5 August 2020

Costa Rica 17.05.2019 – 31.05.2019  English/German Version

Our first herpetological trip to the new world led us to Costa Rica, a tropical, diverse and mainly safe country in Central America. We flew from Vienna via Paris to San Jose for € 913,- with Air France. We rented a Chevrolet Trailblazer from Sixt for 16 days for about € 1.800,-, which isn’t cheap for such a big SUV, but it was worth it and for 5 people still reasonable. This car was very useful during our trip and we could reach some remote areas, although the space for 3 full-grown men on the rear seats was rather limited. We had already booked an accommodation for the first night from Austria, because we arrived late in the evening. After a rush hour drive we reached the hotel near Zurqui, which is close to the Braulio Carillo national park.

We all loved the Costa Rican food and also our vegetarian bloke had always a good variety to eat. The prepaid SIM card worked only very limited and so we had to rely on GPS but we never had any problem with the navigation. Our OSM maps worked without any problem.

Zurqui – Braulio Carillo National Park

After our hotel check in we immediately investigated the surroundings of the accommodation, although we were really tired. The first species was the introduced Hemidactylus frenatus, which now populates the entire country, except the higher parts in the mountains. On a nearby stream we heard our first frogs – we found some glass frogs, dink frogs and Ranidae. The next day we got up an hour too early, because we didn’t consider the summertime! While we waited for breakfast, we watched our first hummingbirds in the hotel garden. After a massive Gallo Pinto (which is the traditional CR food with rice and beans) we left for the Braulio Carillo NP, where we found a perfect trail without protection of rangers and entrance fees. During the day we spotted many Anoles and some frogs and we decided to come back after dark.

In the afternoon it began to rain heavily, while we checked out some spots in the foothills of Zurqui. We rested for a while and then we started again for the night tour to the NP. We found some ponds with tadpoles, our first Hylidae and some members of the family Craugastoridae, which is the richest frog family in CR. Franz spotted a well camouflaged coffee-snake on a bush, while all others had passed by.  Already on our way back, when nobody expected it, a Coffee Palm Viper passed Florian’s way. This tree dwelling species is hard to find because of its green leaf like color. When we drove back, a second Palm Viper crossed our way in a small village. Our first day had a very satisfying end, although we were bitten by many mosquitos.

Blick zum Braulio Carrillo Nationalpark
view to the Braulio Carrillo national park

On our way to the Caribbean we passed the main entrance of the Braulio Carillo NP and we had a short stop there to check it out. This typical CR-NP is quite expensive and the entrance is allowed only during the day while every step is watched by rangers. We decided not to enter the park.

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Villa Zurqui - unsere erste Unterkunft haben wir außerhalb der Hauptstadt gewählt, um den nahe gelegenen Nationalpark Braulio Carrillo zu besuchen - we chose our first accommodation outside of the capital in order to visit the nearby national park Braulio Carrillo
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Hemidactylus frenatus - eine eingeschleppte Art, hat sich über ganz Costa Rica ausgebreitet, wir fanden sie an jeder Unterkunft, ausgenommen in Bergland - an alien species, introduced all over Costa Rica, we found it on the walls of all of our hotels, except in the highland
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Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni - unseren ersten Glasfrosch auf dieser Reise fanden wir an einem kleinen Bach direkt neben unserer Unterkunft. Die Frösche sitzen meist auf einem Ast über dem Bach und rufen während der Nacht - we found our first glass frog on a stream near the accommodation. The frogs are mostly sitting and calling on branches above the streams.
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Ein riesiger schlafender Schmetterling - a huge sleeping butterfly
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Rana warszewitschii - ein häufiger Frosch, der entlang von kleinen Waldbächen vorkommt. Ein typischer Braunfrosch, der durch die grünen Flecken auf dem Rücken zu erkennen ist - A common frog, which lives alongside forest streams. It's a typical brown frog with characteristic green dots on its back
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Anolis tropidolepis - Die typische Anolis im Mittelgebirge der Hauptstadtgegend war das mit Abstand häufigste Reptil, das wir an diesem Standort finden konnten. Sie leben auf Sträuchern und Büschen in einigem Abstand über dem Boden - The typical Anole in the midland capital area was the most commonly observed reptile in this area. They live on shrubs and bushes above the ground
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Anolis tropidolepis - Die Männchen sind intensiver und kontrastreicher gezeichnet. Sie haben einen roten Kehlsack - Males are colored more intensively and high-contrasted. They have a red dewlap. 
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Anolis tropidolepis - Die Echsen sind sehr variabel und sind in ihrer Umgebung gut getarnt - The lizards are very variable and well camouflaged
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In den feuchten Bergwäldern gedeihen Bromelien auf den Bäumen. Bromelien gehören zu den Süßgräsern, die bekannteste Bromelie ist die Ananas - In the humid mountain forests bromeliads grow on the trees. Bromeliads belong to the sweet grass family and their most famous member is the pineapple.
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Anolis tropidolepis
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Ein Glasflügelfalter im Braulio Carillo Nationalpark - A glasswing butterfly in the Braulio Carillo national park
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Durch einen Seiteneingang gelangten wir in einen unkontrollierten Teil des Nationalparks mit beeindruckender Landschaft - Near our hotel we entered the national park through a side entrance. This part of the NP was not controlled by rangers.
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Über einen Pfad gelangt man immer weiter den Berg hinauf. Während des Tages fanden aber recht wenig Reptilien, vor allem Anolis - We followed a path leading us up the mountain. During the day we found only few reptiles, mostly Anolis.
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Diese Kleinlibellen bewohnen einen kleinen Bachlauf - These damselflies inhabit a small torrent
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Bei Tag kann man den Primärurwald bewundern, findet aber recht wenig Tiere - During the day we admired the primary forest but we hardly found animals.
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Rana taylori - Nach dem Mittagessen untersuchten wir das Weideland im Umfeld der Unterkunft und fanden dort einige Frösche - After lunch we checked out the farmland in the surroundings and found some frogs in meadow ponds.
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Rana taylori habitat - In diesen Gewässern fanden wir die scheuen Frösche, die sich aber gut in der Vegetaton versteckten - In these ponds we found the shy frogs. They were hiding in the vegetation.
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Quiscalus mexicanus - Die Dohlengrackel gehört zu den Stärlingen und ist ein recht häufiger Kulturfolger - The great-tailed grackle or Mexican grackle belongs to the Icteridae and is a quite common bird near settlements
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Der Garten der Villa Zurqui bietet wunderbare Möglichkeiten, Kolibris zu beobachten, während man ein Bier trinkt - The garden of the Villa Zurqui is a wonderful place for observing hummingbirds while drinking a beer
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Ein ausgezeichnetes Frühstück mit Gallo Pinto und gekochten Bananen - Fantastic breakfast with Gallo Pinto and cooked bananas
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Ninia psephota - Die Kaffeeschlange war auf einem Ast über uns gut versteckt und wir gingen alle vorbei, bis sie Franz als letzter von uns entdeckte - This Coffee Snake was hidden on a branch above our trail and it remained undetected until finally Franz discovered it .
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Ninia psephota - ist eine kleine Schlange, die hauptsächlich Invertebraten frisst und die Laubstreu durchsucht. Umso interessanter, dass wir sie kletternd fanden - is a small snake feeding on invertebrates foraging in leaf litter. Therefore it was interesting finding it climbing.
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Isthmohyla pseudopuma - Dieser nachtaktive Laubfrosch war eine der wenigen gefundenen Amphibien im hochgelegenen Braulio Carrillo Nationalpark. - This nocturnal tree frog was one of the few found amphibians in the Braulio Carrillo National Park.
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Isthmohyla pseudopuma - Nach einem starken Bestandsrückgang in den 80er Jahren konnten sich die Bestände wieder erholen. - After a strong decline in the Eighties the populations recovered since then.
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Diese riesige Stabheuschrecke war sehr schwer zu entdecken - This stick insect was very hard to see.
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Pristimantis cruentus - Diese Art unterliegt starken Bestandsschwankung, die Bestände sind aber aktuell stabil - This species shows strong population fluctuations, but at the moment they seem to be stable.
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Botriechis lateralis - Unsere erste Palmlanzenotter querte den Pfad auf unserem Rückweg. - Our first Palm Pit Viper crossed our path on our way back.
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Botriechis lateralis - Dieser Fund war ein absolutes Highlight an unserem ersten Tag. Diese relativ häufige Lanzenotter bewohnt höhere Lagen und ist aufgrund ihrer Färbung nicht leicht zu entdecken - This find was our absolute highlight on the first day. This relatively common pit viper inhabits higher altitudes and is hard to find because of its comouflage color.
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Botriechis lateralis - Die zweite Palmlanzenotter querte die Straße in einer Ortschaft, als wir zurückfuhren. Sie war viel intensiver gefärbt. Die Art ist sehr giftig, aber unsere Exemplare verhielten sich ruhig und bissen nicht. - The secons Palm Pit Viper crossed the asphalt road in a village when we drove back. It was intensively colored. Although this species is very poisonous, our snakes were very calm and didn't bite.
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Braulio Carrillo National Park

Cahuita

In Cahuita we searched for an accommodation with a swimming pool and finally we found the hotel El Colibri Rojo in the southern part of the village. The young French owner couple was very friendly and we felt very comfortable there. During the evening we explored the hinterland at two different sites and found young basilisks, which ran only on their hind legs crossing the water like this. During the night many different frogs came out and also two snakes crossed our way. In a pond we saw the reflecting eyes of a caiman and on the road many cane toads were foraging.

Bilderbuchstrände an der Karibik
Beautiful beaches at the Carribean

On the next day we hiked through the Cahuita National Park from the main entrance all along the way to the other side, where our hotel was situated. It lasted about 5 hours. At the beach it is allowed to swim and to snorkel (but only with a local guide). This NP is one of the last remaining primary coastal forests and possesses a high biodiversity. It’s a shame that the park is also closed during the night. When we asked why it is closed, they told us because of dangerous snakes. Near the entrance some poison dart frogs were active, but the guides didn’t allow us to take pictures aside the path. All along the sandy way we observed ameivas and the smaller basilisks, while the great basilisks were rarer. We observed squirrels, agoutis and capuchins. Unfortunately no Three Toes Sloths were found but outside the park a Two Toes Sloth was climbing on an electrical cable. At a river lagoon, near a crocodile warning sign, Franz nearly stumbled on a Trachemys venusta baby. In the whole area the number of black and turkey vultures was remarkable.

After the 9 km trail, we were more or less jaded and spent the afternoon in and at the pool and the bar, before we did a night excursion in the hinterland of Cahuita with a guide named Cristian. While we watched an opossum on a wire, Cristian caught a beautiful Red-Eyed Leaf Frog and an Hourglass Frog in a small pond. Later in the forest we found some snakes and our first huge bull frog. Moreover it was the only place where we observed a sleeping Green Anole. Many people visit the area for the Great Potoo, a spectacular large nocturnal bird, which eyes shine very brightly in the torch light and its call sounds like that of humans. Unfortunately we again missed the Terciopelo or Fer de Lance viper, although Cristian claimed them to be very abundant. Also the Oropel – the yellow type of the Bothriechis schlegelii – was not seen by us, but Cristian had found one during the day in the national park and showed us some pictures. Before we left the next day, we took some good pictures of a group of howler monkeys and several birds. Unfortunately our hotel was fully booked for the third night, so we decided to drive back to Siquirres and stay there for two nights.

