Friday, 14 March 2014

Panama: January 2010 (part 9)

Part 1 - Gamboa lowlands and Pipeline Road
Part 2 - Road-cruising and night-hiking at El Valle de Anton
Part 3 - More from El Valle de Anton
Part 4 - Creek-walking in El Valle de Anton
Part 5 - A brand new species for science!
Part 6 - Snakes and interesting frogs at El Valle de Anton
Part 7 - Night-hiking at El Valle de Anton
Part 8 - El Cope
Part 9 - El Cope, again
Part 10 - Back to El Valle de Anton
Part 11 - Night-hiking at Pipeline Road

Continuing in El Cope...

The rain let up close to midnight, though the air remained humid and fairly warm. We quickly found a few reptiles taking advantage.

Norops humilis - Forest Anole

This Ringed Snail-eating Snake (Sibon annulatus) was picked out crawling through some shrubbery. The white spots were noticeable from the trail. Just like that, we had our second snake!

Sibon annulatus - Ringed Snail-eating Snake

Sibon annulatus - Ringed Snail-eating Snake

Tink Frogs, of which we saw three species on the trip, are widely distributed in many forests throughout Panama. This is the Common Tink Frog (Diasporus diastema).

Diasporus diastema - Common Tink Frog

Diasporus diastema - Common Tink Frog

The highlight of the night, for me at least, was this large Craugastor tabasarae that we discovered in a stump away two feet off the ground. This species was only described in 2004 here in El Cope, and it can be apparently very tough to find.

Craugastor tabasarae

Craugastor tabasarae

Craugastor tabasarae

Our third snake of the night, in the form of a Dipsas temporalis. Three snake species on the night!

Dipsas temporalis

After walking through the forest for a good four or five hours, we emerged and began the long walk back to the vehicle. Fortunately the wind had died down, the rain had abated, and the gravel road was mostly downhill. Several Marine Toads were seen!

Bufo marinus - Marine Toad

We finally arrived at the vehicle and passed out for the night. I had a surprisingly good sleep, which may have been due to the cooler air temperature as the night wore on. By 8 or 9 in the morning we were up and getting ready to go. I walked a little bit up from where we had parked for the night and found this impressive Green Tree Anole (Norops biporcatus). It stook its ground and was easily photographed in the mid-morning sun (more of a haze).

Norops biporcatus - Green Tree Anole

Norops biporcatus - Green Tree Anole

Norops biporcatus - Green Tree Anole

The last herp of the El Cope section of the trip was this rain frog, whose ID I have forgotten.

The El Cope portion of the trip, while quite short in duration, was well worth it as we saw a ton of quality herps.

By the time this is posted, I should have checked out El Cope for another two days on my current trip! Hopefully I'll have a real-time update on the blog soon!

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