Monthly pic February 2014

A blue jeans (Oophaga pumilio) enjoying the elevated view. Canon 5D MKIII, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro, 1/80, f/2.8, iso 2000, handheld, modified flashlight.
17/02/2014
"Listen!"

...multiple calls were clearly floating up from the forest floor.

"There must be loads of frogs sitting right here under our very nose!"

Carefully and as quietly as possible we walked 100 m through the lowland secondary rain forest, but... nothing!?

How hard can it be - you might wonder - to see a brightly red and blue colored poison dart frog in the wild? Well... as it turned out... not that hard, but if you have seen pictures your entire life which features this species magnified to ten times it's normal size you might eventually forget that they are only a mere 1,7 - 2,2 cm (= 0,67 - 0,86 inch) in length to begin with. Anyway... after we solved this little reference issue we did found them in amazing numbers :)

As general naturalist enthusiast and - more specifically - amphibian nutcase, it was simply awesome to be able to see multiple frog species in their natural setting. If you were traveling in Costa Rica in January of this year and observed a photographer running back and forth frantically while hauling too much photo gear on his back then: a) relax, it was only me and b) it's not contagious... or so they say.

The strawberry poison-dart frog (Oophaga pumilio) knows a lot of variation in coloration: from completely red to green-yellow with black spots. We have mainly seen the common blue jeans morph, known for its hipster clothing style and fascination with denim. Being diurnal it was one of the more easily to observe frog species, in which the males were defending tiny territory between the leaf litter on the forest floor. Absolutely fascinating, so don't be surprised if my upcoming new gallery of Costa Rica features... well frogs. :) To be continued...

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