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Auf der Fahrt nach Cahuita fanden wir dieses Zweizehen-Faultier direkt neben der Straße - on our way to Cahuita we found this two-toed sloth right beside the road.
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Rabengeier zählten zu den häufigsten Vögeln auf unserer Reise - Black Vultures were very common on our trip.
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Erfrischung - refreshment
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Außerhalb des Cahuita Nationalparks fanden wir nur wenige naturbelassene Stellen wie diese - Except for the Cahuita National Park we found very few natural places like this
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Anolis limifrons - eine der häufigsten Anolis auf unserer Reise - one of the most common anoles on our trip
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Junger Stirnlappenbasilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) - juvenile Green Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)
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Junger Stirnlappenbasilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) - juvenile Green Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)
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Die Gebänderte Katzenaugennatter (Leptodeira septentrionalis) fanden wir sowohl auf der Karibik- als auch auf der Pazifik-Seite - we found the Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis) on the Caribbean side as well as on the Pacific side.
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Incilius coniferus - Weibchen - female
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Incilius coniferus - Männchen - male
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Die männlichen Smilisca sordida rufen nachts aus der Vegetation - Smilisca sordida males call from the vegetation by night.
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Smilisca sordida - in amplexus
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Diesen schönen Schmetterling fanden wir schlafend - we found this beautiful butterfly sleeping.
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Auf dem Rückweg fanden wir noch diese Sibon nebulatus - on our way back we found this Sibon nebulatus.
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Sibon nebulatus ernährt sich hauptsächlich von Schnecken - Sibon nebulatus mainly feeds on snails and slugs.
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Am nächsten Tag besuchten wir den Cahuita Nationalpark - the next day we visited the Cahuita National Park
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Aguti - agouti.
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Schwimmen in den Lagunen ist keine gute Idee - swimming in the lagunas is not a good idea.
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Direkt am Weg fanden wir diese junge Karibische Schmuckschildkröte (Trachemys venusta) - right on our trail we found this juvenile Meso-American Slider (Trachemys venusta)
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Trachemys venusta
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Mündung des Rio Suárez - estuary of Rio Suárez
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Rio Suárez
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Wunderschöner Küstenwald im Cahuita NP - beautiful coastal forest in the Cahuita NP.
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An sonnigen Stellen fanden wir die Vierstreifenameive (Holcosus quadrilineata) - at sunny spots we found the Four-lined Ameiva (Holcosus quadrilineata).
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Holcosus quadrilineata - ist auch direkt am Strand im Sand zu finden. Sie nutzt dort Treibholz als Deckung - can be found in the sand at the beach too. It uses driftwood as a shelter there.
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Die zweite Ameivenart, die wir in Cahuita fanden, war die Zentralamerikanische Ameive (Holcosus festivus) - the second species of Ameiva was the Middle American Ameiva (Holcosus festivus)
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Hörnchen auf der Nahrungssuche - squirrel looking for food.
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Streifenbasilisk (Basiliscus vittatus): links Weibchen, rechts Männchen - Brown Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus): left side female, right side male
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Streifenbasilisk (Basiliscus vittatus) beäugt neugierig die Fotografen - Brown Basilisk (Basiliscus vittatus) curiously watches the photographers.
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Gut ausgebauter Weg durch den Sumpf - well developed path through the swamp.
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Sumpfgebiet an der Mündung des Rio Perezoso - swampy area at the estuary of Rio Perezoso
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Karibik-Stimmung im Regenwald - Carribean feelings in the rainforest
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Kapuziner-Affen mögen Früchte - Capuchin monkeys like fruit ...
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... aber auch die Jause von unvorsichtigen Touristen - but also the snacks of improvident tourists.
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Basiliscus vittatus - Männchen - male.
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Ein Regenschirm schützt auch vor der heißen Mittagssonne - an umbrella also works to protect against the sun at noon.
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Truthahngeier - Turkey Vulture.
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Kolibri auf Nahrungssuche - hummingbird looking for food
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Der Stirnlappenbasilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) ist der größte Basilisk Costa Ricas - the Green Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) is the largest basilisk in Costa Rica.
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Diese Opossums sind immun gegen das Gift von Grubenottern - these oppossums are immune against the venom of pit vipers.
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Der Costa Rica-Maskenlaubfrosch (Smilisca phaeota) ist an der grünen Maske an der Kopfseite erkennbar - the Masked Tree Frog (Smilisca phaeota) can be recognized by the mask on the side of the head.
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In den Büschen jagten große Spinnen - big spiders were hunting in the bushes.
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Leptodeira septentrionalis - Gebänderte Katzenaugennatter - Cat-eyed Snake
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Smilisca phaeota - Costa Rica-Maskenlaubfrosch Jungtier - juvenile of the Masked Tree Frog
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Die nachtaktive Riemennatter (Imantodes cenchoa) ernährt sich hauptsächlich von Fröschen und Anolis - the nocturnal Blunthead Tree Snake (Imantodes cenchoa) mainly feeds on frogs and anoles.
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Imantodes cenchoa - mit dem langen dünnen Körper ist die Riemennatter hervorragend ans Klettern angepasst - the long and thin body helps very well for climbing.
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Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma ernährt sich hauptsächlich von Spinnentieren - Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma mainly feeds on arachnids.
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Anolis oxylophus lebt meist an Ufern von Bächen und Flüssen - Anolis oxylophus mostly occurs along creeks and streams.
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Der Glasfrosch Cochranella granulosa ist ein Waldbewohner in mittleren und tiefen Lagen - the Granular Glass Frog (Cochranella granulosa) inhabits forests in low and middle elevations.
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Mit bis zu 33cm zählt Anolis biporcatus zu den größeren Anolis Costa Ricas - reaching up to 33cm the Giant Green Anole (Anolis biporcatus) is one of the larger anoles in Costa Rica.
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Jungtiere des Mittelamerikanischen Ochsenfrosches (Leptodactylus savagei) unterscheiden sich in der Zeichnung deutlich von den Erwachsenen - Juveniles of the Central American Bullfrog (Leptodactylus savagei) clearly differ in pattern from the adults.
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Auch im Kulturland fanden wir gewaltige Baumriesen - we found some giant trees also in cultured land.
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Anolis limifrons ist oft im Kulturland zu finden - the Slender Anole (Anolis limifrons) ist often found in disturbed habitats.
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In Ruhestellung sieht man fast nur die grüne Oberfläche des Rotaugenlaubfrosches (Agalychnis callidryas) - in resting position only the green surface of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is visible.
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Agalychnis callidryas - In Bewegung werden die bunten Körperpartien sichtbar - when moving around the colourful parts of its body become visible.
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Agalychnis callidryas - auf Beutesuche - looking for prey.
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Agalychnis callidryas
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ein Vertreter der Hylidae: der Bromelienlaubfrosch (Dendropsophus ebraccatus) - a hylid frog: the Hourglass Treefrog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus)
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Am Morgen sahen die Brüllaffen noch ein wenig schläfrig aus - the Howler Monkeys looked a bit tired in the morning.
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Auch im Schlaf immer mittels Greifschwanz gesichert - even when asleep always locked using the tail
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Nester des Montezumastirnvogels - nests of the Montezuma Oropendola.

Siquirres

We had already stopped in the area of Siquirres on the way to Cahuita and we were really surprised about the masses of Strawberry Poison Frogs near a torrent. We found so many different looking frogs there on a trail after heavy rain and we also heard some males calling and struggling. When it started to rain again, the frogs searched for shelter under leaves or in hollow roots. On a flooded meadow in Siquirres we found both Strawberry and Green Poison Frogs, some of them even carried larvae on their back. The older trees were populated by dwarf geckos, which show an extreme dimorphism. Other reptiles were skinks, ameivas, anole and basilisks. During the night we heard loud croaking and located at first many Cane Toads in amplexus, but also fresh juveniles. A species of Scinax and some Tungara Frogs were found, latter might be introduced, because the species is a Pacific species.

Another introduced species is the Puerto Rican Anole, which forms high density populations in Siquirres, particularly in our hotel garden, where these territorial anoles were present on each fence post. Our hotel was beside the main road, where extremely loud heavy trucks were crossing from the Pacific to the Caribbean, which seems to be an alternative to the Panama Canal and an introduction rout for several species.

Transitverkehr durch Siquirres
Transit traffic through Siquirres

The next day we found an interesting lodge with a large property in the mountains behind Siquirres. This tourist lodge named “Altos de Berlin” is a perfect spot for herpetologists with interesting trails, meadows, forests and streams. The place was open, but nobody was there. The trails were well-groomed. On the way several species of amphibians and reptiles came across and we really appreciated this lodge with its swimming pool, but unfortunately it seemed to be closed. Despite good signposting we managed to get lost on a trail, because we missed a hairpin bend and we walked along a trail which became smaller and steeper down the mountain. On this part we also found very interesting reptiles like a Scorpion-eating Snake and a tiny Galliwasp lizard. We realized our meander quite late and so we had to return this steep trail, which was very exhausting. In the evening we were very tired and renounced a night tour there, although this would have been very promising. Before we left, we explored a small forest near the hotel, where we found some common species and a Red Coffee Snake and Rudi made the acquaintance with lots of aggressive wasps in his hair.

