Costa Rican nightlife


Night in the tropics brings out a host of interesting animals that are rarely, if ever, seen during the day.  Hoping to see some of this nocturnal wildlife, I took a headlamp with me on our recent trip to Costa Rica and went out late at night to wander around an area of old secondary forest on the grounds of our resort.  With other family members, I also participated in two organized night walks, one at the resort, and a second offered by Manuel’s tours on a wooded lot near Quepos.

Here are some of the interesting creatures I saw.

Gladiator tree frog (Hypisboas rosenbergi).  Males of this species build a water-filled nest  which they defend against other males. In combat, they employ sharp “prepollex” spines on their forelegs as weapons.
While adults tend to be brown with a mottled appearance and a thin black stripe down the dorsal midline, juvenile gladiator tree frogs are green with black spots.
Common rain frog (Craugaster fitzingeri)
Another common rain frog
Savage’s thin-toed frog (Leptodactylus savagei).  This guy was enormous.  In addition to insects, L. savagei eats small vertebrates such as other frogs, snakes, and mice.
Glass frog posing on the lid of a tupperware container.  I think this is a granular glass frog (Cochranella granulosa)
Northern cat-eyed snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis)
Anolis species
Many house geckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) gathered around the lights.  This gecko was about twice their size.  I think it is a very pale turnip-tailed gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda)
yellow-headed gecko
Male yellow-headed gecko (Gonatodes albogularis)
Tree-climbing crab.  I have no idea what species this is.
An amblypygid (tailless whip scorpion)
Amblypygid closeup.
bark scorpion (Centruroides species)
Stick insect
A conehead katydid, perhaps Copiphora rhinoceros (rhinoceros katydid)
A sadly blurred picture of a tent-making bat (Uroderma bilobatum) eating a fig

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