Costa Rica December 2015

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Stohlgren
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Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Stohlgren » January 23rd, 2016, 1:10 pm

Here are some images from a trip to Costa Rica back in December. We spent several day down in the Osa Peninsula and then a few more up in the Monteverde area. Photos are in somewhat chronological order, so the Osa is up first. (note that very few of these critters were actually spotted by me. A lot of them were found by my wife as well as other members of our group)

Leptodeira septentrionalis
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Hypsiboas rosenbergi
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Iguana iguana
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Dendrophidion percarinatum sleeping a few feet off the ground:
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Imantodes cenchoa
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Smilisca phaeota
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The Agalychnis callidryas here were considerable less colorful than I saw years ago on the Caribbean side. They were everywhere though.
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Bothrops asper in situ
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Leptodeira septentrionalis in situ.
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Dendropsophus ebraccatus
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Kinosternon leucostomum
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Corytophanes cristatus. I missed these on my first trip to Costa Rica in 2007 so I was very excited to see this guy. Actually one of my favorite animals from this trip.
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6’ Clelia clelia
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Corallus ruschenbergerii
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Centruroides limbatus
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Net-casting spider (Deinopis sp.) These things are pretty cool
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The only eyelash viper (Bothriechis schlegelii) of the trip
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Basiliscus basiliscus (note the significant scarring on the face)
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Cochranella granulosa
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Dermophis occidentalis Certainly one of the highlights of the trip
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Oedipina alleni The only salamander species found on the trip, though several individuals turned up.
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Oxyrhopus petolarius
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Oxbelis aeneus
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In situ This juvenile seemed to be settling in for the night.
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7’ Boa constrictor. This was not a happy snake, and probably one of the most intimidating snakes I have ever encountered.
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A very uncooperative Micrurus alleni. We also turned up a M. nigrocinctus the following night, but I did not get photos.
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A few other odds and ends from the Osa:
Leaf-cutter ants
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Spider monkey
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Green kingfisher
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Orange daggerwing
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Robber fly with mosquito
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Hermit crab
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The rest is from the Monteverde area.
My wife spotted this stunningly beautiful Bothriechis lateralis
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We saw two of these Geophis hoffmanni. They are very reminiscent of Carphophis.
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Ninia maculata A couple of these were found down in the Osa, too, but I didn’t get photos.
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Sceloporus malachiticus
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Norops biporcatus
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Lithobates forreri
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Agouti
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Blue-crowned motmot
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Katydid
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Planarian
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We spent a day in the Cloud Forest Reserve and had a guide show us around. He wasn’t able to show us any herps, but he knew his stuff when it came to the birds. As soon as we met him, a pair of male resplendent quetzals were spotted right in the parking lot. That was easy. We got great looks (but not great shots).
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Black guan
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Emerald toucanet
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We saw a number of other species in the park, with the highlights being a mottled owl and a green fronted lancebill, but they were too far for photos. Before leaving we checked out the hummingbird feeders, where we saw seven different species of hummingbirds, and I got photos of six of them (missed the green hermit).
Coppery-headed emerald
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Male purple-throated mountaingem
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Female purple-throated mountaingem
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Male green-crowned brilliant
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Female green-crowned brilliant
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Violet sabrewing
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Green violetear
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Female magenta-throated woodstar
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Bananaquit
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And I’ll wrap things up with a shot of a strangler fig.
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Thanks for looking.
-Kevin

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Antonsrkn
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Antonsrkn » January 23rd, 2016, 3:41 pm

Really enjoyed your post, excellent photography and animals. When you were in the osa, did you spend time in corcovado national park? I had heard a guide is required now, I visited the park years ago and was able to hike around on my own, do you know if what I heard about mandatory guides is accurate?

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Stohlgren
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Stohlgren » January 24th, 2016, 4:43 pm

I did not go to Corcovado, so I am not sure whether you need a guide or not.

