DixPix Photographs

     
TROPICAL CENTRAL AMERICA  
     
  Fauna- FROGS  

 

In Spanish, Frogs are called Ranas, and Toads Sapos, although as in English, the two names are sometimes applied interchangeably.  There are a huge number of species in the Neotropics, and Central America has its fair share.  Some have gone extinct, however, and others are endangered.  In addition to the common problems of wetland loss, poisons in water and changes in climate, most species are proving vulnerable to a lethal fungus.

There is a relevant book by J.M. Savage titled The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica; A Herpetofauna Between the Continents, Between the Seas.  (University of Chicago Press, 2002.)  This was preceded in 2001 by Twan Leenders Guide to Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica (Zona Tropical Distributors).

 

The Giant Neotropical Toad, Bufo (or Rhinella) marinus, here emerging from Lake Nicaragua at sunset.  It is native from Texas to the Amazon, but introduced into Australia, it has become the notorious Cane Toad, which due to its high reproductivity, voracious appetite and poisonous skin glands, has proved an ongoing disaster, killing both predators and anything smaller than itself. Click to see big picture (578x480 pixels; 111 KB)
Cane toads can grow to over two kilos weight.  This specimen is from the Serpentarium at Monteverde, Costa Rica. The most common local name seems to be simply Sapo Gigante. Click to see big picture (619x480 pixels; 123 KB)
To the extent that a warty skin defines a 'toad', this unidentified species from the Indio Maize Reserve in southeastern Nicaragua fits.  It is said to be poisonous. Click to see big picture (350x480 pixels; 65 KB)
Another warty wonder.  This may well be the Green Climbing Toad, Bufo coniferus, apprehended briefly in north central Panama. Click to see big picture (596x480 pixels; 81 KB)
Likely the most famous frog in Central America goes by several names, including the Strawberry Poison Dart Frog, Dendrobates (or Oophaga) Pumilio.  It has a restricted range from Nicaragua to Panama. Click to see big picture (347x480 pixels; 69 KB)
Dendrobates pumilio has a variety of color forms, orange being a common one.  The bright colors advertise that it is toxic, in fact one of the poisons is called pumiliotoxin.  In Spanish it is the Rana Flecha Roja, but more commonly just Rana Roja. Click to see big picture (640x477 pixels; 140 KB)
One common variation looks like this, and is widely named the Blue Jeans Frog. Click to see big picture (517x480 pixels; 70 KB)
And how about this one at the Gamboa Rainforest Lodge in Panama, it is spotted.
From the Kuna Yali border in Panama, this is one of the Poison Dart Frogs, but with many species and much variation within species, it is hard to identify. Click to see big picture (408x480 pixels; 107 KB)
The Green and Black Poison Dart Frog (Dendrobates auratus) is fairly common in Central America and Colombia.This one is at the Gamboa Rainforest Lodge in Panama. Click to see big picture (537x480 pixels; 138 KB)
Phyllobates terribilis, is of the genus that contains Batrachotoxin, a poison so powerful that the mere milligram is enough to kill 15 humans.  People have died from handling them.  Known as the Golden Poison Dart Frog, it hales from the Pacific coast of Colombia, but is here at the Vancouver Aquarium. Click to see big picture (640x437 pixels; 72 KB)
Phyllobates lugubris is another hyper-toxic species, found from Nicaragua to Panama, here in the Panamanian San Blas Range.  Although rather dowdy, it is called the Lovely Poison Dart Frog. Click to see big picture (640x371 pixels; 106 KB)
Ranitomeya ( or Minyobates or Dendrobates) minuta is small and confined to Panama and adjacent Colombia.  So much taxonomic confusion over such a small frog. Click to see big picture (638x480 pixels; 69 KB)
The Rain Forest Rocket Frog (Colostethus flotator) of Costa Rica and Panama is of the Poison Dart Family, but lacks both the toxicity and bright colors of other genera.  It may be a complex of species. Click to see big picture (352x480 pixels; 71 KB)
A Glass Frog or Ranita de Cristal, Hyalinobatrachium chirripoi, a nocturnal frog seen at night in Panama. Click to see big picture (446x480 pixels; 83 KB)
A red-eyed frog, Craugastor gollmeri.  This was, and some say still is, in the giant genus Eleutherodactylus.  I doubt if the frog much cares.  Here in Panama, but also found in Costa Rica. Click to see big picture (556x480 pixels; 102 KB)
Craugastor (or Eleutherodactylus) Fitzingeri has this distinctive white stripe.  From Honduras to Colombia it is known as the Common Rain Frog or Rana de Lluvia Comun. Click to see big picture (331x480 pixels; 100 KB)
Leptodactylus bolivianus is a widespread species, ranging from Panama to Bolivia.  Sometimes called the Bolivian Toad-frog, a translation of the local Sapo-rana Boliviano. Click to see big picture (640x427 pixels; 104 KB)
Finally an unidentified species from northeast Panama, with yellow toes. Click to see big picture (408x480 pixels; 78 KB)
A striped frog, likely Pristimantis sanctaemartae from the El Dorado Reserve, Santa Marta Mountains, northeastern Colombia.
A small frog, likely Pristimantis tayrona, found in a tank bromeliad in the Santa Marta Range.
An unidentified yellow frog from the El Dorado Reserve, Colombia.
A foating foam at the Smithsonian research center on Barro Colorado Island, containing the eggs of the warty Tungara Frog, (Engystomops pustulosus).  In its range from Mexico to Venezuela, this species is better known as Sapito de Pustulas.
At the same location, this is how the red-eyed frog Agolychnis callidryas lays its eggs, in a jelly over water.  When the eggs hatch and become active, they drop into the water. 
The simple form of Bolitoglossa savagei, known mainly from here in the Santa Marta Mountains of Colombia.  Found hiding in a tank bromeliad.
A larger form of Bolitoglossa savagei, from the same tank Bromeliad.  This is known as Savage's Mushroomtongue Salamander in some postings.
Oscaecilia sp. a Caecilian Blind Snake  tries to hide beneath leaf litter at Wildsumaco Reserve, Ecuador.  These are earthworm-eating oddities, but they are amphibians, not snakes or worms.