The NAPIRE group is prepped before the 600 m ascent to the top of Cerro Chair at Las Alturas
Along a thin, elevationally-restricted band on the trails of Las Alturas, dead and dying male rhinoceros beetles lie in the leaf litter. These may be the males of the species posted here,
Sceloporus malachiticus is common in open areas >1500 m in elevation in Costa Rica. They are fast and skittish, so these individuals were a team effort in their catch. While S. malachiticus is viviparous, giving birth to live, developed young, other Sceloporus species are oviparous, laying small eggs and burying them in the soil. It’s thought that vivipary is common in lizards living at high elevations because it allows the females to better thermoregulate their developing young-that is, a gravid female can move her internal young around in her environment to regulate their temperature.
Tree ferns are a fascinating, diverse, monophyletic group of ferns in Order Cyatheales. From my anecdotal observations, they seem to thrive in wet secondary forests and some anthropogenically disturbed areas.
Many individuals have spines along their trunks and fronds, so while they look quite beautiful, especially from underneath, slipping around in the muddy under-story with them around is dangerous—I’ve reached for a few trunks, only to quickly pull back after a poke.