HerpMan ATL
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by HerpMan ATL » January 24th, 2016, 6:59 pm

Awesome post Kevin. Ive seen em all on your flickr site but its even more impressive when you put em all together.

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chrish
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by chrish » January 24th, 2016, 8:19 pm

Beautiful shots of a great diversity of critters. That Dermophis is very cool!

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Soopaman
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Soopaman » January 24th, 2016, 8:38 pm

Nice shots, bud. Lots of cool stuff here. I was planning to do a Costa Rica trip in December but had to cancel. It's nice to vicariously enjoy yours!

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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by walk-about » January 26th, 2016, 10:54 am

Kevin -

WoW! What a splendid body of work. Your pictures are stunning!! That cryptic Eyelash Viper is a real beauty! Thanks for posting.

Dave

Bob H
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Bob H » January 26th, 2016, 12:55 pm

Great pictures Kevin. Just missing the bushmaster!

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Roki
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Roki » January 26th, 2016, 5:33 pm

Stunning photography. You guys really did well. Thanks for sharing.

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Muchobirdnerd
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Muchobirdnerd » January 26th, 2016, 7:33 pm

Hypsiboas rosenbergi!!!!!! Great post.

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ClosetHerper
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by ClosetHerper » January 27th, 2016, 5:04 pm

Beautiful photographs, I loved them all. I have made 4 trips to Costa Rica and NEVER got to see Corytophanes cristatus! One correction: your spider monkey is actually a squirrel monkey.. I need to get back down there.

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Stohlgren
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Stohlgren » January 27th, 2016, 5:57 pm

Thanks, everybody. Everyone should make a trip to Costa Rica at some point in their life. Beautiful place.
ClosetHerper wrote:One correction: your spider monkey is actually a squirrel monkey.
Thanks for pointing that out. I knew that, just mislabeled it (I labeled it right on flickr if that counts for anything). It's the only species I didn't get to see on my previous trip to CR, which was exclusively to the Caribbean side, so I was happy to see those guys everywhere down in the Osa.

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mfb
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by mfb » February 6th, 2016, 2:37 pm

Great photos, thanks for posting. That eyelash viper is a master of disguise.

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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by pythonregius3 » February 7th, 2016, 6:35 am

Awesome post! that eyelash viper is great. also the humming bird pictures are fantastic. what kind of camera gear do you use? also was there a feeder or something near by or were you able to get close enough to get those pics of all the hummingbirds without a feeder. either way they were awesome. congrats on the awesome finds on your trip.

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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by dwakefield » February 7th, 2016, 6:33 pm

Fantastic photos of great finds! I love all the skinny, shoestring-like tree snakes. Must be fun to photograph!

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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by mtratcliffe » February 8th, 2016, 1:26 pm

Awesome photos, Kevin! You had some very cooperative subjects (apart from the Boa constrictor). The hermit crab was a nice little gem.

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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by jack4rogers » February 9th, 2016, 6:03 am

Wow, those shots are amazing!!!
What field guide do you recommend for Costa Rica? I'll be there over spring break and own the book by Savage but it is absolutely massive. Is there any guide I can bring into the field?

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Stohlgren
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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by Stohlgren » February 9th, 2016, 2:11 pm