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Unser nächster Besuch galt diesem kleinen Fluss bei Siquirres - our next stop was at this small river near Siquirres.
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Schaumnest in einer Pfütze - a foam nest in a puddle.
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Die Zentralamerikanische Ameive (Holcosus festivus) war schwer zu fotografieren, weil sie ständig in Bewegung war - it was hard to get fotos from the Middle American Ameiva (Holcosus festivus) because it always was moving around quickly.
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Jungtier der Zentralamerikanischen Ameive (Holcocus festivus) - juvenile Middle American Ameiva (Holcosus festivus)
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Dendrobates auratus - Goldbaumsteiger - Green Poison Frog
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Dieser Goldbaumsteiger (Dendrobates auratus) befördert auf dem Rücken eine seiner Kaulquappen zum Wasser - this Green Poison Frog (Dendrobates auratus) is carrying one of its tadpoles to the water.
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Das Erdbeerfröschchen (Oophaga pumilio) kommt nur auf der Karibik-Seite Costa Ricas vor - the Strawberry Poison Frog (Oophaga pumilio) only occurs on the Carribean side of Costa Rica.
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An diesem Fluss kam das Erdbeerfröschchen (Oophaga pumilio) in großen Dichten und sehr variabel vor - at this river the Strawberry Poison Frog (Oophaga pumilio) was very abundant and variable.
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Teamwork ist sehr hilfreich, wenn man während des Regens noch fotografieren möchte - teamwork is essential when taking pictures during the rain.
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Lümmel Grashüpfer - Lila Lümmel Grasshopper
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An der selben Stelle fanden wir nachts diesen schlafenden Stirnlappenbasilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) - when we returned to the place at night we found this sleeping Green Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)
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Scinax elaeochroa
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Der Tungara-Frosch (Engystomops pustulosus) ist an der Pazifik-Küste heimisch und wurde in diesem Gebiet eingeschleppt - the Tungara Frog (Engystomops pustulosus) occurs originally on the Pacific side but was introduced into this area.
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Weißkehl-Gecko (Gonatodes albogularis) schlafend an einem Baum - White-throated Gecko (Gonatodes albogularis) sleeping on a tree.
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Anolis limifrons
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Im Hotelgarten fanden wir etliche Puerto-Rico-Anolis oder Kamm-Anolis (Anolis cristatellus), die in Costa Rica eingeschleppt wurden - in the garden of our hotel we found a lot of Common Puerto Rican Anoles (Anolis cristatellus) which were introduced to Costa Rica
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Puerto-Rico-Anolis (Anolis cristatellus) präsentiert seine Kehlfahne - Common Puerto Rican Anoles (Anolis cristatellus) presenting its dewlap.
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Jungtier der Puerto-Rico-Anolis (Anolis cristatellus) - juvenile Common Puerto Rican Anoles (Anolis cristatellus)
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ein Hörnchen im Hotelgarten - squirrel in the hotel garden
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Dieses Überschwemmungsgebiet beim Rio Pacuare war unser nächstes Ziel - next we visited this flooded area near the Rio Pacuare.
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Nachts gaben die männlichen Scinax elaeochroa hier ein ohrenbetäubendes Konzert - at night the Scinax elaeochroa males performed a loud concert here.
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Scinax elaeochroa - in amplexus
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Tungara-Frosch (Engystomops pustulosus) mit aufgeblähter Schallblase - Tungara Frog (Engystomops pustulosus) with inflated vocal sac.
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Wir besuchten das "Altos de Berlin" Ressort auf ca. 600m Höhe. Auch hier fanden wir den Goldbaumsteiger (Dendrobates auratus) - we visited the "Altos de Berlin" resort at about 600m above sealevel. Here too we found the Green Poison Frog (Dendrobates auratus).
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Die tagaktiven Erdbeerfröschchen (Oophaga pumilio) sind ständig in Bewegung - the diurnal Strawberry Poison Frogs (Oophaga pumilio) are always on the move.
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Pseudoxycheila tarsalis - ein mittelamerikanischer Sandlaufkäfer (Cicindelidae) - Central American Montane Tiger Beetle
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Regenwald bei Altos de Berlin - Rainforest at Altos de Berlin
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Regenwald bei Altos de Berlin - Rainforest at Altos de Berlin
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Craugastor bransfordii - die kleinen Frösche sind im Laubstreu schwer zu entdecken - the small frogs are difficult to see in the leaf litter
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Thomas entdeckte dieses Jungtier von Degenhardts Skorpionfresser (Stenorrhina degenhardtii) - Thomas spotted this juvenile Degenhardt's Scorpion-eating Snake (Stenorrhina degenhardtii)
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Stenorrhina degenhardtii - Degenhardts Skorpionfresser im Porträt - portrait of Degenhardt's Scorpion-eating Snake
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Stenorrhina degenhardtii - Größenvergleich: Degenhardts Skorpionfresser - comparison of size: Degenhardt's Scorpion-eating Snake
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Regenwald bei Altos de Berlin - Rainforest at Altos de Berlin
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Diploglossus bilobatus - Zunächst hielten wir das für einen Skink, es handelt sich aber um einen Vertreter der Doppelzungenschleichen (Diploglossidae) - at first we thought this is a skink but O'Shaughnessy's Galliwasp belongs to the Diploglossidae.
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Diesen Pfad hielten wir für unseren Weg, er führte uns aber nur zu einem abgelegenen Hof - we thought that this is our way but it led us to a remote farm.
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Verirrt! Aber mittels GPS fanden wir den Weg zurück zu unserem Auto - we got lost! But our GPS showed us our way back to the car.
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Bevor wir Siquirres verließen, untersuchten wir noch diesen Wald am Rand der Stadt - bevor leaving Siquirres we ha a look at this forest at the edge of the city.
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Auch hier fanden wir die eingeschleppten Puerto-Rico-Anolis (Anolis cristatellus) - here also we found the introduced Common Puerto Rican Anoles (Anolis cristatellus) ...
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... aber auch die autochtonen Anolis limifrons - but also the autochtonous Slender Anoles (Anolis limifrons)
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Dendrobates auratus - Goldbaumsteiger - Green Poison Frog
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Gonatodes albogularis - Männchen des Weißkehl-Geckos - male White-throated Gecko
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Gut getarnter Stirnlappenbasilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons) - well camouflaged Green Basilisk (Basiliscus plumifrons)
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Zum Abschluss fand Franz noch diese Rote Kaffeeschlange (Ninia sebae) - finally Franz found this Redback Coffee Snake (Ninia sebae)
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Die Rote Kaffeeschlange (Ninia sebae) ist nachtaktiv und tagsüber unter Steinen oder Baumstämmen verborgen - the Redback Coffee Snake (Ninia sebae) is nocturnal and hidden under stones or logs during the day.

CRARC

Only a few miles away from Siquirres we had booked one night in the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center – CRARC, which was founded by Brian Kubicki about 20 years ago. Brian leads this fantastic institution, which has become famous in the herpetological world for an “in situ protection” of the local amphibians. His private sanctuary includes two refuges, one with 49 and one with 44 hectares, and houses a tremendous diversity on amphibians, among them extremely rare and endangered species. Brian has only one lovely guest house and offers tours during the night for his guests.

Brian Kubicki (Mitte) zeigt uns sein Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center
Brian Kubicki (in the middle) shows his Costa Rican Amphibian Research Center to us

When we arrived it was pouring down and we feared for our night tour. During the rain we watched the hummingbirds on the drinking trough and when the rain abated we checked out the pond near our lodge with some snappers and mud turtles. In the twilight many Red-eyed Leaf Frogs appeared and started to croak. Guided by Brian we saw so many new and rare species with numerous highlights. The Phyllomedusidae family is represented by five attractive species, which we all found except Agalychnis saltator, which we only heard high up in a bush. The most diverse family is the Craugastoridae with numerous different species, of which some are hard to distinguish. We also found Palmers Tree frog, two Bolitoglossa species, some glass frogs and several toads. The discovery of a night lizard and the finds of six snake species in the night inspired us, while the highlight was a fascinating colorful Rhinobothryum bovalli, with 1.60 m of length. Under a banana leaf we saw two lovely white ghost bats – it was an unforgettable night for us! During the day we found several poison dart frogs, ameivas and skinks. In total we found 43 herp-species which was of course due to Brians knowledge and experience. Thank you so much – muchas gracias!

