For my fellow nature-lovers in Costa Rica or ones who travel here frequently, you may want to check this out . . . Animals of Costa Rica
Thanks to the El Silencio Guide (Eco Concierge) Daniel for introducing me to a new source of identifying my wildlife photos. I haven’t used it enough to have a strong opinion yet. The one unknown butterfly I tried to find on it, I couldn’t, so like all my other ID sources, it will not be perfect or totally complete, but it is my first source to have all animals in one place and it has a lot of animal photos & detailed info already which I suspect will expand.
And for the birders, I suspect that Merlin & eBird will stay on top for birds, but I’ve had lots of ID needs on other animals here and that is where I expect it to help me the most. We will see.
It was developed by a naturalist from Austria (like one of my favorite lodges was, Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Golfito), so I have high hopes for it! 🙂 You also can use it to keep a record of the species you have seen by just clicking the eye icon when on a species page. I suspect it will continue to be expanded or updated and for now updates are free.
Go to your preferred App Store to find it available at two price levels (all animals or just one order of species like if only interested in insects):
One of my regular readers asked about insects and bug bites on all the wilderness hikes I make with every trip and in a little-less wilderness around where I live in Atenas, Alajuela Province, Costa Rica. And he asked what I did about them.
YES, in the tropics, and Costa Rica specifically, there are actually more insect species than all of the U.S. and Canada combined. Generally they seem to me to be worse at hot times, our summer which is North America’s winter – ironically the time of year we have the most tourists! 🙂 But also location is a big factor, para ejemplo (for example) hotter lowland rainforests and year-around wetlands seem worse to me than mountain cloud forest like I was in last week. And that includes most beaches which have more mosquitoes for example than I have ever seen here in the central valley. But the government has done an excellent job of keeping down the population of mosquitoes all over the country because of diseases they carry and I seldom see one. But there are still many other bugs that bite all over the country! And spiders too!
And you birders remember than many birds eat insects, thus the places I have photographed the most bird species like Maquenque Lodge Boca Tapada and Rancho Humo Guanacaste are wetlands year-around and thus more insects than some dryer places. Here in the Central Valley I see more insects just before and at the beginning of rainy season (April-May) than I do during the daily rains like right now. Not sure why.
When hiking in the reserves and parks I usually spray with Deep Woods Off (a high % of Deet) before going out, and occasionally here at home when I see lots of insects. For treatment off bites I always take a tube of Allergel with me or a similar antihistamine gel/ointment /cream to relieve the itching (many brands here from Europe, U.S., etc). When you live in the tropics you must learn to live with insects! 🙂
Around my house I notice at different times of the year an influx of different flying insects that are pests more than biters, while at other times I get biten and don’t even know by what! 🙂 I just pull out the antihistamine gel and treat it and so far I have lived through all my bug bites! 🙂
Frogs have it easy, they can eat what bugs them. ~Unknown
I’m happy to announce that the trip report photo book from my visit to El Silencio Lodge is finished and now available for you to preview electronically for free or order a copy if you like! 🙂 It’s 60 pages with 97 photos of a truly incredible place! See it in my Blurb Bookstore at https://www.blurb.com/b/10309436-el-silencio.
Feature photo is front cover and the back cover is below:
“God is the friend of Silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence . . .
It was raining every night at El Silencio Lodge, so waiting would not have helped! 🙂 But I enjoy night hikes that are provided in most Costa Rica wilderness lodges and you do see thing not normally seen in the day time. We saw less on this one because of the rain and that also made photography with only a cell phone not super good, but here’s 6 shots that are samples of even more we would have seen if not raining. Daniel was my guide on this hike and he included two miradors (vistas) which were interesting at night and sorry I did not try to photograph the views, though again the rain made it more difficult with less moonlight and no stars. CLICK image to enlarge . . .
“Between every two pines there is a doorway to a new world.” ~John Muir
You might also like my Amphibians Gallery, most of which were photographed on Night Hikes all over Costa Rica! 🙂
I got photos of only 5 species of butterflies during my week at El Silencio Lodge and Reserve, all new to me and difficult to identify – with 2 still unidentified! I also saw a lot of Blue Morphos and Yellows but simply too fast-moving – never stopping for a photo! CLICK an image to see it larger.
As I continue to see more butterflies than birds in my garden, I found this one yesterday morning after breakfast which I haven’t seen in awhile, the Banded Peacock. He is very common all over Costa Rica and I was seeing more in May and June here. I do have better photos than these in my Banded Peacock Gallery, if interested.
Or is it another type of White? Yellow? Sulphur? You butterfly enthusiasts, especially in Costa Rica, let me know if you know for sure. It was in my garden in Atenas this morning. The closest match in my Swift Guide is the Common Melwhite (though the yellow-white color placement seems a little different), while the flying photo looks a little bit like the White-angled Sulphur, the yellow is greatly different and it doesn’t have the four brown spots, eliminating that option. For now I’m sticking with Common Melwhite (Melete lycimnia isandra) (Butterflies of America link). Whew! Butterfly ID is hard sometimes! 🙂
This trip to Xandari I photographed more butterflies than birds, which I think is a first for anywhere I have visited in Costa Rica. Xandari has always given me a lot of butterflies, partly because of their lush gardens, but today I have photos of 16 different species, a new record! Multiple are new species for me, bringing my butterfly collection up to somewhere near 120 in my Butterfly Gallery. Check it out! Quite a variety!
The only WordPress inline Gallery that now allows labels, which I want to include, is their “regular” gallery which crops each image to same size/shape, meaning you need to click on an image to see the full-size presentation of each and I prefer my framing than their boxes. Clicking one also can start a manual slide show of all 16.
There are dozens of species of Skipper Butterflies and in fact I have 17 plus species in my Costa Rica Butterflies Gallery. This morning after breakfast I walked into the garden to see what I could find and though I saw more, here are 4 different species of Skipper Butterflies I got usable photos of – CLICK to enlarge:
Border Opens to More Countries: Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and China. So if you live in one of those “safer” countries, you can be a tourist in Costa Rica! Come on over! The water’s fine! 🙂 You will have to be certified free of Coronavirus and follow a few new health rules, but everything else is great as always here!