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 Post subject: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 6:44 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:04 pm
Posts: 127
Location: Denver, CO
Hello
In January, I was a trip leader for MT Amazon Expeditions (formerly Margarita Tours) herp photography trip to the Peruvian Amazon. Their website is here: http://www.amazon-ecotours.com and it’s in the process of being updated.

We took a great group down, meeting in Iquitos. Iquitos is a town of half a million people, but only way in or out is to fly, boat or walk. No roads going in. Spending a day or two in town is part of the experience. Here are some photos of around Iquitos.


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There are herp activities that can be done around Iquitos. There are some preserves just out of town, and you can view wild herps at the Iquitos Zoo. Sometimes we rent a car and go road cruising on the one road that leads out of town to a nearby town. That can be productive.

On the trip, we found a total of 122 species of herps. Plus, lots of other stuff. Kayaking with the pink river dolphins is an incredible experience.

We spent 7 days at the Madre Selva preserve and and 4 at Santa Cruz. In route there and in between, we spent a lot of time on boats. Here is some transportation photos:

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Photo by Doug Kranich

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Photo by Doug Kranich
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The first stop is Madre Selva. It takes all day by house boat or 3-4 hours by speedboat to get there from Iquitos. It is downstream on the Amazon, on the Rio Orosa. It is a beautiful preserve and there is some incredible wildlife viewing. There is a canopy level tower which gave daily opportunities for view birds and monkeys. I have been to Madre Selva many, many times, and each time I go, I have an incredible time. Here is some views from around the Madre Selva facilities.
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The dining hall!
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The classroom is now 2 stories!


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This is the floating boathouse. Some years, when the water is low, the boathouse is a ways away from the facilities.
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This is my 4th trip to Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is a newer preserve and some of the facilities are a bit more primitive. It is worth going there, as the herping is different than Madre Selva. Though closer to Iquitos, Santa Cruz is very wild. There are two places to stay, a house along the river and some tambos and a house up the hill a mile and a half away. Here is some of the photos around the facilities, including a new pond that is very near the top lodge area.
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The dining area!
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On to the herps. I’m going to start with the amphibians. We were in the height of the rainy season and the Amazon was very high. It was as high as I have seen it, though nowhere near where it crested in February of 2012. It rained most days and the small streams were all flowing and active with wildlife. These critters were found by participants, guides, or by locals that sometimes bring stuff in.
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Typhlonectes compressicauda
Common Aquatic Caecilian






Salamanders are not commonly found in the Amazon Basin. Personally, I usually find 1 or 2 per trip on leaves at night. As a group of experienced herpers, we found 4 this trip.
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Bolitoglossa altamazonica
Amazon Climbing Salamander





I have never found these to be very common. They are huge and quite impressive.
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Rhaebo guttatus
Smooth Sided Toad






These toads are extremely variable in colors.
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Rhinella dapsilis
Sharp Nosed Toad






One of my favorite toads. Some specimens are simply spectacular. They are also fairly common, though most do not have the full crests and ridge.
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Rhinella margaritifera
Crested Forest Toad






And the ever common Cane Toad. Always nice to find them where they are supposed to be.
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Rhinella marina
Cane Toad







These are one of the treats of going to the Amazon. There is still a stable population of these down there, if you know where to look.
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Atelopus spumarius
Amazon Harlequin Toad







On to the treefrogs:
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Dendropsophus haraldschultzi
Many Striped Treefrog






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Dendropsophus marmoratus
Marbled Neotropical Treefrog






The always spectacular Clown Treefrogs
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Dendropsophus leucophyllatus
Clown Treefrog







Finding these in abundance is always in incredible experience. We find normal phase, and all sorts of different phases. I spend hours looking at them!
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Dendropsophus triangulum
Variable Clown Treefrog






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Dendropsophus miyatai
Jeweled Treefrog






Incredibly large and loud!
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Hypsiboas boans
Gladiator Treefrog






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Hypsiboas calcaratus
Convict Treefrog






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Hypsiboas cinerascens
Rough Skinned Green Treefrog







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Hypsiboas geographica
Map Treefrog






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Hypsiboas lanciformis
Rocket Treefrog






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Hypsiboas nympha







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Hypsiboas punctatus
Polkadot Treefrog






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Osteocephalus cabrerai
Forest Bromeliad Treefrog






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Osteocephalus planiceps
Flat Headed Bromeliad Treefrog







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Osteocephalus taurinus
Giant Broad Headed Treefrog







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Phrynohyas venulosa
Common Milk Frog