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Das Hügelland um Guayacan - Landscape at Guayacan
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Passerini-Tangare im Regen - Passerini's Tanager in the rain.
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Gut angelegte Pfade führen durch das Schutzgebiet - well maintained trails are leading through the reserve.
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Bachlauf im Guayacan Reserve - creek in the Guayacan Reserve
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Brian hat auch stehende Gewässer angelegt, die einen Hotspot für die Amphibien bilden - Brian also built bodies of standing water that are a hotspot for the amphibians.
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Direkt neben dem Gästehaus liegt ein kleiner Tümpel - right beside the guest house there is a small pool.
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Der Tümpel ist zwar winzig, aber bei Einsetzen der Dämmerung ist er voller Leben - the pool is quite small but starting with the evening it is full of life!
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Eine Bewohnerin des kleinen Tümpels: eine Südamerikanische Schnappschildkröte (Chelydra acutirostris) - an inhabitant of the small pool: a South American Snapping Turtle (Chelydra acutirostris)
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Ein Wolkenbruch hinderte uns am Aufbruch - heavy shower prevented us from starting
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Warten auf das Ende des Regens - waiting for the end of the rain
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Zumindestens konnten wir einige Kolibris beobachten, hier ein Bronzeschwanz-Buffonkolibri - at least we could watch some hummingbirds, here a Bronze-tailed Plumeleteer.
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eine Stabheuschrecke, kurz nach dem Regen - a stick insect, after the rain
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Ein Rotaugenlaubfrosch (Agalychnis callidryas) in Ruhestellung - a Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) in resting position.
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Agalychnis callidryas - das selbe Tier in Aktion - the same animal in action.
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Mit seinen Haftscheiben ist der Rotaugenlaubfrosch (Agalychnis callidryas) ein guter Kletterer - with its adhesive discs the Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) is well equipped for climbing.
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Die Laichballen des Rotaugenlaubfrosches (Agalychnis callidryas) werden über Gewässern abgelegt, sodass die Kaulquappen beim Schlüpfen direkt ins Wasser fallen - the eggs of the Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) are positioned above pools so that the tadpoles directly fall into the water when they are hatching.
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In den Gewässern waren etliche Weißmaul-Klappschildkröten (Kinosternon leucostomum) aktiv auf Nahrungssuche - in the pools many White-lipped Mud Turtles (Kinosternon leucostomum) were foraging.
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Weißmaul-Klappschildkröten (Kinosternon leucostomum) sind vor allem nachtaktiv, wir konnten sie vereinzelt auch tagsüber beobachten - White-lipped Mud Turtles (Kinosternon leucostomum) are mainly nocturnal but we could watch some during the day too.
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Ausnahmsweise fanden wir diesen Teratohyla spinosa hier abseits eines Bachlaufes - by way of exception we found this Teratohyla spinosa away from any creek.
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Mit bis zu 185 mm ist der Mittelamerikanischer Ochsenfrosch (Leptodactylus savagei) einer der größten Frösche Costa Ricas - reaching up to 185 mm the Central American Bullfrog (Leptodactylus savagei) ist one of the bigest frogs in Costa Rica.
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Die Laubkröte (Rhaebo haematiticus) ernährt sich von kleinen Insekten - the Smooth-skinned Toad (Rhaebo haematiticus) feeds on small insects.
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Unser erster Salamander in Costa Rica: der Gestreifte Klettersalamander (Bolitoglossa striatula) - our first salamander in Costa Rica: the Striated Webfoot Salamander (Bolitoglossa striatula).
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Der Gestreifte Klettersalamander (Bolitoglossa striatula) zählt zu den Lungenlosen Salamandern (Plethodontidae) und atmet durch die Haut - the Striated Webfoot Salamander (Bolitoglossa striatula) belongs to the lungless salamanders (Plethodontidae) and is breathing through the skin.
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Scinax elaeochroa - rufendes Männchen - calling male
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klein aber immer hübsch anzusehen: Bromelienlaubfrosch (Dendropsophus ebraccatus) - small but beautiful: Hourglass Treefrog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus)
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Bromelienlaubfrosch (Dendropsophus ebraccatus) - Hourglass Treefrog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus)
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Eine junge Zischnatter (Phrynonax poecilonotus) schläft auf einem Baum - juvenile Bird-eating Snake (Phrynonax poecilonotus) sleeping on a tree.
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Craugastor bransfordii sind sehr variabel gezeichnet - Craugastor bransfordii are very various in coloration.
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Craugastor crassidigitus ist an den großen Haftscheiben der Finger zu erkennen - Slim Fingered Rain Frogs (Craugastor crassidigitus) may be identified by the large discs on the fingertips.
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Craugastor crassidigitus - Slim Fingered Rain Frog
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Warszewitschs Waldfrosch (Rana warszewitschii) sieht von oben unauffällig braun und grün aus - the Brilliant Forest Frog (Rana warszewitschii) looks brown and green from above.
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Die auffällige Unterseite und Seiten der Beine bei Warszewitschs Waldfrosch (Rana warszewitschii)  - the striking underpart and sides of the legs of the Brilliant Forest Frog (Rana warszewitschii).
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Craugastor fitzingeri war einer der häufigeren Frösche auf unserer Reise - the Common Rain Frog (Craugastor fitzingeri) was one of the common frogs on our trip.
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Etliche Gebänderte Katzenaugennattern (Leptodeira septentrionalis) waren nachts auf der Jagd - several Northern Cat-eyed Snakes (Leptodeira septentrionalis) were foraging during the night.
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Leptodeira septentrionalis - Gebänderte Katzenaugennatter - Northern Cat-eyed Snake
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Anolis oxylophus schläft auf einem Blatt - Stream Anole (Anolis oxylophus) sleeping on a leaf.
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Der fliegende Frosch Agalychnis spurrelli kann auf seinen Schwimmhäuten durch die Luft gleiten - the Gliding Leaf Frog (Agalychnis spurrelli) is able to glide through the air on its webbing.
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Gliding Leaf Frog (Agalychnis spurrelli)
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Imantodes inornatus klettert sehr gut und ernährt sich von Fröschen und Echsen - Imantodes inornatus is a perfect climber and feeds on frogs and lizards.
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Imantodes inornatus
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Geophis brachycephalus ist nachtaktiv und jagt meist unterirdisch - the Costa Rican Earth Snake (Geophis brachycephalus) is a nocturnal and mostly fossorial snake.
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Die Falsche Baumkorallenschlange (Rhinobothryum bovallii) imitiert die Färbung von Korallenschlangen - the False Tree Coral Snake (Rhinobothryum bovallii) imitates the colouration of coral snakes.
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Diese Falsche Baumkorallenschlange (Rhinobothryum bovallii) war mit fast 1,5 m und ihrem unerschrockenen Verhalten recht beeindruckend - this False Tree Coral Snake (Rhinobothryum bovallii) with almost 1,5 m and a very fearless behaviour was rather impressive.
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Eine Vertreterin der Nachtechsen (Xantusiidae) ist die Krokodilnachtechse (Lepidophyma flavimaculatum) - a representative of the Night Lizards (Xantusiidae) is the Yellow-spotted Tropical Night Lizard (Lepidophyma flavimaculatum).
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In dieser Region pflanzt sich die Krokodilnachtechse (Lepidophyma flavimaculatum) parthenogenetisch (d.h. durch Jungfernzeugung) fort, weiter nördlich kommen auch Männchen vor - in this area the Yellow-spotted Tropical Night Lizard (Lepidophyma flavimaculatum) is reproducing parthenogenetically, further north males exist too.
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Die zweite Schwanzlurch-Art, die wir fanden, war Bolitoglossa colonnea - the second salamander species we found was the Ridge-headed Webfoot Salamander (Bolitoglossa colonnea).
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Mit dem breiten Maul kann Craugastor megacephalus relativ große Beutetiere verschlingen - with it's big mouth the Atlantic Broad-headed Litter Frog (Craugastor megacephalus ) is able to swallow big prey.
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Zwei Weiße Fledermäuse (Ectophylla alba) haben aus einem großen Blatt einen Regenschutz gebaut - two Honduran White Bats (Ectophylla alba) built an umbrella out of a big leaf.
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Cruziohyla sylviae bewohnt die Baumkronen und kommt nur zum Ablaichen herunter - Sylvia's Tree Frog (Cruziohyla sylviae) inhabits the canopy and only comes down to breed.
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Cruziohyla sylviae - die auffällig gezeichneten Körperpartien sind nur sichtbar, wenn der Frosch nicht in Ruhestellung ist - the eye-catching coloration is only visible when the frog is not in resting position.
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Cruziohyla sylviae
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Cruziohyla sylviae
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Der Lemur-Laubfrosch (Agalychnis lemur) ist mit seinen großen Augen eine spektakuläre Art - the Lemur Leaf Frog (Agalychnis lemur) with it's big eyes is a spectacular species.
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Die Bestände des Lemur-Laubfrosches (Agalychnis lemur) haben in den letzten Jahren stark abgenommen. Er ist nur mehr an wenigen Stellen zu finden - the population of the Lemur Leaf Frog (Agalychnis lemur) has dramatically decreased in the last years. There are only a few spots left where it can be found.
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Pristimantis ridens - Pygmy Rain Frog
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Pristimantis ridens - Pygmy Rain Frog
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Diasporus diastema - Dink-Frosch - Dink Frog
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Hyloscirtus palmeri - Palmer-Laubfrosch - Palmer's Tree Frog
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Hyloscirtus palmeri - Palmer-Laubfrosch - Palmer's Tree Frog
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Pristimantis cerasinus - Clay-coloured Rain Frog
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Craugastor noblei - Noble's Masked Litter Frog
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Schließlich fanden wir auch noch Glasfrösche: Stacheliger Glasfrosch (Teratohyla spinosa) - at last we found some glass frogs too: Spiny Glass Frog (Teratohyla spinosa)
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... und Hyalinobatrachium valerioi bei der Paarung - ... and the Reticulated Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) in mating position.
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Zurück beim Gästehaus beobachteten wir noch diese beiden Asiatischen Hausgeckos (Hemidactylus frenatus) - back to the guest house we observed these Common House Geckoes (Hemidactylus frenatus).
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Oophaga pumilio - Erdbeerfröschchen - Strawberry Poison Frog
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Dendrobates auratus - Goldbaumsteiger - Green Poison Frog
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Ein weiterer Vertreter der Pfeilgiftfrösche (Dendrobatidae): der Talamanca-Raketenfrosch (Allobates talamancae) - another representant of the Poison Frogs (Dendrobatidae): the Striped Rocket Frog (Allobates talamancae).
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Der Talamanca-Raketenfrosch (Allobates talamancae) ist tagaktiv - the Striped Rocket Frog (Allobates talamancae) is a diurnal species.
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Craugastor bransfordii
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Zentralamerikanische Ameive (Holcosus festivus) beim Sonnenbad auf einem Stamm - Middle American Ameiva (Holcosus festivus) basking on a log.

San Gerardo de Dota

When we crossed the Cordilleras, we stopped in San Gerardo de Dota, a valley which ranges from the Pan Americana Highway to the south. This area is famous for its bird life, especially for the occurrence of the Quetzal. When we arrived, it rained and it was very cold, which is not surprising, because the area is situated between 2.500 and 3.000 m above sea level. When we did our night tour, we didn’t hear any frog and also we couldn’t find the local Bolitoglossa pesrubra. We knew that higher elevations are highly effected by the chytridiomycosis, and many species have completely disappeared, but not a single amphibian was still a not expected surprise, although it was really cold.

Im Hochland dürfte es noch eine gute Population an Baird-Tapiren geben
In the highlands Bairds tapir seems to be quite common

While we had breakfast, we observed many birds on a feeding ground, but unfortunately no Quetzal was present. Because it was still raining, we decided to leave and we only stopped at the highest point on our way at an elevation of about 3.400 m. On the rainy way up to a lookout Thomas turned a stone and found a freezing female Sceleropus. While the weather forecast was still very bad, we decided to drive on to La Gamba.

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Im Hochland der Kordilleren suchten wir nach dem Salamander Bolitoglossa pesrubra, leider ohne Erfolg. Die Art kommt auf Pflanzen in dem moorigen Gelände vor. - In the Cordilleras Highlands we searched for the salamander Bolitoglossa pesrubra, unfortunately in vain. This species occurs in the marshy moors nearby the main road.
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Beeindruckende Landschaft - Impressive landscape
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Weil wir keine herpetologischen Arten im Gebirge fanden, verlegten wir uns auf die Vogelwelt. Hier ein Langschwanzseidenschnäpper. - For lack of herpetological species we swiched to ornithology. Here is a Long-tailed Silky Flycatcher.
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In mehr als 3.000 m Seehöhe war das Wetter extrem kalt und regnerisch. Wir machten eine Wanderung auf einen Gipfel. - In more than 3.000m the weather was very cold and rainy. We hiked up to a peak.
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Eichelspecht - Acorn Woodpecker
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Laucharassari - Emerald Toucanet
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Feuerkehlkolibri - Fiery-throated Hummingbird
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Einfarb-Hakenschnabel - Slaty Flowerpiercer
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Violettkron-Brillantkolibri - Rivoli's Hummingbird
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Purpurkehlnymphe - Purple-throated Mountaingem
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Haarspecht - Hairy Woodpecker
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Feuerkehlkolibri - Fiery-throated Hummingbird
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Violettkron-Brillantkolibri - Rivoli's Hummingbird
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Gelbschenkel-Buschammer - Yellow-thighed Sparrow
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Bluttangare - Flame-coloured Tanager
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Morgenammer - Rufous-collared Sparrow
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Alpine Matten über 3.000m - alpine landscape higher than 3.000m
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Gipfelsieg! - Peak ace!
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Sceloporus malachiticus - Dieses Stachelleguan-Weibchen versteckte sich bei extremer Kälte unter einem Stein - This female Spiny Lizard was hidden under a stone, while it was very cold.
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Sceloporus malachiticus - Leider konnten wir außer diesem Tier keine weiteren Reptilien im Hochland finden - Unfortunately this was our only reptile record in the highland

La Gamba

As an Austrian herp-group it’s a must to visit the rain-forest of the Austrians in La Gamba. Rudi was here 27 years ago when the station was founded and now he’s back after such a long time. We had our own accommodation hut in the middle of the garden and we enjoyed the full board of the kitchen. Our hut was not far from the Quebrada Negra stream, which was our favorite investigation area. The wildlife in the garden was really cool and many birds and mammals were already familiar with the habits of the team. The garden is like a transition to the near forest. We also did a quite long tour on the ridge of the mountain, but this tour was rather disappointing. We could find several of the more common species –according to the book of Michael Franzen and Dennis Kollarits. The most interesting species was the record of an Imantodes inornatus, which was only known from a single specimen up to now.

