Croton argenteus

Croton argenteus confused me for a while.  I had encountered the species in and around the Palo Verde wetland as a small, emergent plant, and had assumed it was annual or at least without above ground tissue across years because it was not present in the beginning of the season and it was flowering soon after emerging. As such, I could not find it in the keys….

Then, while driving to Reserva Biologica Lomas de Barbudal to help Ramsa (a PhD student studying watershed land-use effects on insect communities in and around dry-forest streams), I spotted a large shrub that looked surprisingly similar to my yet unidentified wetland plant.  When I returned and picked up the shrub and tree book – bingo.

I suspect that cattle grazing knocks back this species from growing to a shrub-like state, since there is frequently evidence of herbivory on the small plants I encountered.

Euphorbiaceae - Croton argenteus - 07.14.2010 - 09.17.05

Euphorbiaceae - Croton argenteus - 07.14.2010 - 09.16.53

Ride out the Hitoy Cerere

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Boa borrowed his father’s motorcycle to drive to Hitoy Cerere and, while hanging off of the back of the cycle, I photographed some of the journey.  The first picture I was still, and shows a small, unforested plot on the hill in the distance: Boa’s families houses and ranch.  On the left of the photo is a dike used to control Rió La Estrella’s water flow from destroying too much of Dole’s banana plantations.

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Oophaga pumillio and Boa

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I never actually took a nice photogaph of the Strawberry or Blue Jeans poison dart frog (Oophaga pumillio) while on the Kent State course trips to La Selva.  Thus, here’s one, but from Hitoy Cerere and with much less blue on the legs than those individuals found in La Selva.

And there’s Boa…

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Craugastor polyptychus

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Using Savage’s (2004) key and photographs, my best guess for this little herp is Craugastor polyptychus.  The former Eleutherodactylus group is exceptionally diversity and difficult to key… especially when the specimen in question was caught 2500 miles away a month ago and not retained, but merely photographed.  Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s new for me, which makes my lack of a confident identification that much more frustrating.

Tadpole Collection

In June, Mahmood recruited his assistants to help me collect tadpoles.  We collected several hundred of about three species, most of which were Leptodactylus spp.  Both Arellys and Gabi, pictured below, seemed happy to be out of the lab and in an area not completely saturated with mosquitoes.  In the last photo, Rubén walks into the wetland to collect some invertebrate samples for his own work.  This area is also pictured here three months later.

Tadpole collection - 06.27.2010 - 10.55.14Tadpole collection - 06.27.2010 - 10.54.43

Tadpole collection - 06.27.2010 - 10.58.04

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Tadpole collection - 06.27.2010 - 10.59.16