Costa Rica June 2014

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MattSullivan
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Costa Rica June 2014

Post by MattSullivan » October 11th, 2014, 10:19 am

Finally this summer got to take a dream trip. Spent 5 nights in Costa Rica and it was incredible. 51 species found between 2 locations and all except for 3 were lifers. Unfortunately it was impossible to get shots of everything between the abundance of animals and the torrential downpours we inevitably got caught in. But I got to see most of my top targets and came home with some photos I'm really happy with. We spent 90% of our time at Brian Kubicki's Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center. If you don't know about it, you should because his property is amazing. The only time we ventured off his reserve was to head to a certain national park for a certain bright yellow snake. Definitely want to travel around more next time i'm there

Costa Rica's posterchild amphibian. These guys breed in the small ponds right outside the guest house and its cool going to sleep listening to them
ImageRed Eyed Treefrog- Agalychnis callidryas by MattSullivan

ImageRed Eyed Treefrog- Agalychnis callidryas by MattSullivan

Hourglass Treefrogs were pretty common at some of the small ponds throughout the preserve yet I found it damn near impossible to get shots of them. This is the only shot I managed
ImageHourglass Treefrog- Dendropsophus ebraccatus by MattSullivan

Got to see 5 different glass frog species. I missed my main glass frog goal but I can hardly complain
ImageSpotted Glass Frog- Teratohyla pulverata by MattSullivan

Reticulated Glass Frog. These thumbnail sized frogs are incredibly beautiful and delicate
ImageReticulated Glass Frog- Hyalinobatrachium valerioi by MattSullivan

ImageReticulated Glass Frog- Hyalinobatrachium valerioi by MattSullivan


Bolitoglossa colonnea. It was pretty trippy shining my light at a leaf at eye level one night and having a salamander staring back at me
ImageBolitoglossa colonnea by MattSullivan


Bolitoglossa striatula. Then it was even trippier seeing a 7 inch salamander at eye level...
ImageBolitoglossa striatula by MattSullivan

Fer de Lance. Supposedly really common, we only saw two. this little 12 inch juvie and then a 5'+ beast crossing the trail
ImageFer de Lance- Bothrops asper by MattSullivan

Found this same tree snake 3 nights in a row hunting the same little section of pond. I was hoping to witness a feeding but no luck
ImagePlain Tree Snake- Imantodes inornatus by MattSullivan

Gliding Leaf Frog. Enormous treefrogs
ImageGliding Leaf Frog- Agalychnis spurrelli by MattSullivan

Red Eyed Stream Frog. Felt extremely privileged to see this critically endangered frog as they are rapidly disappearing throughout their range
ImageRed Eyed Stream Frog- Duellmanohyla rufioculis by MattSullivan

Ghost Glass Frog. Absolutely amazing eyes
ImageGhost Glass Frog- Sachatamia ilex by MattSullivan

My #2 target for the trip was a golden eyelash viper

First individual...Nope...not gold
ImageEyelash Viper- Bothriechis schlegelii by MattSullivan

Second individual...Nope...not gold
ImageEyelash Viper- Bothriechis schlegelii by MattSullivan

3rd individual...There it is :) a whole 8 inches of yellow fury
ImageGolden Eyelash Viper- Bothriechis schlegelii by MattSullivan

ImageGolden Eyelash Viper- Bothriechis schlegelii by MattSullivan

Then a snake I never thought I'd see. I was chasing a skink and it ran over the top of a big leaf. Sticking out from underneath that leaf a small bit of coil was visible. I took a step back and used my hook to remove the leaf, revealing this gorgeous Jumping Pit Viper. This was my one find of the trip that Brian seemed genuinely impressed with haha guess he doesn't see too many
ImageJumping Pit Viper-Atropoides mexicanus by MattSullivan

Here, enjoy a close up of Hell's latest escapee
ImageWhip Scorpion by MattSullivan

Lemur Leaf Frog. Another top target and a frog I feel I'm very lucky to have seen several of since they are basically nonexistent from much of their range now and the CRARC is one of the last strongholds for them thanks to Brian's in situ breeding projects
ImageLemur Leaf Frog- Agalychnis lemur by MattSullivan

My number 1 target for the trip was a frog that has been special to me ever since i got interested in frogs when i was just a few years old, and the whole point of this trip and the reason I picked the CRARC was because it gave me the best chance to see one in the wild. We actually managed to find one the second night, but a violent downpour was drenching us and trees and huge branches were falling all around us and common sense won out and we left the frog and sought shelter back at the guest house. Id gotten to see my favorite frog on earth and I didn't have a single photo. So the last night Brian took us to a spot on the reserve he says he sees them 90% of the time. 3 hours...no luck. Lots of other cool things but not what we were looking for. We had to head back so i basically begged Brian to take us to where we'd found the individual the first night just in case he was still hanging around (and the weather was cooperating). Brian said sure despite the fact we could all barely keep our eyes open. So add another hour onto the hike. We got to the spot and there, in the same exact spot he was the other night is a stunning Splendid Leaf Frog. It was a surreal moment for me to be staring at a creature that for me had only existed in OTHER people's pictures. Now i had the opportunity to shoot one myself and it's an experience i'll remember forever

