2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Dedicated exclusively to field herping.

Moderator: Scott Waters

Post Reply
User avatar
slygecko
Posts: 20
Joined: July 27th, 2010, 6:00 pm
Location: NY
Contact:

2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by slygecko » October 28th, 2010, 7:19 pm

This spring I spent April and May studying these guys in Costa Rica:

Image

My work was entirely at La Selva Biological Station, and I accrued a nice little collection of sightings despite very little time devoted solely to herping. Since these were mostly isolated unconnected sightings over two month’s time I’m going to go narrative-light here and just lay on the pictures. Those are what everyone loves anyways.

Frogs

Oophaga pumilio – dirt common, I hardly ever even took their pictures
Image
Image

Saw most of these at Cantarana swamp one night, I’ve forgotten some of the IDs (and my books are in another state right now):

Agalychnis saltator
Image
Image
Image

Rana vaillanti
Image

Image

Image

Image
Image

Cruziohyla calcarifer – someone brought this in to the office from the suspension bridge one night. I was thoroughly enthused:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

young Rana warszewitschii, my vote for the worst species name ever
Image


Turtles

Rhinoclemmys funerea – common in or near the streams
Image
Image
Image

Rhinoclemmys annulata – less common, found farther from water
Image
Image
Image
Image

Kinosternon leucostomum
Image
Image
Image

I also saw but did not get to photo Chelydra serpentina


Lizards

Anolis capito – probably my favorite Anolis
Image
Image
Image
Image

Anolis limifrons
Image

Anolis oxylophus
Image

Basiliscus plumifrons
Image
Image

Corytophanes cristatus – I love these things. They get a lot of abuse because their defensive behavior seems to be to act like a leaf. This one got punted because it sat on a trail like a dead leaf. Luckily it was a glancing blow and not a full step. I found another while tromping through some undergrowth using a stick to push branches out of the way, and I accidently batted it 2 meters away.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Ameiva
Image

Lepidophyma flavimaculatum – lived under our office step, but rarely came all the way out
Image

Gonatodes albogularis
Image

Thecadactylus rapicauda – I’m a big gecko fan, so when I finally caught this I was bouncing off the walls
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Snakes

Ninia sebae
Image
Image
Image

Dendrophidion percarinatum
Image
Image

Pseustes poecilonotus, destroyer of birds. We filmed these depredating nests of our study species
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Lampropeltis triangulum, the biggest meanest one I’ve ever seen
Image
Image

Sibon nebulatus
Image
Image
Image

Sibon longifrenis
Image
Image
Image
Image

Coniophanes fissidens
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Chironius grandisquamis
Image

Scaphiodontophus annulatus
Image

Venomous snakes are so common at La Selva it made nest-searching downright gnarly. I can’t tell you how many of these I found by almost stepping on them:

Porthidium nasutum
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Bothrops asper
Image

Right on the trail:
Image
Image
Image

Image
Image
Image
Image

Bothriechis schlegelii – not only do I have to worry about what I step on, I have to watch where I’m going for stuff like this at head hight
Image
Image
Image
Image

This individual sat on the same perch for three weeks.
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

User avatar
MHollanders
Posts: 583
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by MHollanders » October 28th, 2010, 7:45 pm

Cool!

When I was at La Selva years ago the only snake we saw was a Scaphiodonthophis. Cool to see one posted from the same area! First time I ever see that posted.

User avatar
monklet
Posts: 2648
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:44 pm
Location: Ventura, CA
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by monklet » October 28th, 2010, 8:14 pm

WOW, that is a mind-blower, certainly among the very most thrilling neo-tropical posts. Lots of creative images. BUT, what kind of bird? Some kiond of Ant-shrike or some such thing?

Zach_Lim
Posts: 1607
Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Zach_Lim » October 28th, 2010, 8:34 pm

The Lampropeltis triangulum is amazing! hounderensis or some other obscure central/south milk?

joeysgreen
Posts: 523
Joined: June 11th, 2010, 8:09 pm
Location: Edmonton, Alberta

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by joeysgreen » October 28th, 2010, 10:00 pm

That sure was a nice post to end the night before bed. Happy dreams to me, thanks dude :)

Ian

User avatar
Dr. Dark
Posts: 380
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 3:39 pm
Location: Concord TWP, Ohio

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Dr. Dark » October 29th, 2010, 2:22 am

Great post! Love the Porthidium and the adult Oropel...Costa Rica rules!

User avatar
slygecko
Posts: 20
Joined: July 27th, 2010, 6:00 pm
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by slygecko » October 29th, 2010, 6:46 am

monklet wrote:WOW, that is a mind-blower, certainly among the very most thrilling neo-tropical posts. Lots of creative images. BUT, what kind of bird? Some kiond of Ant-shrike or some such thing?
Chestnut-backed Antbird (Myrmeciza exsul)
Zach_Lim wrote:The Lampropeltis triangulum is amazing! hounderensis or some other obscure central/south milk?
No idea, and I don't have any references with me to check.

User avatar
Hans Breuer (twoton)
Posts: 3206
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » October 29th, 2010, 7:14 am

Wow. Thanks!