Beschreibung

On our way to Golfito at the coast we observed our first living Green Iguanas, which we had expected to be much more common. The station owns a forest reserve named Finca Alexis about 10 km north of the station. The journey to get there is an adventure and without a good 4WD it would have been impossible. We went there in search for the Granular Poison Frog, which should occur there in high numbers, but we searched in vain, although we went completely down the forest to the embankment of the river. We just heard some calls but it was impossible to locate an individual. Apparently some parameter must have been wrong during this time, but it was still an adventure and a fantastic landscape.

When we came back it was just time for dinner and during the night we spotted a caiman in one of the ponds, which made our day. On the last morning we took some pictures of splendid birds, before we drove on back north.

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Diesen Gelbkopfkarakara entdeckten wir auf der Fahrt nach La Gamba - we spotted this Yellow-headed Caracara on our way to La Gamba.
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Die Tropenstation La Gamba im Regenwald der Österreicher - the Field Station of La Gamba in the Rainforest of the Austrians.
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Franz half mit, die Unterkunft herzurichten - Franz helped to prepare our accomodation.
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Im Garten der Tropenstation brütete diese Braunschwanz-Amazilie - in the garden of the field station this Rufous-tailed Hummingbird was breeding.
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Die Tropenstation hat keinen Zaun, daher findet man im Garten immer wieder Besucher aus dem umliegenden Wald: hier ein Aguti - there is no fence around the field station. So we continuously met visitors from the surrounding jungle in the garden: in this case an agouti.
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Dieser Tuberkelhokko spazierte direkt an der Kantine vorbei - this Great Curassow walked right beside the canteen.
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Dieser künstliche Teich beherbergt einen kleinen Brillenkaiman (Caiman crocodilus) - a Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) is living in this artificial pond.
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Caiman crocodilus - Brillenkaiman - Spectacled Caiman
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Fledermäuse an der Außenwand unserer Unterkunft - bats hanging on the external wall of our accomodation
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Anolis polylepis - immer die Schuhe prüfen, bevor man hineinschlüpft! - always check your boots before you step in!
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Außerhalb des Nationalparks liegen noch große Plantagen - outside the national park there are a lot of large plantations.
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Auch im Garten der Tropenstation häufig: Gebänderte Katzenaugennatter (Leptodeira septentrionalis) - very common also in the garden of the field station: Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis)
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Gebänderte Katzenaugennatter (Leptodeira septentrionalis) - Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis)
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Ein junger Helmbasilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) schläft im Geäst - a juvenile Common Basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) sleeping in the branches.
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Dieser adulte Helmbasilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) beeindruckte durch seine Größe - this adult Common Basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus) had an impressive size.
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Wasseranolis (Anolis aquaticus) mit typischem weißen Seitenstreifen - Water Anole (Anolis aquaticus) with the typical white lateral stripe.
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Garnele - shrimp
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Smaragd-Glasfrosch (Espadarana prosoblepon) lauert auf Beute - Emerald Glass Frog (Espadarana prosoblepon) lurking on its prey.
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Espadarana prosoblepon - Smaragd-Glasfrosch - Emerald Glass Frog
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Ein weiterer Glasfrosch (Centrolenidae): Hyalinobatrachium valerioi mit Gelege - another glass frog (Centrolenidae): Reticulated Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi ) with clutch.
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Anolis polylepis - Golfo Dulce Anolis - Many-scaled Anole
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Auch dieser Bilch war nachts unterwegs - this dormouse was also active this night
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Um den kleinen Dink-Frosch (Diasporus diastema) zu finden, muss man den lauten, kurzen Rufen folgen - to find the small Dink Frog (Diasporus diastema) one has to follow the loud and short calls.
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ein spektakulärer Laubfrosch: Scinax boulengeri - a spectacular hylid frog: Boulenger's Treefrog (Scinax boulengeri )
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Scinax boulengeri
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Anolis limifrons - zeigt sein Kehlfähnchen - presenting its dewlap
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Anolis polylepis - Golfo Dulce Anolis - Many-scaled Anole
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Regenwald der Österreicher - Rainforest of the Austrians.
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Diese Incilius coniferus fanden wir tagsüber auf einem Pfad durch den Wald - we found this Green Climbing Toad (Incilius coniferus) during the day on a trail through the forest.
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Holcosus leptophrys beim Sonnenbaden - Delicate Ameiva (Holcosus leptophrys) basking.
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im Regenwald der Österreicher - inside the Rainforest of the Austrians
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noch ein Regenguss - another heavy shower
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Franz verirrte sich im Regenwald. Erst Stunden später fanden wir ihn völlig durchnässt - Franz got lost in the jungle. We found him hours later completely drenched.
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Franz trocknet seine Besitztümer - Franz drying his belongings.
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Siesta
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intensive Siesta
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junge Waldstörche - juvenile Wood Storks
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Aufbruch in die Quedabra Negra am Rande der Tropenstation - entering the Quedabra Negra beside the field station
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Craugastor fitzingeri - Common Rain Frog
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Diasporus diastema - Dink-Frosch - Dink Frog
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Craugastor crassidigitus oder/or fitzingeri?
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Der Rübenschwanzgecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda) ist meist auf Bäumen zu finden - the Turnip-tail Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda) is mainly arboreal.
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Der Rübenschwanzgecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda) kann mit seinen "Schwimmhäuten" auch durch die Luft gleiten - the Turnip-tail Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda) is able to parachute with its webbed toes.
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Anolis polylepis - Golfo Dulce Anolis - Many-scaled Anole
Tag 6 La Gamba
Auf dem Weg nach Golfito entdeckten wir diesen Wegebussard - on our way to Golfito we spotted this Roadside Hawk.
Tag 6 La Gamba
In Golfito konnten wir endlich unsere ersten lebenden Grünen Leguane (Iguana iguana) beobachten - in Golfito we finally found our first alive Common Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana).
Tag 6 La Gamba
Grüne Leguane (Iguana iguana) sind sehr gute Kletterer und oft hoch in den Bäumen zu finden - Common Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana) are perfect climbers and can be found high up in the trees.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Iguana iguana - Grüner Leguan - Common Green Iguana
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6 Basiliscus basiliscus
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Basiliscus basiliscus - Helmbasilisk - Common Basilisk
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Krabbe im Mangroven-Sumpf bei Golfito - crab in the mangrove swamp at Golfito.
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Ausflug ins Landesinnere zur Finca Alexis, die auch zur Tropenstation gehört - excursion into the inland to the Finca Alexis, that belongs to the field station too.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Bergregenwald bei der Finca Alexis - montane rain forest at the Finca Alexis
Tag 6 La Gamba
Bergregenwald bei der Finca Alexis - montane rain forest at the Finca Alexis
Tag 6 La Gamba
Bergregenwald bei der Finca Alexis - montane rain forest at the Finca Alexis
Tag 6 La Gamba
Der Dink-Frosch (Diasporus diastema) ist nicht immer so leicht zu entdecken wie hier. Oft sitzt er in der Laubstreu verborgen - the Dink-Frog (Diasporus diastema) is not always so easy to find like here. It is often hidden in the leaf litter.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Ein Riese unter Costa Ricas Fröschen: der Mittelamerikanischer Ochsenfrosch (Leptodactylus savagei) - a giant among Costa Ricas frogs: the Central American Bullfrog (Leptodactylus savagei).
Tag 6 La Gamba
zur Abwechslung eine andere Craugastor-Art: Craugastor stejnegerianus - a different Craugastor species for a change: Craugastor stejnegerianus
Tag 6 La Gamba
Craugastor fitzingeri - auch Frösche werden von Gelsen gequält - frogs are tortured by mosquitoes too.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Männchen von Hyalinobatrachium valerioi bewachen ihre Gelege sehr intensiv, oft bei Tag und Nacht - males of the Reticulated Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) show intensive parental care, often by day and by night.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Die Gelege von Hyalinobatrachium valerioi können unterschiedlich weit entwickelt sein - the clutches of the Reticulated Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi) may have different stages of development.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Smilisca sordida - Mexikanischer Baumfrosch - Drab Treefrog
Tag 6 La Gamba
Smilisca sordida - Mexikanischer Baumfrosch - Drab Treefrog
Tag 6 La Gamba
Anolis polylepis - Golfo Dulce Anolis - Many-scaled Anole
Tag 6 La Gamba
Der Brillenkaiman (Caiman crocodilus) ist aufgrund seiner Größe für Menschen ungefährlich - due to its size the Spectacled Caiman (Caiman crocodilus) is harmless to humans.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Imantodes inornatus - der letzte Nachweis dieser Schlange bei der Tropenstation liegt Jahre zurück, entsprechend glücklich waren wir über diesen Fund - the last record of this snake at the field station was years ago, so we were very glad about this finding.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Imantodes inornatus - der leichte Körperbau verrät sofort die hervorragenden Kletterkünste - the light weighted body immediately shows the perfect abilities to climb.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Am Tag unserer Abreise beobachteten wir noch einige Vögel wie diese Goldschnabel-Buschammer - on the day of our departure we still spotted some birds, like this Orange-billed Sparrow
Tag 6 La Gamba
Der Kaiman-Teich diente dem Erzfischer als Jagdrevier - the caiman pond was a hunting ground for the American Pygmy Kingfisher.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Cherrietangare - Cherrie's Tanager
Tag 6 La Gamba
Der Goldkehltukan war nicht scheu aber meistens in Bewegung, was das Fotografieren erschwerte - the Yellow-throated Toucan was not shy but mostly in motion which made photo shooting difficult.
Tag 6 La Gamba
Zuletzt posierte er dann doch geduldig für uns - at last it posed patiently for us.

Uvita

On the way along the Pacific coastline we stopped several times between Coronado and Uvita. In this area both Iguana species seem to be quite numerous, sometimes we found both species on the same tree. We arrived in Uvita and searched for an accommodation and found a lovely guesthouse with a large property including a pond and stream. The lovely owner Sue from USA hosted us and told us about the nature on her private property. During the night we found quite a lot of different species including two snakes and some new amphibians like a tree frog and a glass frog. Our short term travel decision included now also the Guanacaste National park so we had to proceed and leave the Seahorse house in direction north.

