Saturday, July 2, 2011

Costa Rica - Day 1

After four days travelling from our home in Kuranda, we have finally arrived at our destination at Dos Brazos in Costa Rica. Our home for the next four months is in the rainforest, near the edge of the spectacular Corcovado National Park.
During the daylight hours an incredible diversity of birdlife is visible from the front porch including Toucans, and Scarlet Macaws, and array of smaller species such as Rufous-tailed Hummingbirds, Gray-capped Flycatchers and Passerini’s Tanager frequent the garden plants.
Our first nocturnal foray into the field, which was literally just around the house and grounds, unveiled a great deal of wildlife. Five species of amphibians, anole lizards, five species of katydids, and several species of spiders. In a twist for us Queenslanders, Cane Toads are native here.  They are a natural part of the ecosystem and don’t have the significant impacts on other species as they do as an introduced species within Australia.
Here’s a few snaps from the first night around the property we are staying on. We have yet to get ourselves a good selections of field guides, so we cannot identify many of the species we encounter as yet – particularly the invertebrates.

Spurell's Flying Frog (Agalychnis spurelli) These frogs have significant webbing between their toes and have the ability to glide from the treetops by extending the limbs and using the webbing to act as four independent gliding membranes. These frogs can even steer and by changing the angle of their feet whilst in flight. 
The lids of Agalychnis spurelli are very similar to that of the Australian Lacelid (Nictymistes dayi).

Mudpuddle Frog, Physalaemus pustulosus

Masked Tree Frog (Smilisca phaeota)

Green spider – looks very much like a Sparassid.

These spiders are known as Wandering or Banana spiders (Phoneutria and Cupiennius spp. - Cupiennius coccineus pictured) Representatives of Phoneutria are known as Brazilian Wandering Spider, which includes reputedly the most deadly spider in the world. I found at least two species in our garden, and although these aren’t lethal, apparently the bites can cause severe pain that often requires hospitalisation. 
Cupiennius coccineus, a wandering spider belonging to the family Ctenidae

One of many species of katydids, this one was feeding on flowers.


  1. I am basically wetting myself with excitement. You guys are just the luckiest people in the world right now :D

  2. The photos are amazing, glad to see you have settled in and are already exploring!

  3. Wonderful, as always. Enjoying every photo and every word.

  4. Dear Hendersons
    You're into it. And it just gets better. Remember I told you so.

    That colourful grasshopper is one of many eumastacids. The same family as our Morabines and Biroella.

    Have fun.