pythonregius3 wrote:Awesome post! that eyelash viper is great. also the humming bird pictures are fantastic. what kind of camera gear do you use? also was there a feeder or something near by or were you able to get close enough to get those pics of all the hummingbirds without a feeder. either way they were awesome. congrats on the awesome finds on your trip.
I am shooting Sony gear (A77 body). Most of the photos were taken with either a Sigma 70mm macro or a Sony 70-400mm telephoto.Yes, those hummingbirds and the bananaquit were photographed at the feeders next to the coffee shop at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve entrance. Very poor light for photography, but tons of hummingbirds with no fear.
jack4rogers wrote:Wow, those shots are amazing!!!
What field guide do you recommend for Costa Rica? I'll be there over spring break and own the book by Savage but it is absolutely massive. Is there any guide I can bring into the field?
Yeah, the Savage book is the best source, but definitely not a field guide (and becoming out of date with a lot of the changes in taxonomy, particularly the frogs). Several folks in my group had the "Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Pocket Guide" by Chacon and Johnston, and it is pretty good for a field guide covering such a diverse area. I did notice some issues, primarily with the maps, which are small and broken into regions (not a terrible way to do it), but did not appear to be terribly accurate. As in not showing species to occur in areas where they definitely do occur, so you may have to take those with a grain of salt. I personally have "A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica" by Twan Leenders. I have some issues with this one as well. It does not include all species that occur in Costa Rica, often only including one member of a genus. For example, it only includes one Geophis, even though there seven different species. It doesn't even mention the other species (other than in the appendix), let alone how to tell them apart. Of course, some concessions need to be made to keep down the size of the book, and they mention as much in the introduction. I would just prefer less natural history info and more ID characteristics in a field guide. I can look that other stuff up at home.


I also noticed some people in our group were relying too heavily on the photos from the field guides. Most similar species, especially the Eleutherodactylus/Craugastor frogs, the anoles, and the small fossorial snakes need to be keyed out or at least check multiple characteristics, as pattern an color can be highly variable. Best to take photos of anything that might be useful (dorsum, venter, feet, scales, etc.) and consult with Savage later. But either of those field guides will help narrow things down in the field.

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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by jack4rogers » February 10th, 2016, 6:57 am

Stohlgren wrote:
pythonregius3 wrote:Awesome post! that eyelash viper is great. also the humming bird pictures are fantastic. what kind of camera gear do you use? also was there a feeder or something near by or were you able to get close enough to get those pics of all the hummingbirds without a feeder. either way they were awesome. congrats on the awesome finds on your trip.
I am shooting Sony gear (A77 body). Most of the photos were taken with either a Sigma 70mm macro or a Sony 70-400mm telephoto.Yes, those hummingbirds and the bananaquit were photographed at the feeders next to the coffee shop at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve entrance. Very poor light for photography, but tons of hummingbirds with no fear.
jack4rogers wrote:Wow, those shots are amazing!!!
What field guide do you recommend for Costa Rica? I'll be there over spring break and own the book by Savage but it is absolutely massive. Is there any guide I can bring into the field?
Yeah, the Savage book is the best source, but definitely not a field guide (and becoming out of date with a lot of the changes in taxonomy, particularly the frogs). Several folks in my group had the "Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Pocket Guide" by Chacon and Johnston, and it is pretty good for a field guide covering such a diverse area. I did notice some issues, primarily with the maps, which are small and broken into regions (not a terrible way to do it), but did not appear to be terribly accurate. As in not showing species to occur in areas where they definitely do occur, so you may have to take those with a grain of salt. I personally have "A Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica" by Twan Leenders. I have some issues with this one as well. It does not include all species that occur in Costa Rica, often only including one member of a genus. For example, it only includes one Geophis, even though there seven different species. It doesn't even mention the other species (other than in the appendix), let alone how to tell them apart. Of course, some concessions need to be made to keep down the size of the book, and they mention as much in the introduction. I would just prefer less natural history info and more ID characteristics in a field guide. I can look that other stuff up at home.


I also noticed some people in our group were relying too heavily on the photos from the field guides. Most similar species, especially the Eleutherodactylus/Craugastor frogs, the anoles, and the small fossorial snakes need to be keyed out or at least check multiple characteristics, as pattern an color can be highly variable. Best to take photos of anything that might be useful (dorsum, venter, feet, scales, etc.) and consult with Savage later. But either of those field guides will help narrow things down in the field.
Wow, thanks! I'll check it out!

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Re: Costa Rica December 2015

Post by condyle » February 11th, 2016, 8:07 pm

Love the Dermophis and everything else, all great shots! Wow that Bothriechis!!!

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