User avatar
Viridovipera
Posts: 339
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:40 pm

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Viridovipera » October 29th, 2010, 8:22 am

Very cool post, I loved the diversity. But herping in the tropics with that head of hair must have been brutal, I would have shaved it off! Any stories of weird creatures living in your hair or it getting in your way?

-Alex

User avatar
slygecko
Posts: 20
Joined: July 27th, 2010, 6:00 pm
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by slygecko » October 29th, 2010, 8:36 am

Viridovipera wrote:Very cool post, I loved the diversity. But herping in the tropics with that head of hair must have been brutal, I would have shaved it off! Any stories of weird creatures living in your hair or it getting in your way?
About two months after my work in CR ended, after doing a month's work in Venezuela and returning home long enough to decide to cut my hair, I decided it was time to rip this little annoyance out of my head. He had been there since the last week in CR.

Image
Image
Image
Image

It now lives in a specimen jar at home.

User avatar
ALT
Posts: 104
Joined: June 9th, 2010, 3:17 pm
Location: NY

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by ALT » October 29th, 2010, 8:40 am

:thumb:

User avatar
jason folt
Posts: 262
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 8:20 am
Location: Midwest
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by jason folt » October 29th, 2010, 3:48 pm

So nice. We thought we were special with our Cruziohyla this summer. People were saying none had been turned up, and on the bridge at that. We spent almost 4 straight nights hiking specific trails for eyelashes without luck. Super jealous of that one.

User avatar
Hans Breuer (twoton)
Posts: 3206
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 2:19 am
Location: Kuching, Sarawak (Borneo)
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Hans Breuer (twoton) » October 29th, 2010, 7:32 pm

Is that a beef worm?

Ecto Hunter
Posts: 276
Joined: August 27th, 2010, 2:00 pm
Location: AL & GA

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Ecto Hunter » October 29th, 2010, 9:13 pm

love the camouflage photos and the fly larvae

User avatar
PatrickV
Posts: 53
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 6:19 pm
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by PatrickV » November 4th, 2010, 10:01 am

I despise botflies. shudder

User avatar
Mike Pingleton
Posts: 1472
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:45 am
Location: One of the boys from Illinois
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Mike Pingleton » November 4th, 2010, 1:07 pm

very cool.
-Mike

jimoo742
Posts: 546
Joined: November 4th, 2010, 2:43 pm

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by jimoo742 » November 4th, 2010, 2:49 pm

Great pics. I was lucky enough to spend 3 days there a few years back. Didn't see nearly all what you saw, but it was great. Did see some Aracari's raiding a cavity nest and loads of small herps, but no snakes. I do recall a yellow headed gecko as well and many great orchids. Makes me want to dig out my slides!

User avatar
Mike VanValen
Posts: 2073
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 3:41 pm
Location: Connecticut
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Mike VanValen » November 4th, 2010, 7:04 pm

A Costa Rica post with turtles included is always a win.

The milk is probably L.t. micropholis.

thibbitts
Posts: 12
Joined: June 27th, 2010, 7:56 am

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by thibbitts » November 4th, 2010, 9:10 pm

I believe the CR triangulum are nelsoni for what thats worth.

Cool herps, any more shots of antbirds?

Toby

User avatar
slygecko
Posts: 20
Joined: July 27th, 2010, 6:00 pm
Location: NY
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by slygecko » November 5th, 2010, 6:38 am

Thanks for all the good words
thibbitts wrote:Cool herps, any more shots of antbirds?
I suppose I can upload my bird photos and make a bird post sometime soon. I dont have many shots of the antbirds out of the hand because they are so skulky. I did get this video though:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIjaqpjpT4E

~ Nick

User avatar
Cole Grover
Posts: 745
Joined: June 8th, 2010, 9:06 am
Location: Montana

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Cole Grover » November 8th, 2010, 12:55 pm

Righteous post! I second the botfly shudder... How painful was its removal? Any infection?

The Milksnake is L. t. stuarti , if one accepts Williams' "25 subspecies" taxonomic proposal - micropholis is much further south, near the Colombian side of Panama and south; nelsoni is found along Mexico's central pacific coast; hondurensis is in Caribbean Honduras and Nicaragua; gaigeae is found in the Central Highlands and Caribbean slopes of CR, and is solid black as an adult. Very cool, regardless.

-Cole

Daniel.Iversen
Posts: 36
Joined: August 19th, 2015, 1:04 am
Location: Riva del Garda, Italy

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by Daniel.Iversen » December 6th, 2015, 3:43 pm

Nice pictures !! :)

Im actually keeping a L.triangulum hondurensis and since I love naturalistic terrariums Im searchin a pictures of the habitat of that snake to print and put on the back of my cage. Do you have some I can use? Better if take on the level of the ground.....

thanks you ! :)
Daniel

User avatar
justinm
Posts: 3430
Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
Location: Illinois
Contact:

Re: 2 Months at La Selva, Costa Rica

Post by justinm » December 6th, 2015, 3:56 pm

Thanks for the cool post. I loved it. I am feeling the pull lately for the Tropics, this was super fun.

Thank,

Justin

Post Reply