ImageSplendid Leaf Frog- Cruziohyla calcarifer by MattSullivan

And my favorite shot of the trip, and nobody will change my mind on it :D
ImageSplendid Leaf Frog- Cruziohyla calcarifer by MattSullivan

Thanks for looking

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The Real Snake Man
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by The Real Snake Man » October 11th, 2014, 2:18 pm

WOW. Costa Rica is so awesome. Thanks for sharing, and your photography style is impeccable.

-Gene

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chrish
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by chrish » October 12th, 2014, 9:31 am

Beautiful post.

I was in CR in August (post coming one day) and wanted to make the trip to the CRAC but couldn't. If I go back to CR, it will certainly be high on my list.

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MattSullivan
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by MattSullivan » October 12th, 2014, 4:12 pm

thanks guys. @Chris, you definitely have to hit Brian's place next time you're there. Flat out awesome

Kfen
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by Kfen » October 12th, 2014, 4:30 pm

Your photography is spectacular. It helps that I am a big frog lover and you saw some incredible species. I have thought about going to the CRAC before. Can you walk around by yourself, or do you always have to have a guide with you? I have also heard that Brian kills snakes, is there any truth to that? Thanks for putting this post together.

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MattSullivan
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by MattSullivan » October 12th, 2014, 5:48 pm

Kfen wrote:Your photography is spectacular. It helps that I am a big frog lover and you saw some incredible species. I have thought about going to the CRAC before. Can you walk around by yourself, or do you always have to have a guide with you? I have also heard that Brian kills snakes, is there any truth to that? Thanks for putting this post together.
thanks! really only missed two frogs i had hoped to see. granulated glass frog and crowned tree frog. Definitely go to the CRARC if you have the chance, for a frog lover it shouldn't be missed. Brian let us walk around by ourselves (during the day), but I'm not sure how regularly he allows that. But trust me, you'll see a thousand times more if he is with you. we did well on our own but nothing compared to when he is guiding you. I highly doubt he kills snakes. He genuinely liked the jumping pit viper. he definitely doesn't like fer de lance and is wary around them, but he was doing his best to find snakes for us while we were there

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Rothdigga
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by Rothdigga » October 13th, 2014, 8:16 am

Great stuff Matt. That jumping pit viper is an awesome find. I'm sure you were so stoked to move that leaf and see that bad boy. Great photos as always.

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Carl Brune
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by Carl Brune » October 13th, 2014, 3:54 pm

Nice post. We visited Costa Rica in late June, I believe just after you did. This included one night at CRARC. Great experience, everywhere we went. I really enjoyed your post. Awesome that you got to see Jumping Pit Viper. I'm still going thru my pics, I need to get back on that...

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orionmystery
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by orionmystery » October 14th, 2014, 12:13 am

Wow...love the Golden Eyelash viper and those colorful frogs!

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MattSullivan
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by MattSullivan » October 14th, 2014, 8:17 am

thanks x3. @Carl, yeah you guys went to CRARC the day after i left i think. I didn't get to do as much traveling as you guys, hopefully next time. am looking forward to your shots from the trip

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AndyO'Connor
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by AndyO'Connor » October 14th, 2014, 10:59 am

Looks like an awesome trip. I really want to get to Costa Rica soon, probably not next year, but 2016. There, or Peru. Cruziohyla would be my top target as well.

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chrish
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by chrish » October 14th, 2014, 7:13 pm

Matt,

Any chance you plan on putting these photos/records in Herpmapper.org?
We need more data from Costa Rica (and everywhere else!).
For some reason people aren't bothering to put their data in there and the more data it gets, the more valuable it becomes. If you haven't checked it out, please do.

You can bulk upload all your photos and the program will extract the dates and even GPS data from the EXIF (if it is there). All you have to do is confirm it is right and add the taxon and its there!

Chris

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MattSullivan
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by MattSullivan » October 15th, 2014, 5:47 am

chrish wrote:Matt,

Any chance you plan on putting these photos/records in Herpmapper.org?
We need more data from Costa Rica (and everywhere else!).
For some reason people aren't bothering to put their data in there and the more data it gets, the more valuable it becomes. If you haven't checked it out, please do.

You can bulk upload all your photos and the program will extract the dates and even GPS data from the EXIF (if it is there). All you have to do is confirm it is right and add the taxon and its there!

Chris

Ive never even heard of herpmapper, but i will definitely check it out, thanks man

JamesM
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Re: Costa Rica June 2014

Post by JamesM » December 9th, 2014, 12:41 pm

Fantastic!

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