A Good Day to Herp Well

With all these posts about bugs, I’m beginning to worry that I’m losing my touch when it comes to wildlife that is bigger and bonier.  But today had some surprises in store that were right up my alley.  With all the heat, the herpetofauna is livening up, and better late than never.

Sunning itself on a rock was this little guy: a juvenile green iguana.  The males of these will grow into the familiar, orange-crested, Godzilla-evoking lizards popular in the US for the pet trade and in most of Central America for the pot.  They’re delicious, is what I’m saying.

So I’ve heard.

Halfway through a particularly dull damselfly test, I noticed that I was nearly sitting on a leaf that a tiny glass frog was using as a bed.  As it was a juvenile, I couldn’t be sure of the species, but members of this Family have translucent skin through which you can see their bones and internal organs.  Makes for a good anatomy lesson along with a taxonomical one.  These things are hard to find, even in the wet forest where they usually live.  What this one was doing in a dry forest, I couldn’t say.  He’s a long way from home, and at serious risk of drying out if he keeps spending daylight hours out in the sun.

Real life gummi frog.

But what really made my day was when a coworker called me over with my favorite call: “Snake!”  The individual in question turned out to be am appropriately named salmon-bellied racer, which sure enough flashed its salmon colored belly and dashed off.  However, they sacrifice strength for speed, and when it cornered itself under a rock and tried to worm its way into a cicada burrow to hide, I caught it no problem.  Very feisty, but it didn’t try to bite.

Please note that the sparkly fingernails are not mine.

Besides these, we’ve seen the regular suspects of ameivas, or whiptail lizards, along with basilisks and stream anoles, plus another turtle crossing the road.  Am I not entertained?

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