I didn’t expect to spot any of these tiny amphibians on our trip to Costa Rica, so was amazed to notch up at least eight different species. Thanks primarily to the fantastic guides on our rainforest night walks, of course. But I was proud to have found the two types of poison dart frog pictured here all by myself (although they were jumping about in low light, and hence those particular photos aren’t great!).
A couple of quick factoids: according to National Geographic (and who doesn’t trust them?) there are 149 species of frog in Costa Rica. They like the moist lowlands best, so are most commonly found around Arenal and the central/south pacific areas, which we were lucky enough to visit, but they can be found all over the country. The frog that most people associate with Costa Rica is the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, and it was certainly the species we saw the most – and my personal favourite – hence its multiple appearances in the highlights below.
Poison dart frogs are arguably the more interesting though, secreting toxins from their skin in self-defence and having vivid aposematic coloration or markings (to deter predators). For centuries, the indigenous tribes of the rainforest have used their poison to tip blowpipe darts for hunting (hence their common name). There are over 170 species in the world – we saw three of them: the strawberry poison dart frog (or “blue jeans” frog); the green and black spotted poison dart frog; and the striped poison dart frog (not pictured).
Hope you enjoy this selection…
Red-Eyed Tree Frog #1
Green and Black Spotted Poison Dart Frog
Yellow Cricket Tree Frog
Red-Eyed Tree Frog #2
Morelet’s Tree Frog (or Black-Eyed Tree Frog)
Strawberry Poison Dart Frog
Red-Eyed Tree Frog #3
Red-Eyed Tree Frog #4
So cute little frogs but equally dangerous