Monday, November 20, 2017

Nocturnal neighbors

At night you can see many animals right next to our station. Especially when it rains, there is a lot of "traffic" around our ponds. I took the following pictures within a 5 minute walking distance to my room.
Still at the building this Turnip-tail Gecko (Thecadactylus rapicauda) was looking for food. With approx. (12cm, 4.7 in) it is the biggest Gecko of Costa Rica.

Turnip-tail Gecko - Thecadactylus rapicauda

Turnip-tail Gecko - Thecadactylus rapicauda

The Northern Cat-eyed Snake (Leptodeira septentrionalis) is abudant near the ponds here.

Northern Cat-eyed Snake - Leptodeira septentrionalis

As well as the Hourglass Treefrog (Dendropsophus ebraccatus) and the famous Red-eyed Treefrog (Agalychnis callidryas)

Hourglass Treefrog - Dendropsophus ebraccatus

Red-eyed Treefrog - Agalychnis callidryas

I also saw some Plain Blunt-headed Tree Snake (Imantodes inornatus).

Plain Blunt-headed Tree Snake - Imantodes inornatus

Plain Blunt-headed Tree Snake - Imantodes inornatus

I look forward to the next observations. I am still waiting for a Boa...



Monday, November 13, 2017

Welcome to the Jungle!

Today I arrived at the biological station after a long flight, a long taxi drive and a long bus drive.
There were three unhappy babies around me in the plane, a traffic jam around San Jose and no air condition in the bus... 

But now I am in the jungle of BriBri and a proud part of the Redfrogteam.

Although I was tired from the journey, I immidietly started to look for some cool critters. My first photo model was this cute Strawberry Poison Frog (Oophaga pumilio). I think this is the perfect start for my work as a member of this team.


Strawberry Poison Frog - Oophaga pumilio



Monday, July 10, 2017

Yellow-bellied beauty

Not every human influence on nature is harmful. Stone walls, quarries, artificial waters and some others can be the habitat for many animals. Just like this abandoned clay pit in Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany. Here you can find something that has unfortunately become much too rare in Germany: flat and fish-free ponds.

Rare amphibians such as the yellow-bellied toad depend on habitats like that.
The open, sunny areas are also the perfect place for reptiles.

When I visited this place for the first time, I was amazed by this view. Really nice landscape.



The big, blue pond is the eyecatcher for sure, but the small and warmer ponds are the right place to search for the Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina variegata). They messure about 4 cm (1,57 inch) and are well camouflaged.


Fortunately, I found the first toads after a few minutes. It was a warm, sunny day and they were very active.

Yellow-bellied Toad - Bombina variegata

Some Pool Frogs (Pelophylax lessonae) enjoyed the sunshine as well. They got used to my presence and were not shy at all.

Pool Frog - Pelophylax lessonae

Yellow-bellied Toad - Bombina variegata

Yellow-bellied Toad - Bombina variegata

Apart from the coloration of the belly, Bombina variegata scores with additional characteristics. They are very appealing as they always seem to smile...

Yellow-bellied Toad - Bombina variegata

...and the heart-shaped pupil is a really cool feature too. You just have to love the yellow-bellied toad!

Yellow-bellied Toad - Bombina variegata

A pretty Grass Snake (Natrix natrix) was hunting in one of the ponds. 

Grass Snake - Natrix natrix

Grass Snake - Natrix natrix

I spent some hours in this habitat, most of the time lying on my belly to get this low angle and to almost drown my camera. 

Yellow-bellied Toad - Bombina variegata

Yellow-bellied Toad - Bombina variegata

Sand Lizard - Lacerta agilis

Some Sand Lizards (Lacerta agilis), basking near the ponds, completed this nice day trip.