General info


Costa Rica is inhabited by 160 species of amphibians.

Strawberry poison dart frog

[Dendrobates pumilio]. They are parental, shocking scientists with their highly evolved forms of parental care for such tiny frogs. They are active during the day, when their colors attract maximum attention to avoid predation. Males often behave aggressively toward other males, engaging in ritualized wrestling bouts with one another on their hind legs. The strawberry poison dart frogs are highly territorial. A male defends his territory to the death, especially if it is a prime breeding location. They feed on ants, termites, tiny beetles and other small leaf litter arthropods. They capture their prey using their sticky retractable tongue. It exists in Corcovado National Park.

Green and black poison dart frog

[Dendrobates auratus]. They are found on the floor of rain forests. They prefer locations near small streams or pools. It has many color variants. Most of them are black and either green or light blue, with the black in bands or spots. They are approximately 4 cm long. As is true of most frogs, adults have a fused head and trunk with no tail. It is the poison glands located throughout the surface of their body. Their bright colors are believed to encourage predators with color vision to avoid the frogs. The boldly contrasting patterns may be aposematic to those predators that lack color vision, although this has not been proven. They are diurnal, and are seldom still during the day, constantly searching for food and taking care of young with distinctive hopping motions. It is spot in Palo Verde National Park.

Granulous poison frog

[Dendrobates granuliferus]. Small species at 19-22 mm. The skin on the back is highly granular. The top of the back is red, orange red, orange, yellow or green-yellow, depending on the individual variation and population. The top of the hind legs is green to blue-green. The belly is a lighter green to whitish. The eye is black. It`s easily spot in lowland forests around Dulce Bay (among others in Corcovado National Park). It gave off very poisonous venom that paralyse even snakes.

Red-eyed tree frog

[Agalychnis callidryas]. They inhabit tropical rainforest areas, where they are commonly found in the lowland rainforests and surrounding hills. They are excellent climbers and, as mentioned before, have suction-cup toes that help them attach themselves to the underside of leaves, where they rest during the day. They can also be found clinging to branches, tree trunks, and leaves throughout their habitat. They are known foremost for their huge, bright red eyes, a possible adaption to nocturnality or the central component of a defensive strategy called startle coloration. Their dorsal area is usually a neon-like shade of green, but can sometimes range from blue to yellow in coloring. The sides are light blue with cream to yellow colored stripes. The upper legs are bright blue, and the feet are a bright orange or red. They are spot on both Costa Rican coasts.

Smokey jungle frog

[Leptodactylus pentadactylus]. Second largest Costa Rican frog (adults can grow up to 20 cm long). It`s agressive. Can eat snakes up to 50 cm long and emits poisonous toxin. When captured emits a loud scream. They are popular in the pet trade for their attractive colors and large size. It has dark green, olive or brown back. In the forelegs there is a residual fifth finger. Their tadpoles are characterized by cannibalism tendencies.

Toad harlequin

[Atelopus varius]. They are small (2.4-- 3.8 cm) slim-bodied, pointy-snouted of highly variable coloration. Dorsal color is usually black or brown overlaid with a mosaic of spots and streaks that can be almost any combination of orange, red, yellow, blue, or green. The belly is marbled with white, yellow, orange, and/or red. They eat small insects such as flies and gnats. The female deposit 30-- 75 eggs in long strings in shallow water, as the male fertilizes them. Males lack vocal sacs, and attract females by visual displays which can include leg and head twitching, stamping the ground, and hopping in place They are spot on the slopes of Barva volcano.

Żaby holdridge

[Sapo holdridge]. It`s endangered specie. The only place in the world where it lives is the slope of Barva volcano.

Marine toad

[Bufo marinus]. It has a grey olive brown dorsal skin with many warts ending in dark brown caps. The ventral skin tends to be a whitish yellow with dark brown speckles or mottles and is granular. It possesses huge paratoid glands stretching from the anterior side of the tympanum to halfway down the back. A high bony ridge meets at the snout between the nostrils. It has horizontal pupils. Bufo marinus can reach a maximum length of 238 millimeters, although generally is approximately 150 to 175 millimeters. Their eEggs are laid in long jelly-like strings on rocks, debris, or emergent vegetation in excess of 30,000 at a time. They hatch in 2 to 7 days. It sits in an upright position when it moves, it hops in short fast hops. During cold or dry seasons it will remain inactive in shallow excavations beneath ground cover. When confronted by a predator, it is able to "shoot" bufotoxin from the paratoid and other glands on the back in the form of white viscous venom. This venom is largely comprised of cardioactive substances.

Red spotted burrowing frog

[Leptodactylus laticeps]. It resembles non-shaped, jelly like bodies. When they are scared they Podragive off white, alergic substance.

Glass frog

[Centrolenella fleischmanni] They have distinctive transparent skin which enable inside organs to be seen. (They are as if being sunk into a glass). The tips of their fingers have rabbets. Their blunt head is broad and flatten. They scream loudly this way defending their territory. On male`s forearm there is a spiny gnarl of the role yet to be found out. They are arboreal specie. They are spot in Corcovado National Park.

Tink frog

[Eleutherodactylus diastema]. Very strong frog. It has very short and massive legs which enable to make quite high speed. They can run as quickly as mouses. They emit very elaborated sounds. It is spot in Tapanti National Park.

Golden toad

[Bufo periglenes]. It occupies a wet, montane area of the forest in northern Costa Rica. The elevation of this habitat ranges from 2000 -- 2100 meters. is an extreme example of a sexually dimorphic amphibian. The males possess a very striking orange coloration. Males are extremely orange. The females are black with scarlet blotches edged in yellow. The females range in length from 42 -- 56 mm while the males are 39 -- 48 mm. The striking physical differences between male and female cannot be determined until adulthood. They were discovered in 1964 in Monteverde. They are very hard to be seen (and some botanists claim they are more visible in book covers than on the ground). In San Jose, in Hotel Gran is placed the restaurance of its name.

© 2004; SLUPSK; Rafal Cezary Piechocinski