|Snowy Cotinga - male|
Empids are small flycatchers and the half dozen species in North America are an ID challenge and best confirmed by voice. This bird however, is an easy ID. The 4" Black-capped Flycatcher (Empidonax atriceps) is gray with a black head and elliptical eye ring. It is found above 7200 feet elevation. It is endemic to Costa Rica and western Panama.
|Black-crowned Antshrike - male|
|Fasciated Antshrike - male|
I photographed 5 reptiles on the trip..3 lizards, a turtle and a snake. Many people are afraid of snakes, but I have had many trips to the rain forest and only have seen 5 in all the time.
The Green Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus malachiticus) is a 7" lizard that changes color readily from green to almost black to match the surface he is on. This one was found above the tree line at about 11,000 feet elevation.
|Green Spiny Lizard|
There are 4 species of basilisk lizards. I had photographed the Common or Brown Basilisk in Panama last year. The Striped Basilisk (Basilicus vittatus) is only about 20" when full grown. It is found on the Caribbean slope of Costa Rica. It is brown with two yellow lateral stripes.
|Striped Basilisk Lizard|
The Helmeted Basilisk Lizard (Corytophanes cristatus) is smaller and only 14" when full grown. It is rare to see it as it usually is motionless on a tree trunk or vertical branch. We just happened to see this one on the path at La Selva. It is brown with a large hood on it head and neck.
|Helmeted Basilisk Lizard|
The largest snake in Costa Rica is of course the Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor). This snake can grow to 14 feet in length. This one was found at La Selva by another guide at dusk as it was crossing a path and they watched it climb into a tree. We refound it the next day. They estimated it at about 7 feet long. I think if you look closely you can see its eye about the exact center of the photo. This was a life reptile for me.
|Black River Turtle - eating fish|
photos copyright 2006 - 2015 David McDonald
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