The Phyllomedusa species are simply OUTSTANDING. When I first started going to the Amazon, I would be lucky to find them. I usually came across and individual here or there of one or two or two species a trip. It was always a great find. Well, now, at Santa Cruz, the habitat must be very good for them. They show up all the time. Walking around near the facilities and a nearby pond at night will usually get you 3 species, and sometimes lots of each of them. We started naming them this year as we would see the same ones night after night.
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I believe this to be Bob (Mike can you confirm?)
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Phyllomedusa Bicolor
Giant Monkey Frog






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Phyllomedusa tomopterna
Barred Monkey Frog







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Phyllomedusa vaillanti
White Lined Monkey Frog





The always fun to find
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Scinax garbei
Fringe Lipped Treefrog







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Scinax ruber






Hatchet Faced Frogs can be easily found in the right habitat.
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Sphaenorhynchus carneus
Pygmy Hatchet Faced Frog






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Sphaenorhynchus dorisae
Spotted Hatched Faced Treefrog





A lifer for me!
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Trachycephalus coriaceus






Here’s some of the the poison dart frogs from the area:
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Allobates femoralis
Spotted Thighed Poison Frog




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Ameerega hahneli
Pale Striped Poison Frog





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Ranitomeya duellmani
Duellman's Poison Frog




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Ranitomeya ventrimaculata
Amazon Poison Frog



This is a mimic!
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Leptodactylus lineatus
Painted Antnest Frog






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Leptodactylus andreae
Cocha Chirping Frog





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Leptodactylus pentodactylus
Smoky Jungle Frog




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Leptodatylus wagneri
Dwarf Jungle Frog






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Hamptophryne boliviana
Amazon Sheep Frog





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Oreobates quixensis
Common Big Headed Rain Frog







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Pristimantis acuminatus
Green Rain Frog





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Pristimantis altamazonicus
Amazon Rain Frog





Another lifer!
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Pristimantis padiali





And a few more people shots



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Marisa in action!




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January 2013 group shot with crew! I bet everybody can find somebody they know




I’ll end with this one, a celebration time with Mike P.!
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I’ll get to the reptiles and other critters in parts II and III.


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 8th, 2013, 7:36 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 8:30 am
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Location: Clifton, Arizona
So amazing! can't wait to see the rest!


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 9th, 2013, 5:49 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 am
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Location: Illinois
Your pics are fantastic, you're a great photographer to be sure. The rest of your pic are likely just as amazing. I love seeing the Rhinella and Glass Frogs. So many others I haven't seen before. I'm glad you posted I haven't seen Mike's pics as I'm not on Facebook, but have been hearing about them. He's been busy he said and will post as soon as he finds time. Looks like you guys had a great group, I can't wait to get down there some day.


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 9th, 2013, 6:48 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:32 pm
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Location: Houston, TX
Great.


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 9th, 2013, 1:14 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 pm
Posts: 688
Location: Gainesville, FL
Oh man, I was just waiting for someone to do it, and you did it right! I'm so glad I got to enjoy this trip with you guys. Had the time of my life and am already planning going back.

-Jake


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 9th, 2013, 4:38 pm 
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Joined: June 14th, 2010, 11:04 am
Posts: 567
Location: 'God's Country' aka western KY
Damn Matt!!! - That was a 'clinic' brother. Holy Frog! I'm jealous....crested forest treefrog .....I think that is the first I have ever seen that on FHF. The clown frogs and spotted hatched faced treefrog - Whoa Nellie. Just a fantastic post all around. Great camera work too.

RocK ON!

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 9th, 2013, 6:30 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 6:11 pm
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Location: cape cod ma.
AMAZING pics!! :thumb:

Thanks for the tour!! Incredible animals!!


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 10th, 2013, 1:08 am 
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Joined: June 16th, 2010, 12:26 pm
Posts: 561
Matt,

Great set of amphibian photos. The frog diversity is so incredible at those field stations. I saw a number of familiar species but also a number that we missed a couple of years ago. I really liked the pattern and colours of Dendropsophus marmoratus ... great looking tree frog.

Have you been there on a June trip? How do those compare? I think that it must be drier at that time of year so maybe not as good for frogs but better for butterflies.

I am looking forward to the next posts!


Regards,
David


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 10th, 2013, 8:13 am 
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Joined: November 30th, 2012, 7:45 am
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Location: Fayetteville, Tennessee
Awesome post!!! I love those clown treefrogs and how you shared the different variations you found. That crested forest toad is striking!


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 10th, 2013, 8:55 am 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 11:30 am
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Location: U.K.
Great stuff Matt.

I've been through the post several times over the last couple of days. Your photos are stunning.

Rags


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 10th, 2013, 9:36 am 
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Joined: June 10th, 2010, 7:37 pm
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Location: San Francisco, CA
I love how this thread brought me right there- I love the travel pictures!


