Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Costa Rica Critters

I had to split up my photos somehow, so after separating out the birds, I lumped all the other “critters” together.


Although there are, no doubt, lots of insects in Costa Rica, they weren’t very apparent. Butterflies were around but seldom sat still long enough to be photographed. The large bright blue Morphos especially seemed to be in perpetual motion.


This next caterpillar has evolved so it's hard to tell which end is the head. I suspect the two red dots are fake eyes and the head is actually the other end.


The Monteverde Butterfly Gardens gave us a chance to see a variety of insects (not just butterflies). We enjoyed the guided tour.


scorpion with babies

There were large numbers of what looked like colourful butterflies but turned out to be moths. Apparently they were migrating through.

migratory moths

We saw the most spiders at the Dominical paragliding launch. There were webs and big orb spiders all along a hedge beside the road. These spiders and their webs are big and strong enough to occasionally catch small birds. (In addition to their usual fare of insects.)

Golden orb spider

There were quite a few iguanas around, especially in Dominical. One morning I went in the bathroom and heard something moving in the shower. An iguana had climbed in through the high window (no screen) and couldn’t climb back up the slick tile. I chased it out of the bathroom but it hid under the bed. We flagged down the guy outside with a broom and between us manage to chase it outside. The poor iguana was quite frantic by the time it found the doorway! (Of course, before chasing it out I grabbed my camera and got a photo!)

iguana in shower

We also visited Reptilandia near Dominical. I’m always leery of such places since they can be pretty hokey, but this one was good. They had a mix of local and non-local animals. It was spread over quite a large area, with good sized enclosures.



After paragliding we spent a night at Hacienda Baru and the next day we went on an early morning bird hike. When it turned out we were the only participants I thought we could get our guide to show us other things, like insects, as well as just birds. But he didn't seem too interested in bugs :-( We did see a number of birds and both two and three toed sloths, or at least balls of fur high up in the trees that we were told were sloths!

Two-toed sloth

We also saw agoutis (like giant guinea pigs).


And I managed to find a few bugs on my own :-)


There were lots of cicada exoskeletons on the trees. Cicada nymphs live underground and crawl up trees to shed their skin and emerge as adults. They make incredibly loud noise for small insects! Some cicadas, like the North American ones, have 13 or 17 year cycles and emerge all together.

cicada exoskeleton

For more photos, see all 43 as a slideshow or overview

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