allobates talamancae

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Silverstonia flotater

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Dendrobates auratus - Poor photo, my camera did not enjoy the rain.

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Lizards

Ameiva festiva

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Ameiva quadrilineata

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Ameiva spp.

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Basiliscus basiliscus

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Basiliscus vittatus

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Basiliscus plumifrons

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Corytophanes cristatus

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Iguana iguana

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Lepidophyma flavimaculatum

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Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma

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Thecadactylus rapicauda - This guy was amazing....and huge! Wish I had taken better photos.

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Lepidodactylus lugubris

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Gonatodes albogularis

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Sphaerodactylus homolepis

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Norops pentaprion

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Norops lemurinus

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Norops tropidolepis

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Norops auratus

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Norops biporcatus

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Norops oxylophus

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Norops humilis

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Snakes

Pseustes poecilonotus

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Leptophis ahaetulla

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Mastigodryas melanolomus

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Leptodeira septentrionalis

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Geophis hoffmanni

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Boa constrictor imperator

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Imantodes cenchoa

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Sibon annulata

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Oxybelis aeneus

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Cerrophidion godmani

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Bothrops asper

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Turtles and Caiman

Caiman crocodilus

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Rhinoclemmys spp.

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Rhinoclemmys annulata

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Kinosternon leucostomum

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Other notable animals

Howler Monkey

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A few days after I returned to Canada I went to Stord, Norway for a couple days for my brother's wedding. Of course, herping was the first thing on my agenda. Not a lot of diversity but what they do have is several very interesting species.

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Anguis fragilis were very common.

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Bufo bufo

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Vipera berus - I was only able to photograph this melanistic individual. Very flighty and defensive snake, very hard to photograph. Very happy to find this snake.

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Once again I apologize for the large amount of photos, I hope you enjoyed them. I think I"ll stick to Canadian posts as they are a lot less painful to create, haha.

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Jon Wedow
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Jon Wedow » July 30th, 2013, 9:43 am

Looks like you had a great time in both places! Where on the mainland did you go in Panama?

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CCarille
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by CCarille » July 30th, 2013, 9:49 am

Fantastic post Kevin! Very jealous of the Panama trip! haha I've been trying to plan a trip there for the last 3 years for herping and scuba certification.

Absolutely loved it all and love the photo of the G. albogularis - a great photo of a common species!!

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Brian Folt
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Brian Folt » July 30th, 2013, 11:46 am

Cool photographs! What incredible diversity. I hope to one day photograph a caecilian also, and those pumilio morphs are remarkable as well.

I think your Norops humilis is actually N. lemurinus given the dewlap coloration. I believe your craugastorid frog pictured first (immediately following phlebodes) is Craugastor fitzingeri. Not sure about your glassfrog, but it may be Sachatamia ilex. Not sure about your "Craugastor spp.", but it reminds me of Craugastor steijnegerianus, and yours may be a species from that group.

I would like to hear more about this tropical herpetology course. Which group/school put on the course, and who were in the instructors?

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Martti Niskanen
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Martti Niskanen » July 30th, 2013, 11:48 am

Good stuff. I'd pick Panama for the herps and Norway for the views. Nice to see you got herps in Norway. But no Zootoca?

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Kevin McRae
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Kevin McRae » July 31st, 2013, 6:54 am

Thank you all for the kind words, it was a great trip.

Jon - I spent time a few days in Boquete, Panama City and a few days on the mainland of Bocas Del Toro. Have you spent time in the country?

CCarille - You should start planning your trip! You can do both in Bocas. It's inexpensive here, makes it an easy herping destination. I did some snorkeling on the reefs and was amazed by the biodiversity.

Brian - Thanks for the ideas on the Craugastor. I wish I had keyed them out in person as with photos it made it very difficult.
The course is with the Institute of Tropical Ecology and Conservation. They are based out of Gainesville, FL but run the Bocas Del Toro Biological Station on Isla Colon. They run several sessions each year but I believe only one herpetology course. The professor for the course is Peter Lahanas. I'd recommend this course to anyone interested in herps! http://www.itec-edu.org/index.html

Martti - I very much agree! No Zootoca, I know they lived on the mainland nearby but I did not see any on the island of Stord. No locals knew of any lizards and I couldn't find any publication that they live on the island.

