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Glass Frogs

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Costa Rican Glass Frog (c) Andrew Gray

In the Neotropics there are some species of small frog that have almost transparent bodies – in fact, if you shine a torch on them you can almost see straight through them!

Typically, most people know these as glass frogs. There are 13 species of glass frogs in Costa Rica and all share this transparent characteristic. Its always remarkable to look at a live frog and see its little red heart beating away, to see its internal organs from the outside, and to witness the bones and skeletal features backlit by your flashlight…

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Costa Rican Glass Frog, Hyalinobatrachium valerioi (c) Andrew Gray

 

My good friend Brian Kubicki has dedicated many years to studying these fascinating amphibians and is now the leading expert in Costa Rican glass frogs. These incredible creatures are associated with streams and Brian has not only been studying these frogs’ natural history but also attempting to gather as much information as possible on the alpha-level taxonomy, current distribution, and population status of all Costa Rica’s glass frogs.

 

If you would like to find out more about Brian’s work with glass frogs or might be interested in supporting his ongoing research please follow the link below this post.

Although we have seen several species of glass frog on this trip, including the beautiful Hyalinobatrachium valerioi at the CRARC, I thought you might also like to see the first little frog we came across tonight after we arrived at La Selva Biological Research Station –  another frog species that’s almost transparent when its young:

 

Costa Rican Glass Frogs      Support Glass Frog Research     Tara’s Glass Frog

 

Rio Vereh Cloud Forest Reserve

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Yesterday Claes and I passed the active Turrialba volcano to join Brian Kubicki on a long hike into the new cloud forest reserve where the next phase of Project Lemur Frog will take place. High in the Costa Rican Talamancan Mountains, located at between 1400-1600 metres, is a pristine area of primary forest that lies within the historical range and at an elevation where the critically endangered Agalychnis lemur once existed … and hopefully, in the future, will once more.

CRARC vereh reserve + protected areas2The new reserve belongs to the Costa Rican Amphibian Research Centre, and the next phase of the Lemur frog project proposes to build on the  genetic research already conducted. It will facilitate a unique opportunity for conservation biologists and population geneticists to accurately evaluate the first re-introduction of the species.

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Lemur Leaf Frog, Agalychnis lemur (c) Brian Kubicki

Although there’s a great deal of proprietary work to be conducted, including infrastructure development and habitat assessment, getting a first-hand impression of what potential this untouched land holds under the management of the CRARC provides great optimism for a frog that is so special in Costa Rica….

 Project Lemur Frog        CRARC – Reserves