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 11th, 2013, 4:19 am 

Joined: November 4th, 2010, 2:43 pm
Posts: 546
I have to chime in as I was on this trip (I'm the sexy bald guy). It was an amazing time. There were so many species you can get burned out. I have to encourage you all to consider trying this tour. I'm not a tour person (I like going off on my own), but the quality of herpers on this trip was off the chart. If Dick Bartlett isn't there to help out, I turn one way and Matt Cage is there or I turn to the others side and Mike Pingleton is there, or Jake Scott (those just a few I know to be on this forum). Killer time. I know why they have so many repeats. I want to go back already.


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 11th, 2013, 5:51 am 
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Joined: March 16th, 2011, 11:28 am
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Location: New Jersey
I've heard of Margarita Tours, and I didn't need a lot of selling, but consider me sold. As soon as my kids are old enough that I can dump them on my wife for a few weeks, I'm there!

Is the Rhinella margaritifera a mimic of Corytophanes or some other crested lizard, or is it convergence, or just coincidence that it looks so lizardlike?


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 11th, 2013, 2:32 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 1:07 pm
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Location: New Jersey
awesome, frogs are my favorite and you saw some awesome ones


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 12th, 2013, 5:02 pm 
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Joined: July 3rd, 2010, 8:05 am
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
What a trip! I've been looking forward to someone posting from this one. Great start with some beautiful photos!

Michael Cravens


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 13th, 2013, 12:05 pm 
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Really incredible trip, you had alot of amazing finds. I enjoyed looking through all those photos, thanks for posting!


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 13th, 2013, 4:56 pm 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 12:04 pm
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Location: Denver, CO
Thanks to everybody for the replies! I'm hoping to find time to get part II up in the next day or two. Hopefully more participants will post soon.

Justin, hopefully Mike will post soon, he has some GREAT shots. We did have a great group of people.

Jake, it was great spending some time with you. We laughed, we cried, we scratched out bug bites! Thanks so much for coming!

Reptilist / Justin/ Dave/ Pete /RiR / Rags/ Zach/ Matt/ Michael/ Antonsrkn, thanks so much for the comments!

David, that marmoratus was quite incredible. It was a patchwork of colors. I have been in June and had a great time. There seemed to be an overall little bit less rain, it seemed slightly cooler at night, there was less amphibians seen, but the lizards and snakes seem to move just fine. The species found may be different from the January trip. Also, when I have been there in June, the water was much lower, but the small creeks were flowing and it still rained almost everyday. It would be a slightly different experience. I really hope to see you there soon (or anywhere for that matter). I did take a few butterfly shots for you, they are on my website. Thanks a lot for the words!


Jim, I have to say that it was great meeting you and getting to spend some time with you. I really hope you had a good experience. I'm not a "tour person" either, but this is really a self paced site. Once you learn your way around, you can go out by yourself or with anybody else going for a walk. You are welcome back anytime and remember, there are returning passenger rates! Sorry to cause you to join facebook to see the photos!! Hope to see some of your photos posted soon!

Cbernz, if you have any questions about the tour, please let me know. I'm not sure if the margaritifera are mimics of lizards or not. Hopefully somebody will advise what they think. Only about 10% of the adults that you find have the large crests and some have no crests. I'm guessing that it just makes them look bigger. They are spectacular. Thanks for the comments!


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 15th, 2013, 4:09 pm 
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Joined: June 12th, 2010, 9:28 am
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Location: Monterey Peninsula, CA
Matt, I'm glad you posted this -- I was half-planning to do a big Peru post but haven't gotten around to it. Not to continue to be as picky as always but I think your Hypsiboas lanciformis photo is really an Osteocephalus. We did see several Hypsiboas lanciformis but I think the snout on that frog is too rounded to be that species.

Everyone -- it really was an incredible trip. And I can vouch that Matt really is as nice a guy as you would guess from reading his posts.

John


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 18th, 2013, 8:01 am 
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Joined: January 23rd, 2012, 10:08 am
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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Great post! I am really wanting to get down to Peru. Thanks for pouring gas on those flames.


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2013, 1:52 pm 
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Yep, that was Bob. Definitely Bob....

Great pics, Matt! I wish I'd seen that O. cabreri....

Mike


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 Post subject: Re: Peruvian Amazon January 2013 Part 1, Amphibians
PostPosted: March 30th, 2013, 5:14 am 

Joined: June 25th, 2010, 10:32 am
Posts: 72
This is great, Matt. I think you could make a full post out of the Hyla leucophyllata/sarayacuensis/triangulum/bifurca group alone. There's no experience quite like seeing these tiny choristers vocalizing from their spots on the floating vegetation. dick


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