Tag 7 Uvita
Iguana iguana - Im Gebiet von Uvita kommen beide Leguanarten gemeinsam vor - in the area of Uvita both Iguana species live together
Tag 7 Uvita
Während des Mittagessens konnten wir in der Nähe des Raestaurants beide Leguanarten auf dem gleichen Baum beobachten - During our lunch  we observed both Iguana species on the same tree
Tag 7 Uvita
Habitat in Uvita
Tag 7 Uvita
Ctenosaura similis - Jungtiere kann man häufig am Boden antreffen  - Young individuals can often be seen on the ground
Tag 7 Uvita
Ctenosaura similis - subadult
Tag 7 Uvita
Ctenosaura similis - Adulte findet man oft in Astgabeln in den unteren Bereichen, während grüne Leguane wesentlich höher klettern - Adults often bask in lower crotches, while Green Iguanas climb higher
Tag 7 Uvita
Scharlachara - Scarlet Macaw
Tag 7 Uvita
Ctenosaura similis - ein Männchen überwacht sein Revier - a male watching his territory
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Gonatodes albogularis - Dieser kleine tagaktive Gecko kommt sehr häufig an Baumstämmen vor - This small diurnal gecko is quite common on tree trunks
Tag 7 Uvita
Gonatodes albogularis - Männchen sind mit ihren roten Köpfen auffällig gefärbt - males have red heads and are therefore quite gaudy
Tag 7 Uvita
In der grünen Strauchschicht leben gut getarnte Echsen - In the green shrub layer live well camouflaged lizards
Tag 7 Uvita
Iguana iguana - die Grünen Leguane sind als Jungtiere grasgrün gefärbt und schwer zu sehen - young Green Iguanas have a grass-green color and they are hard to see
Tag 7 Uvita
Anolis limifrons
Tag 7 Uvita
Cayenneralle - Grey-necked Wood Rail
Tag 7 Uvita
Scincella cherriei - Der braune Waldskink lebt in Waldlichtungen und entlang von Pfaden, aber extrem häufig fanden wir ihn auf kurzrasigen Flächen - The Brown Forest Skink lives in clearigs and along trails in forests, but the highest diversity was found on shortly cut grass areas
Tag 7 Uvita
Scincella cherriei - Die kleinen Skinke sind bitzschnell und extrem schwierig zu Fotografieren - This small skinks are extremely quick runners and therefore it is hard to take pictures
Tag 7 Uvita
Anolis limifrons - Dieser langschnäuzige Anolis bewohnt das feuchte Tiefland in Costa Rica - this long snouted Anole inhabits the moist lowands in Costa Rica
Tag 7 Uvita
Boana rosenbergi - In Sue's Garten war unser einziger Fundpunkt dieses Laubfrosches, der nur entlang der südlichen Pazifikküste in CR vorkommt - Sue's garden was our only location for this tree frog, which only occurs along the southern Pacific coast in CR
Tag 7 Uvita
Rhinella horribilis - Die Aga Kröten saßen bevorzugt am Rand von Gewässern und warteten auf Beute - The Cane Toads were often sitting on the side of water bodies waiting for prey
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Boana rosenbergi - In Sue's Garten war diese Laubfrosch recht häufig. Wir fanden ihn an den Pflanzen rund um den Gartenteich, aber auch direkt am Gebäude auf unserer Terrasse - In Sue's garden this tree frog was rather common. We found it on plants around the garden pond as well as on our balcony
Tag 7 Uvita
Boana rosenbergi - ein hübscher Laubfrosch, dessen Stimme wie das Klopfen an eine Tür klingt - a nice treefrog, whose calling sounds like knocking on a door
Tag 7 Uvita
Diese Cayenneralle (Aramides cajanea) schlief hinter dem Gartenteich in hoherer Vegetation - This Gray Necked Wood Rail was sleeping behind the pond in higher vegetation
Tag 7 Uvita
Sibon nebulatus - Diese schneckenfressende Schlange, die wir schon von Cahuita kannten, begegnete uns auch in Sue's Garten - This slug eating snake, which we already knew from Cahuita, came across in Sue's garden
Tag 7 Uvita
Sibon nebulatus - Es machte uns stutzig, dass wir keine Schnecken finden konnten - We wondered about not finding any slugs and snails
Tag 7 Uvita
Craugastor fitzingeri - der wohl häufigste Frosch in Costa Rica - maybe the most common frog in Costa Rica
Tag 7 Uvita
Craugastor fitzingeri - bringt fertig entwickelte Jungfrösche zur Welt und ist daher unabhängig von Gewässern - is a live bearer with fully developed froglets and therefore independent from water bodies
Tag 7 Uvita
Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum - In einem Bach entdeckten wir die neue Glasfroschart - In a stream we detected this new species of glass frogs
Tag 7 Uvita
Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum - transparent
Tag 7 Uvita
Anolis polylepis - Diese Art bewohnt nur den Südwesten Costa Ricas - this species inhabits the south-western part of Costa Rica
Tag 7 Uvita
Leptodeira septentrionalis - Die zweite Schlange an diesem Abend war ein alter Bekannter - the second snake during this evening was a familiar friend
Tag 7 Uvita
Leptodeira septentrionalis
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Leptodactylus insularum - eine extrem flinke Art aus der Familie der schaumnestbauenden Leptodactylidae - a very agile species from the foam nest builder family Leptodactylidae
Tag 7 Uvita
Gruppenfoto mit Sue vor unserer Abreise - group foto with Sue before we left

La Sierra

After a short stop in the Carara National Park where we were surprised by a heavy rain shower we drove on to the Guanacaste province, but it was too far so we had to search for another accommodation on the way. First we stopped at the Brisas de Lago - lake, but unfortunately the landlady was very sick and couldn’t take guests. So we drove on and it was already quite late, when we reached the spa Pueblo Antiguo in La Sierra where we checked in. We had a fine reasonable apartment with the possibility of visiting many thermal pools and a bar directly beside the pools. During a walk along a pond we observed our first crocodile and some really interesting birds. Afterwards we occupied the spa and had some beers at the bar. After dark we searched along the pond and found new and interesting frogs like Milk Frogs and Mexican Tree Frogs. In a small hut many dwarf geckos ran around and under a plate a tarantula was hiding.

Pool-Party
Pool party
Tag 8 La Sierra
Natürlicher Weiher in La Sierra - Natural pond in La Sierra 
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Amerikanischer Schlangenhalsvogel - Anhinga or American Darter
Tag 8 La Sierra
Kahnschnabel - Boat-billed Heron
Tag 8 La Sierra
Crocodylus acutus - Zuerst vermuteten wir einen Kaiman, da wir ein Krokodil nicht in so einem kleinen Gewässer erwarteten - First we misidentified it for a Caiman, because we didn't believe a crocodile to live in such a small pond
Tag 8 La Sierra
Smilisca baudinii - der häufigste Laubfrosch im Nordwesten - tho most common tree frog in the North-West
Tag 8 La Sierra
Smilisca baudinii
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Schlafender Schmetterling - sleeping butterfly
Tag 8 La Sierra
Rana vaillanti - ein sehr großer Frosch, der gerne Laubfrösche frisst - a huge frog, who feeds on tree frogs
Tag 8 La Sierra
Smilisca baudinii - sitzt meist hoch in Büschen und Bäumen - mostly sitting on bushes and trees
Tag 8 La Sierra
Trachycephalus typhonius - Milch- oder Pfefferfrosch, er kann ein giftiges Sekret absondern - Milk- or Pepperfrog, he can segregate a poisonous secretion
Tag 8 La Sierra
Trachycephalus typhonius - hat seine Schallblasen am Rücken - has it vocal sacs on his back
Tag 8 La Sierra
Smilisca baudinii - kann sehr variabel sein - can be very variable
Tag 8 La Sierra
Geißelskorpion - Giant Viengaroon
Tag 8 La Sierra
Vogelspinne Männchen, gefunden in einem verfallenen Häuschen - tarantula male, found in a ruinous house
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Gonatodes albogularis - potentielle Beute der Vogelspinne - potential prey of the bird spider
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Parauque Nachtschwalbe- Common Parauque
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Blaukappenmotmot - Blue Crowned Motmot
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Schlangenhalsvogel - Anhinga
Tag 8 La Sierra
Streifenreiher - Fasciated Tiger Heron
Tag 8 La Sierra
Braunschwanzamazilie - Rufous-tailed Hummingbird
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Anolis cupreus - Männchen mit Rückenkamm - male with white crest
Tag 8 La Sierra
Einige Fledermäuse hingen am Tag unter unserem Vordach - Some bats hung under our canopy during the day

Santa Rosa National Park

The Santa Rosa NP is one of the oldest and largest National Parks in the “dry province” Guanacaste. While there are very strict rules in other NP farther south, we made a completely different experience in Santa Rosa. In the information center of the park some rangers informed us about the possibility for an accommodation and food in the park, presupposed that there is some space left by the preferred students and researchers. We were lucky and got a Spartan big room, but we had everything we needed. In the park we could do whatever we wanted to, except using the car later than 1 hour after sundown. We could make our night tours without any constraints and we could use the canteen.

Beschreibung

Near the NP center many Black Iguanas had their territories and used the short periods of sun, because the wet season had started in this generally dry region. On trees and rocks we observed dwarf geckos and in some bushes the local dry forest anole was present. After a first exploration trip we came back to our room because of heavy rain and realized our room was completely full of trooper ants, which must have invaded our room within a very short time. We searched for some brooms and swept the room about two hours in order to get rid of these ants with its painful bites. Only Richard was bitten and his finger was swollen for some days.

During the reasonable dinner we already found many yellow toads, which searched for insects in the spotlights. When we started for our night tour, we already heard a loud concert of frogs, which seemed to be in high breeding mood because of the intensive rain falls. Unfortunately we had to stop on our way, because Franz nearly stepped on a big 1.60 m long rattle snake, which was lying on the road and enjoyed the remaining warmness. After a copious photo shooting we wanted to proceed but just beside us Rudi realized a Boa imperator passing by. This snake was about the same size as the rattler and later on we also found a baby Boa. Finally we reached the ponds and we observed a mass breeding of various frogs and toads. A cat-eyed snake was trying to gulp a huge tree frog and several mud turtles tried to get their portion of this mass spectacle. For a long time we heard a frog species but couldn’t localize it until Thomas started to dig and suddenly this foam nest frog, which was calling from a hole revealed. Such nights are really unique and very breathtaking but it wasn’t over yet. On our way back home we found several frogs and new snakes but still the Burrowing Toad was missing. When we came home we prepared for bed and found a Mexican Burrowing Python in the toilet just beside a huge Cane Toad which might have eaten it, but we saved it in time. What an unexpected great night!

On the following day we made a 13 km trip to the fantastic beach Playa Naranjo. Because of the heavy rain a ditch was flooded and we didn’t dare crossing with the car, so we had to pass the water (not considering crocodiles!) and we had to walk for the remaining 4 km during very warm and humid weather and the mosquitos were annoying. Just beside the stream Florian found a Spectacled Lizard with a red tail. Finally we reached the strand and after an interesting talk with the ranger of the campground we enjoyed the sea but the current was very strong, so we didn’t swim too far. Beside us, there was just a small group of surfers but during the dry season this beach seems to be very popular. On our way there were many black Iguanas, spider monkeys, fiddler crabs and two male Great Curassows were fighting for a hen.

Before we started for our second night tour, we listened to the recordings of the breeding call of the Burrowing Toads because these animals were very high on our wish list. And just when we had started, we heard this strange call from somewhere behind the campground. When we approached, the very shy toads immediately stopped their call. There were about a dozen of calling toads distributed on some puddles but finally we found three or four which made us very happy. We waited about 10 minutes without any noise but they didn’t start to croak again. Only when we left the place after about 15 minutes some of them started again but also on our second gentle approach they immediately stopped. Still more spectacular was the call of the Sheep Frogs – a microhylid species – with their sheep like calls. They weren’t shy at all and in the chorus with Milk Frogs and Mexican Tree Frogs it was an ear-piercing sound. Another highlight was the mass breeding spectacle of the Yellow Toads, which used the same waters as the Burrowing Toads in the mud lanes of gravel roads. After this night our stay in Santa Rosa ended and we started to drive back. Still in the park we found a freshly run-over Black-tailed Cribo, which was still alive but without a chance to survive – what a shame!    

