The other morning just after breakfast I noticed this immature Black or Spiny-tailed Iguana climbing up my Guarumo or Cecropia Tree for the flowers which the toucans also like to eat. Notice no stripes, no spines on his tail (as on full-grow adults) and only barely starting spines on his back which is typical of the adolescent or young adult Black Iguanas. If he were still a baby, he would be green like the Green Iguanas! But at this age I’m sure of my ID! 🙂 We do have both of those iguanas here and this one is the largest of all our lizards.
The Black or Spiny-tailed Iguana, Ctenosaura similis (Wikipedia article) are found throughout Central America & Mexico and in some Columbian islands in both the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. They have been introduced in Florida, but not native there. They are the largest of the two types of iguanas we have here. See myBlack Spiny-tailed Iguana GALLERY for more photos. Its been a while since I’ve had one in my yard though they are possible anywhere, even in downtown Atenas! 🙂
Anyone who has lived in a tropical climate has experienced Geckos if not other lizards living in your house. They are the best mosquito repellant and eat many other insects also, thus I’m glad I have Geckos! And I don’t object to other types of small lizards as they all eat insects! 🙂 This one in my kitchen yesterday was not like the other Geckos I have seen but when I looked him up in the book he seems to be just a different species of Gecko called a “Common House Gecko” (Wikipedia link) and it is a non-native “introduced” species, one of 9 species in Costa Rica now. That ID and number of species is from Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica, a Pocket Guide by Chacón and Johnson.
And here’s three more cellphone photos of the one yesterday . . .
This particular lizard, Four-lined Ameiva, seems to be fairly common in Costa Rica as I have seen him in other places. But not to be confused with the Central American Ameiva whose stripes are different and may be even more common. 🙂 The two name links above are to my galleries for each.
The lizard is lucky because Scarlet-rumped Tanagers don’t eat lizards! 🙂 When I photographed the Tanager I did not notice the lizard below him until the image was enlarged on my laptop screen. Bigger birds eat lizards this size! 🙂
I’ve galleries on two varieties of Scarlet-rumped Tanagers:
Earlier I shared two videos of virtual night & day rainforest hikes with one of the young female guides at Selva Verde Lodge, Melany Ocón. The kind I experience on my trips, though we see more on our live hikes than these short videos . . .
Today is a hike with one of the young male guides whom I have been hiking with before when there (an expert on frogs). We saw a lot more than they see on this video, but it gives you an idea of what it is like to hike at Selva Verde Lodge & Reserve, one of my many favorite places in Costa Rica. You will see a couple of frogs, a helmeted lizard, a pit viper and an anteater, so worth your effort to watch for 20 minutes and see just a little of why I love to explore the forests of Costa Rica with guides like Iván and Melany. June 30 I head north of Sarapiqui (location of these videos) for a week at Maquenque Lodge with other guides but similar experiences. And remember that English is not their first language! They do much better with English than I do with Spanish! 🙂
“If man doesn’t learn to treat the oceans and the rainforest with respect, man will become extinct.”
And for my photos of two visits to Selva Verde Lodge, Sarapiqui:
This is not all that I saw! There were really a lot of lizards of all kinds, especially a lot of Common Basilisks, which I never got a good photo of except the one juvenile below without the crown on his head. And as usual a lot more butterflies than I could ever get photos of. Plus my main focus is always birds! 🙂 But here is some “other wildlife”:
CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE
Brilliant Forest Frog
Juvenile Common Basilisk
Little Yellow Sulphur Butterfly
White Peacock Butterfly
Bloomfield Beauty Butterfly
Walking is my main method of relaxation. I don’t go over my lines or try to solve the world’s problems, I just enjoy the scenery and the wildlife.
Watching Dolphins from Snorkeling Boat Drake Bay, Costa Rica
Then Snorkeling to See Smaller Fish! At Caño Island, Drake Bay, Costa Rica
It was another nice trip today though we got heavy rain on the way back meaning no picnic lunch on the beach. The snorkle leader decided to take us to the little town of Drake Bay to eat the fruit and sandwich makings he had, so I had them drop me off at our Aguila Inn pier on the way and had a nice chicken salad lunch out of the rain. (And no wet landing of the boat!) Tomorrow I think I will get to do the Mangrove Float Trip for a lot of birds, having found two couples here who are interested. There is a minimum of 4 required to do the tour which is led by Aguila’s guide Carlos who welcomed me with a Boa Constrictor the first day.
The internet is slow still, but I decided to take time to post 3 photos above anyway. It is hard to tell a story with just one! And yesterday’s hike into Corcovado just showed the beach. But I need to give another Aguila guide, Tony, as much attention as I did Carlos with his Boa. So here he is with his “Living Ear Ring!” On the hike he grabbed this lizard and held it up to his ear. The lizard bit it and held on for 30 seconds or longer. Weird but entertaining!
Tony’s “Living Ear Ring” Aguila de Osa Lodge Hiking Guide Drake Bay, Costa Ricas