A Day in Frog Pond

Trip Start Jul 04, 2010
1
156
163
Trip End May 10, 2011


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Flag of Costa Rica  , Puntarenas,
Monday, April 4, 2011


Ranario de Monteverde
(AKA the Frog Pond)








The red-eyed tree frog is synonymous with Costa Rica and it was hard to suppress our desire to go see them in the Frog Pond in the town of Santa Elena.  But when we learned we would be seeing the frogs through the glass of the large "naturally-simulated terrariums", we had second thoughts. We would not be able to pick the frogs up and get a real close up look.  If fact, we had decided not to go. But we looked down on the roof of the frog pond building from our hotel everyday. And since we are fans of the frogs, we broke down and gave it a whirl. Went in the afternoon and were guided by "Walter" who's enthusiasm for the amphibians was infectious. Even though most of the little buggers are nocternal, we were able to find many of them hiding out in their glass houses. The big treat was when we returned after dark to find our little friends wide awake and out and about. 



Blue Jeans Dart Frog

- Adults measure between 0.75 and one inch long,
- Diurnal (active in the day), 
- Common on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast
- Not Endangered

Native ancient indigenous hunters dipped the point of their dart into the poison secretions of these frog. And when the treated blow dart hits its prey, the animal or bird would be paralyzed long enough to be retrieved by the hunter.  

The trick to finding this guy is to look down the tubular center of green leafy plants where they drink the dew that runs down and nibbles on tiny ants there. When we visit the coast, we will make a point to try to find this one in the wild.

 
Red-Eyed Tree Frogs

- Males range from 2 to 2 inches, females from 2 to 3 inches
- not poisonous.
- nocturnal
- arboreal and rarely descends to the ground  
- tiny suctions disks on their feet enable them to move with ease along leaves and branches
- good jumpers

The most prominent physical characteristic of Agalychnis callidryas is their bright red eyes. This vivid eye color is a natural defense against potential predators known as startle coloration. If disturbed, the frogs open their large red eyes and expose their brilliant orange feet. Birds and snakes are often so startled by the sudden flashes of color that they hesitate momentarily, allowing valuable seconds for the frog to escape.


Walter also told of the Green-eyed Frogs, Rana vibicaria which were thought to be extinct. After a 20 year absence, they have been rediscovered. We saw him, but now I can't remember which one it was.














From a tour website: The Monteverde Frog Pond is committed to educating its visitors on both the beauty and bounty of frogs, as well as the threats they currently face around the world. A bilingual guide accompanies visitors during each tour and teaches them about the frogs’ history, habitat, and unique characteristics. Some of the frogs and toads on hand include the colorful poison arrow frog, crowned frog, marine toad, cane toad, leopard frog, hourglass frog, and the famous red-eyed tree frog.

We were thrilled with our guide Walter and the Frog Pond and we recommend that visitors in the area take the time for both a daytime and nighttime visit. If you have a powerful flashlight, bring it along. The flashlights provided are not really that bright (perhaps on purpose). 




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