Either the possibilities in the park as well as the records because of the starting rainy season made this visit in Santa Rosa the absolute highlight of our trip. We can’t imagine the water shortage during the dry period! All amphibians were active and of course also their predators used this possibility to catch as much as possible. On the way back south we had to pay a fine for overtaking and for two guys not using the seatbelt. The officer wanted us to pay 2.400,- US$ but finally we could agree for a much cheaper solution…

Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Nordkarakara - Crested Caracara
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Beobachtung von Schwarzen Leguanen vor dem Nationalparkzentrum - Watching Black Iguanas in front of the national park center
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Ctenosaura similis - extrem häufig in Santa Rosa - very common in Santa Rosa
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Unterkunft - Accommodation
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Beeindruckender Baum - impressive tree
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Trockenwald in der Regenzeit - Dry forest in the wet season
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Anolis cupreus - Die Trockenwaldanolis ist die einzige Anolisart in Santa Rosa - the Dry Forest Anole is the only anoles species in Santa Rosa.
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Temporäre Gewässer mit Schaumnestern - temporary ponds with foam nests
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Nester von Leptodactylidae Fröschen - nests of Leptodactylidae frogs
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Invasion von Soldatenameisen in unserem Zimmer. Wir kehrten die ungebetenen Gäste 2 h lang aus dem Zimmer - Invasion of trooper ants in our room. We swept and brushed two hours to get rid of them 
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Warten auf das Abendessen - waiting for dinner
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Incilius luetkenii - Viele dieser Kröten hüpften während des Abendessens auf der Suche nach Nahrung umher - Many toads were foraging under our desks during dinner
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Diese Vogelspinne entdeckten wir unter einem Holzstück - This tarantula was hiding under a wooden plate 
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Smilisca baudinii - eine häufige Laubfroschart - a common tree frog species
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Warum dieser junge Schwarze Leguan gestorben ist, ist unbekannt - Cause of death of this Black Iguana is unknown
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Crotalus simus - diese Klapperschlange wärmte sich am Abend auch der warmen Asphaltstraße- this rattle snake was basking in the eveneing on the warm asphalt road
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Crotalus simus - Länge ca. 160 cm - length about 160 cm
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Crotalus simus - Die Schlange war sehr friedlich und kooperativ und verschwand im Gebüsch - the snake was very docile and disappeared in some shrubs
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Boa imperator - Nur wenige Meter von der Klapperschlange entfernt fanden wir diese Abgottschlange - Just a view meters away from the rattle snake we found this Boa imperator (formerly constrictor)
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Boa imperator - ca. 160 cm lang - length about 160 cm
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Boa imperator - Jungtier ca. 80 cm lang - juvenile, length about 80 cm
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Hypopachus variolosus - Diese Microhyliden rufen wie Schafe, daher ihr Name Sheep Frog - This microhylid species is calling like sheep, therefore their name Sheep Frogs
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Leptodeira rhombifera - frisst Smilisca baudinii - feeding on Smilisca baudinii
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Kinosternon scorpioides cruentatum - zwei bewegliche Gelenke im Plastron erlauben der Art, ihre Weichteile zu verschließen - bacause of two moveable joints these turtles can hide all their soft parts of the plastron
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Kinosternon scorpioides cruentatum - die Schildkröten müssen die kurze Regenzeit nutzen, um sich aureichend Nahrung für die Trockenzeit anzufressen - these turtles have to use the wet season for feeding in order to survive the long dry period
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Engystomops pustulosus - Der Tungara Frosch hat eine riesengroße Schallblase - the Tungara frog has a huge vocal sac
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Hypopachus variolosus
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Rana forreri - ein sehr großer aber scheuer Echter Frosch, der in Fahrspurrinnen ablaicht - a large Ranidae, who breeds in traffic lane ponds
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Der Fressvorgang geht weiter - The swallowing proceeds
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Kinosternon scorpioides cruentatum
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Leptodactylus fragilis - dieser kleine Schaumnestbauer ruft versteckt in kleinen Löchern - this small foam nest frog calls in small holes
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Engystomops pustulosus - Rufgemeinschaft von Tungarafröschen - Chorus of Tungara Frogs
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Incilius coccifer - Die zweiter Incilius Art ist wesentlich seltener als I. luetkenii. Sie erinnert sehr an die Kreuzkröte - The second Incilius species is much rarer than I. luetkenii. It reminds us of the Natterjack Toad.
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Boa imperator
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Anolis cupreus - schlafend, eine potentielle Beute für viele Schlangen - sleeping, a potential prey for many snakes
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Sibon anthracops
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Sibon anthracops - eine schneckenfressende Schlange - a snailfeeding snake
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Smilisca baudinii - rufend - calling
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Leptodeira rhombifera - Fressvorgang abgeschlossen - Feeding finished
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Imantodes gemmistratus - ein Echsenfresser - feeds mainly on lizards
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Imantodes gemmistratus - eine sehr schlanke Trugnatter - a very slender rear fanged snake
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Leptodeira nigrofasciata - ebenfalls eine leicht giftige Schlange - also a snake with mild venom
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Leptodeira nigrofasciata - bewohnt nur die Trockenwälder Costa Ricas - inhabits only the dry forests of Costa Rica
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Loxocemus bicolor - Wir fanden diese Erdpython in den sanitären Anlagen während der Abendtoilette - we found this Burrowing Python in the restrooms during our evenig toilet.
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Loxocemus bicolor - leuchtet im Licht in verschiedenen Farben - shines in light in different colors
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Wanderung im feuchten Trockenwald - Hike in the moist dry forest
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Gelbnackenamazone -  Yellow-naped Amazon
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Temporäre Bäche aufgrund starker Regenfälle - Temporary streams because of heavy rain
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Marisora unimarginata - eine kleine Mabuyenskinkart, die im Trockenwald häufig vorkommt - a small and common Mabuya-skink in the dry forests
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Anolis cupreus
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Anolis cupreus - mit rotem Kehllappen - with red dewlap
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Trockenwaldhabitat - Dry forest habitat
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Trockenwaldhabitat - Dry forest habitat
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Marisora unimarginata
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Holcosus undulatus - die Ameivenart des Trockenwaldes - the ameiva species of the dry forests
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Kapuzineraffen, die häufigsten Affen in Nationalpark - Capuchins, the most common monkeys in the national park
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Arbikoler Lebensraum - arbicol habitat
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Unsere Fahrt zum Meer endete mit dem Auto an dieser Furt - Our drive to the sea ended here at this passage
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Gymnophthalmus speciosus - eine Mikroteidenart, zuerst vermuteten wir, dass es ein Skink ist - a microteid species, of which we thought at first to be a skink
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Beim Überqueren der Furt dachten wir nicht daran, dass es hier Krokodile geben kann - While crossing this passage, we didn't think about crcodiles 
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Säulenkakteen in der Strauchschicht des Trockenwaldes - Cereus in shrub layer of the dry forest
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Ctenosaura similis - junger schwarzer Leguan - young Black Iguana
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Schwefelmaskentyrann - Great Kiskadee
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Ctenosaura similis - Die Schwarzleguane hatten am Strandcampingplatz eine extrem hohe Dichte und sonnten sich in Gruppen - The Black Iguanas had a high density at the beach campground and basked there in groups
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Ctenosaura similis - großes Männchen, sie waren nicht scheu - impressive male, they were not shy
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Weißwedelhirsch - White Tailed Deer
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Prachtfregattvogel - Magnificent Frigatebird
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Hoher Wellengang und starke Strömung im Pazifik erlaubten nur Schwimmen im Uferbereich - High waves and strong current in the Pazific Ocean allowed us only to swim near the beach
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Marisora (Mabuya) unimarginata
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Tuberkelhokko - Great Curassow
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Rhinophrynus dorsalis - Nachdem wir uns den Ruf der Nasenkröte im Internet intensiv eingeprägt hatten, gingen wir auf die Suche und fanden nach kurzer Zeit eine Rufergruppe - After listenig to the advertisment call of the Mexican Burrowing Toad in the internet, we went out for a search and found a breeding group after a short time
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Rhinophrynus dorsalis - eine beeindruckende Kröte, aber sehr scheu - Impressive toad, but very shy
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Rhinophrynus dorsalis - ein weiteres Männchen - another male
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Smilisca baudinii
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Pauraquenachtschwalbe - Pauraque
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Trachycephalus typhonius - Beim Milchfrosch blasen sich die Schallblasen am Hinterkopf auf, ein spektakulärer Anblick - The Milk Frog has two vocal sacs on the back of the head, a quite spectacular sight
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Smilisca baudinii
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Leptodactylus poecilochilus - ein weiterer Schaumnestbauer - another foam nest building frog
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Incilius luetkenii - Massenpaarung in den temporären Gewässern auf Schotterwegen - mass breeding in temporary ponds on gravel roads
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Incilius luetkenii - Männchen sind während der Paarungszeit leuchtend gelb gefärbt - males have a bright yellow color during the breeding season
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Incilius luetkenii - ein weiteres Merkmal ist der dunkle Rahmen rund um die Augen - another characteristic is the dark frame around the eyes
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Incilius luetkenii - rufendes Männchen - calling male
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Das Team checkt die verschiedenen Rufe der Froschlurche - The team checks the different frog calls 
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Ctenosaura similis
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Kantine und überdachter Essensbereich - Canteen with covered food place
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Blick von einem Aussichtspunkt über der Trockenwald von Santa Rosa - View over the dry forest of Santa Rosa
Tag 9 Santa Rosa Nationalpark
Drymobius margaritiferus - Als wir den Park verließen, fanden wir eine frisch überfahrene Perlnatter auf der Straße - When we left the park, we found a freshly killed Speckled Racer on the road

Jaco – Tarcoles

We had already stopped in the Carara National Park on the way northward. The entrance lies between Jaco and the Tarcoles River. Like in many other national parks in Costa Rica, many guides with spotting scopes offer a guided tour for tourists through the park. This time we decided to take a guide named Andrey, who is also a specialist for reptiles. On this tour we found some Green Poison Frogs, which look completely different than their Caribbean congeners. A heavy rain shower destroyed Andreys telescope and suddenly stopped our tour but we decided to do a night tour together after our Santa Rosa tour.

Regenschauer im Carara Nationalpark
heavy rain in the Carara national park

When we came back, the weather had changed and it was a perfect day for spotting the famous crocodiles at the Tarcoles Bridge. This spot is now a famous tourist attraction and at least a dozen of crocs lay down at the river embankment, some of them reach impressive dimensions! A guy told us that a drunken man had fallen down some weeks ago and was gorged by the hungry crocs – what a nightmare! - Or just a story?

