Costa Rica Variety

This is the final of the 3 Galleries I've posted from my trip to Costa Rica in early March, 2004. The subject matter here will not be everyone's 'cup of tea' but I really enjoyed the tremendous diversity we found in Costa Rica. It seemed incomplete to not include a small sampling of these exotic critters.

I can't overemphasize the diversity of life in this part of the world. The images I've posted here are a small percentage of what I shot, what I shot as a small percentage of what I saw, and what I saw in the 10 days I was down there represents only a small percentage of what can be seen if you have enough time. I'm hoping to get back down there some time.

All Content © Donald L. Cohen, MD All Rights Reserved Click on each thumbnail to open up a larger image in its own window. Just close these windows after viewing them.

These images, along with all the others present in the various galleries, are available for purchase as prints up to 13"x19". For more details on buying prints, please click here.

 

Red-Eyed Tree Frog # 1

Image # 02508

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/16, 1/250 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at 0

Handheld

This is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen. The colors, features, markings, details, were unbelievable. Our guide Jonathan heard and captured this specimen the night before, took good care of him until the next day.


 

Red-Eyed Tree Frog # 2

Image # 02505

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/16, 1/250 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at 0

Handheld

We tried to 'pose' this frog as naturally as possible, simulating some of the places where it would normally be found. Here it's climbing up the side of a tree.


 

Red-Eyed Tree Frog # 3

Image # 02524

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/16, 1/250 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at 0

Handheld

One final shot, sitting on a Heliconia plant ("lobster claw") which were extremely common in Costa Rica.


 

Basilisk

Image # 02352

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds

Costa Rica

Canon 600L/f4 IS with 1.4x II Teleconverter

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/250 second

Manual Metering, 500EX/BB at 0

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

We saw several of these while at Tortuguero. Also called the "Jesus Christ lizard," my wife had the chance to observe the behavior for which it has this name. She found one at the edge of a small pond, and when she got too close, it took off, splashing across the pond's surface, literally walking on water.


 

Elephant Beetle 1

Image # 02533

Roadside, en route from Tortuguero to San Jose

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 400, f/6.3, 1/100 second

Manual Metering at 0

Handheld


These were the largest and strangest beetles I've ever seen, by far, and they were all over a few trees in front of a house along the road we were taking to San Jose. It has become a fairly popular tourist stop, and the people who lived there were more than happy to come out and handle them, have their pictures taken with them, etc. It's difficult to portray just how big these beetles are, as the body length was about 5"!
 

Elephant Beetle 2

Image # 02537

Roadside, en route from Tortuguero to San Jose

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 400, f/8, 1/100 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at 0

Handheld

I couldn't resist including just one more shot, from a different perspective, of this impressive critter.


 

Colobura dirce caterpillar

Image # 2484

Trail behind Tortuguero Lodge

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/16, 1/200 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at -1/3

Handheld

One afternoon our guide, Jonathan, led a few of us on a walk through the jungle, along 'trails' behind the Tortuguero Lodge. Due to the fairly heavy recent rain, much of the trail was underwater, and even though we wore rubber boots to near our knees, we still had to be very careful to avoid getting soaked. This was one of the most unsual looking caterpillars I've ever seen in my life. It took me an hour or more of searching on the internet to i.d. this species; I think this is correct, but if not, please email me.


 

Strawberry Poison Dart Frog

Image # 02490

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds & Trail

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/16, 1/200 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at -1/3

Handheld

As we planned this trip, I was really hoping to see and photograph one of these, and I was very happy to come across quite a number of these at the base of trees in various parts of Tortuguero. The recent rains certainly helped here. And at 1" in size, they were considerably smaller than I anticipated, and I really had to get close to them with my 100mm macro lens to get them to an adequate size in the frame.


 

Eyelash Viper at Rest

Image # 02492

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 Macro with 1.4x II TC and 12 mm extension

ISO 200, f/16, 1/250 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at -1/3

Handheld

Shortly after our arrival at Tortuguero, I was very excited to learn that someone had spotted an Eyelash Viper on the grounds. My son Sam is an avid amateur herpetologist, and I knew he in particular would appreciate any photos I could get. Jonathan was very careful to not let us get too close, as these snakes are quite poisonous, but we still managed to get in pretty tight. As a pure coincidence, if you look carefully (it doesn't show up as well at 'web' size), there is a mosquito right under its head.


 

Eyelash Viper in Motion

Image # 02359

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 Macro with 1.4x II TC and 12 mm extension

ISO 200, f/8, 1/200 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at -2

Handheld

This was actually taken a couple of days before the one above, when a couple of us were shooting. Our efforts to get close disturbed the viper, and it started heading off to find a different place to rest. As it did, it provided us with a nice opportunity to capture it in motion. The background here is pretty distracting, but that's where they live!


 

Micrathena sagittata

Image # 02470

Trail behind Tortuguero Lodge

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 400, f/11, 1/200 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at -2

Handheld

Another of the very exotic bugs we came across during our hike on the jungle trail behind the lodge. Again, not everybody's cup of tea, but I found them fascinating. This also required a fair amount of time on the web searching for an i.d., and I think I have it right. But if not, please email me with the correct identification.


 

Vine Snake

Image # 02347

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds

Costa Rica

Canon 600L/f4 IS

ISO 400, f/8, 1/100 second

Evaluative Metering at -2/3, 550EX at -1 1/3

Gitzo 1329/ArcaSwiss B1/Wimberley Sidekick

This snake was found in a bush in the back of the lodge, and several of us quickly set up to capture it. This one isn't poisonous, so there wasn't quite the excitement as with the eyelash viper.


 

Unknown Beetle

Image # 02471

Trail behind Tortuguero Lodge

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 400, f/11, 1/200 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at 0

Handheld

Yet another incredible bug found during our hike behind the lodge. I have spent a fair amount of time searching the web, but haven't come across even a reasonable match to identify this beauty. If you know what it is, please email me.


 

Brown Blunt-headed Vinesnake

Image # 02519

Tortuguero Lodge Grounds

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/16, 1/250 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at 0

Handheld

Another non-poisonous snake, this one was very cooperative, and we 'posed' it in various locations for our images. Update Oct. 9, 2005: I received an email from Vincent Farallo who corrected my initial mis-identification of this snake as a "False Fer De Lance" indicating that this is in fact a Brown Blunt-headed Vinesnake, Imantodes cenchoa. Thanks, Vincent.


 

Argiope species

Image # 02479

Trail behind Tortuguero Lodge

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/11, 1/200 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at 0

Handheld

As I searched the identification for this spider, I was inclined to think it was an Argiope, but I wasn't confident enough to state it definitively. I received emails from several individuals, who all indicated their opinions that this was an Argiope - so thanks to Scott Duncan, Robert Belinic and Sudhir Shivaram for their assistance.


 

Army Ants

Image # 02486

Trail behind Tortuguero Lodge

Costa Rica

Canon 100/f2.8 USM Macro

ISO 200, f/16, 1/200 second

Manual Metering, 550EX/Stofen Omnibounce at -1/3

Handheld

We came across this trail of army ants while walking on the jungle trail, and Jonathan explained that as indicated by the ants carrying the larvae, this army was moving to a new location. The sheer numbers in their colonies, along with their aggressive behavior, can make them extremely potent predators, and according to some reading I was doing, can kill lizards, snakes, chickens, pigs, goats, scorpions, etc.