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CCarille
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by CCarille » July 31st, 2013, 7:18 am

Kevin - Yeah, I have it all planned out... just running into a backstop every time I try to come up with the $.

Being down by Panama City, did you get into the Darien (supposed to be some great birding around here) at all and while you were in Boquete did you go to Volcan Baru (I'm curious as to how the areas were in both... diversity, etc)?

gretzkyrh4
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by gretzkyrh4 » July 31st, 2013, 11:18 am

Great Post, Kevin!

I've been spending at least a week a year in Panama for the past 7 years (not always for herping) and there are probably a dozen species in your post that would still be lifers for me. I especially enjoyed your pumilio shots though. I've seen them at a few spots on Bastimentos and on Cristobal, but have never had the chance to track them down at any other locality. Thanks for sharing.

Chris

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krisbell
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by krisbell » July 31st, 2013, 11:53 am

Great post, they are all fantastic animals but I am absolutely blown away by Gonatodes albogularis and Sphaerodactylus homolepis - never even knew they existed and now i HAVE to see them.

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Mike Pingleton
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Mike Pingleton » August 1st, 2013, 9:45 am

Fantastic!

-Mike

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Hans Breuer (twoton)
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » August 1st, 2013, 5:19 pm

Very nice, thanks a lot! Did you use a different camera in Norway?

AsydaBass
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by AsydaBass » August 1st, 2013, 8:33 pm

Hey there, I am also interested in hearing some details about the herpetology course down there. Were these species identified by the professor? Some of the species and groups in the Neotropics are certainly confusing, such as the Craugasor polyptychus you have pictured, but some of these identifications are quite off. Hyloscirtus colymba is an endangered species generally found in the premontane regions. The frog you have labeled as such is the common lowland species, Hypsiboas rufitelus.

A couple of other corrections that I remember seeing:
Your Hyla (Dendropsophus) phlebodes is Scinax elaeochrous
Your Leptodactylus pentadactylus is L. savagei
Your Silverstoneia flotator is another Allobates talamancae



I'm not saying this to be a jerk, but to remind you to double check your facts and take your time when identifying species you're not familiar with. You saw some really neat herps while down there; be sure to do them justice.

-Don
http://www.rainforestdon.com

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Kevin McRae
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Kevin McRae » August 2nd, 2013, 8:00 am

CCarille - We did spend some time in Volcan Baru. We did see quite a few herps in the park. Although the landscape was reason enough to go!

Chris - I couldn't get enough of the pumilio, Bastimentos is a special place.

Hans - Same camera was used. Much different conditions though.

Don - Thanks for the advice. Species mis-identifications definitely was a mistake by myself. Coming from a province of only twenty four species of herps makes it a great challenge when traveling somewhere with such diversity. Unfortunately some mistakes were as simple as mislabeling photos/inserting the wrong photo such as the Silverstoneia flotator. What are the differences between Leptodactylus pentadactylus and L. savagei? I used J. Savage's book for identifying most species however L. savagei is not present in the book.

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Terry
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by Terry » August 2nd, 2013, 4:15 pm

Your Phyllobates lugubris photo with the tadpoles on its back is very special. I was happy to see that. I also enjoyed the Vipera berus. How did you find it?

Terry

reptileexperts
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Re: Herping Panama and Norway - Photo warning

Post by reptileexperts » August 5th, 2013, 11:11 am

Great report, good numbers of herps can be found with the proper amount of people searching! Good upbeat for my upcoming trip back into Panama in one months time, spending most of my time in the El Valle area after a couple days in the Canal Zone.

Chris - The Canopy Lodge company is opening their project "Camp Darien" in January of this coming year. They have already done many trial runs and it has proven to be fantastic per communications with their advisors. When I was last in Panama in 2011, there was no access to the Darien (without some sort of guide at LEAST) for Americans. It was reportedly blocked off due to the strong amount of drug trafficking that occurs. But with Camp Darien open next year, many people will get to enjoy the endemics that the Darien has to offer. Panama is the favorite place I have visited thus far in my travels.

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