We took a nice home (with a pool) in Jaco for the last night and we arranged the night tour with Andrey, because we still failed the Fer de Lance, which everybody claimed to be very common and Andrey gave us a Terciopelo guarantee for the tour! We drove to the mountain and walked along a trail along a stream at private property, but Andrey knew the owner… It was an interesting start, because we found the Pacific version of the Red-eyed Tree Frog, which looks different from its Caribbean relative. On the way to a waterfall, we found several more common frogs and toads but no trace of the viper. Glass Frogs protected their clutch of eggs, anoles were sleeping and huge toads were foraging. Finally we were lucky at a small side stream when Andrey nearly stepped on a huge male Fer de Lance with his slippers, but he jumped sideward and the snake tried to escape but we could bring him back to the stream to make some pictures. It was a colorful fantastic 1.5 m long snake, fearless but not aggressive.

After this highlight on our last evening we had to celebrate this spectacular end with some beers (respectively fresh juices) in a bar in Jaco together with Andrey and on the next day we made our way back to the San Jose airport, after an intensive car wash. On the way we again did a short final trip in the Carara NP – this time with bright sunshine. We saw some interesting birds, Ameivas, spider monkeys and Poison Frogs. The return was without any problems and after a last Gallo Pinto our fantastic trip through a very diverse country had ended.

Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Ein Urwaldriese - A jungle giant
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Holcosus undulatus - ein prächtiges Männchen - a splendid male
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Die Tarcoes Brücke ist ein bekannter Beobachtungspunkt, um Spitzkrokodile zu beobachten - the Tarcoles Bridge is a famous lookout for watching Cocodrilos
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Crocodylus acutus - Etwa ein Duzend Spitzkrokodile sonnen sich unter de Tarcoled Brücke -About a dozen corcodiles are basking under the Tarcoles Bridge
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Crocodylus acutus - Spitzkrokodile können über 7 m lang werden - Amercican Crocodiles can reach over 7 m length
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Crocodylus acutus
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Ctenosaura similis - juvenil, überall häufig entlang der Pazifikküste - juvenile, quite common along the whole Pazific coast
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Truthahngeier, ein sehr häufiger Geier - Turkey Vulture, a very common vulture
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Ausblick über den Carara Nationalpark zur Tarcoles Mündung - Lookout over the Carara National Park to the Tarcoles estuary
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Smilisca phaeota - Dieser Laubfrosch ist immer unter dem Auge grünlich gefärbt - This tree frog is characterised by a greenish color below the eyes
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Agalychns callidryas - die Form am Pazifik unterscheidet sich deutlich von jener an der Karibik - the Pazific form differs clearly from the Caribic population
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Agalychns callidryas - diese Form hat keinerlei bläuliche Färbung - this form has no bluish coloration
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Craugastor fitzingeri - eine häufige lebendgebärende Froschart - a common livebearing frog species
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Craugastor fitzingeri
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi - dieser Glasfrosch bewacht aktiv seine Gelege - this glas frog actively protects his clutch of eggs
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi - transparenter Glasfrosch - transparent glass frog
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi - mit den typischen großen hellen Flecken - with the typical bright spots
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Leptodactylus savagei - der größte Frosch Costa Ricas, der von seiner Warte die Umgebung erkundet - the biggest frog of Costa Rica, who watches his surrounding from a lookout
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Smilisca sordida - Diese kleine Laubfroschart kommt überall im Tieflandregenwald in Costa Rica vor - this small tree frog species occurs all over Costa Rica in lowland rain forests
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Rhinella horribilis - Die Agakröte kommt überall im Land verbreitet vor, nicht aber in solchen Dichten wie in den Ländern, wo sie eingeschleppt wurde - the Cane Toad occurs everywhere in the country, but not as dense as in countries, where it is introduced
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Botrops asper - Endlich! Am letzten Abend unserer Reise fanden wir doch noch eine Terciopelo oder Fer de Lance - Finally! On our last night tour we found our first highly desired Terciopelo or Fer de Lance!
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Botrops asper - Als wir entlang eines kleinen Baches suchten, stieg Andrey mit seinen Pantoffeln fast auf die Schlange und sprang in die Höhe, um ihr auszuweichen - When we searched along a small stream, Andrey nearly stepped on the snake with his slippers and he had to make a sidestep for his safety
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Botrops asper - Nach den ersten aggressiven Minuten beruhigte sich die Schlange und wurde immer friedlicher - After the first aggressive minutes the snake came down and got much easier to handle
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi - ein rufendes Männchen auf der Unterseite eines Blattes, das sich fast immer direkt über dem Wasser eines Baches befindet - a calling male on the underside of a leaf, which is almost always above a water stream
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi - das Weicbchen hat gerade ein frisches Gelege abgesetzt und das Männchen wartet darauf, dieses zu bewachen - the female has just laid a clutch of eggs, while the male waits for the female to disappear and to protect the clutch
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Leptodeira septentrionalis - diese junge Schlange ist ein Prädator von Glasfroscheiern. Die Kaulquappen in den Eiern können Annäherungen von Schlangen durch Schwingungen wahrnehmen und früher ins Wasser schlüpfen - this young snake is a predator of glass frog eggs. The tadpoles in the eggs can notice the approach of snake vibrations and they are able to emerge earlier into the water.
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Ctenosaura similis - Als wir unser Auto reinigen ließen beobachteten wir noch einige Leguane - while had our car cleaning we observed some Iguanas in the surroundings
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Holcosus leptophrys - die häufigste Ameive im Bereich Jaco - the most common Ameiva in the area of Jaco
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Dendrobates auratus - Der Goldbaumsteiger ist im Carara Nationalpark sehr häufig - the Green and Black Poison Dart Frog is very common in the Carara National Park
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Dendrobates auratus - Der Goldbaumsteiger am Pazifik unterscheidet sich deutlich in Muster und Färbung von jenem an der Karibik - the Green and Black Poison Dart Frog from the Pacific differs in pattern and color from the one living on the Caribbean side
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Schöner Bachlauf im Carara Nationalpark - Nice stream in the Carara National Park
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Holcosus leptophrys - Am Tag trifft man die Ameiven im Regenwald überall dort an, wo die Sonne zum Boden gelangt - during the day the ameivas can be found in the jungle, where the sunlight reaches the ground
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Holcosus leptophrys - Männchen kämpfen häufig um Reviere - Males are often fighting for territories
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Dendrobates auratus - ist nur tagaktiv - strictly diurnal
Tag 10 Jaco – Tarcoles
Besucherlenkung im Carara Nationalpark, Begehen abseits der Pfade ist streng verboten - visitors direction in the Carara Nationalpark, walking aside the path is strictly forbidden

Findings:

Amphibians

Caudata - Salamanders
Plethodontidae - Lungless Salamanders

Bolitoglossa colonnea
Bolitoglossa striatula

Anura - Frogs and Toads
Rhinophrynidae - Mexican Burrowing Frog

Rhinophrynus dorsalis

Bufonidae - Toads

Incilius coccifer
Incilius coniferus
Incilius luetkenii
Rhaebo haematiticus
Rhinella horribilis

Leptodactylidae - Foam-nest Frogs

Engystomops pustulosus
Leptodactylus fragilis
Leptodactylus insularum
Leptodactylus poecilochilus
Leptodactylus savage

Centrolenidae - Glass Frogs

Cochranella granulosa
Espadarana prosoblepon
Teratohyla spinosa
Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum
Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni
Hyalinobatrachium valerioi

Hylidae - Tree Frogs

Boana rosenbergi
Dendropsophus ebraccatus
Dendropsophus phlebodes
Hyloscirtus palmeri
Isthmohyla pseudopuma
Scinax boulengeri
Scinax elaeochrous
Smilisca baudinii
Smilisca phaeota
Smilisca sordida
Trachycephalus typhonius

Phyllomedusidae – Leaf Frogs

Agalychnis callidryas
Agalychnis lemur
Agalychnis saltator (only acoustic)
Agalychnis spurrelli
Cruziohyla calcarifer

Dendrobatidae - Poison Dart Frogs

Allobates talamancae
Dendrobates auratus
Oophaga granulifera (only acoustic)
Oophaga pumilio

Craugastoridae - Litter Frogs

Craugastor bransfordii
Craugastor crassidigitus
Craugastor fitzingeri
Craugastor megacephalus
Craugastor noblei
Craugastor stejnegerianus

Eleutherodactylidae - Dink Frogs

Diasporus diastema

Strabomantidae - Rain Frogs

Pristimantis cerasinus
Pristimantis cruentus
Pristimantis ridens

Microhylidae - Narrow-mouthed Frogs

Hypopachus variolosus

Ranidae - True Frogs

Rana forreri
Rana taylori
Rana vaillanti
Rana warszewitschii

Reptiles

Crocodylia - Crocodilians

Caiman crocodilus
Crocodylus acutus

Testudines - Turtles
Chelydridae - Snapping Turtles

Chelydra acutirostris

Kinosternidae - Mud and Musk Turtles

Kinosternon leucostomum
Kinosternon scorpioides

Emydidae - Freshwater, March and Forest Turtles

Trachemys venusta

Squamata, Sauria - Lizards
Diploglossidae

Diploglossus bilobatus

Gekkota - Geckos

Hemidactylus frenatus
Thecadactylus rapicauda
Gonatodes albogularis
Lepidoblepharis xanthostigma

Corytophanidae - Helmeted Lizards

Basiliscus basiliscus
Basiliscus plumifrons
Basiliscus vittatus

Dactyloidae - Anoles

Anolis aquaticus
Anolis biporcatus
Anolis cristatellus
Anolis cupreus
Anolis limifrons
Anolis oxylophus
Anolis polylepis
Anolis tropidolepis

Iguanidae - Iguanas

Ctenosaura similis
Iguana iguana

Phrynosomatidae - Sceloporines

Sceloporus malachiticus

Gymnophthalmidae - Microteiids

Gymnophthalmus speciosus

Teiidae - Macroteiids

Ameiva festiva
Ameiva leptophrys
Ameiva quadrilineata
Ameiva undulata

Scincidae - Skinks

Marisora unimarginata
Scincella cherriei

Xantusiidae - Night Lizards

Lepidophyma flavimaculatum

Squamata, Serpentes - Snakes
Boidae - Boas

Boa imperator

Loxocemidae - Dwarf Boa

Loxocemus bicolor

Colubridae - Colubrids

Drymobius margaritiferus (d.o.r.)
Geophis brachycephalus
Imantodes cenchoa
Imantodes gemmistratus
Imantodes inornatus
Leptodeira septentrionalis
Leptodeira nigrofasciata
Leptodeira rhombifera
Ninia sebae
Ninia psephota
Phrynonax poecilonotus
Rhinobothryum bovallii
Sibon nebulatus
Sibon annulatus
Sibon anthracops
Stenorrhina degenhardtii

Viperidae - Adders and Vipers

Bothriechis lateralis
Bothrops asper
Crotalus simus