Thursday, May 31, 2007

16. The Night Hike (5/31/07)

Thursday, May 31, 2007
After dinner we planned to take a night hike, and a guide was provided by Selva Verde. It was Lenin again. However, most of our group opted to do a night hike with Linda & Jerry. But because they were going to stay on the walkways, we decided, along with Joel & Kathy, to "revolt and follow Lenin."
First we were advised to wear rubber boots (there might be snakes...) and these were provided.
Boot rack
No one could find the light switch for the boot depot, so we felt our way through several sizes of boots. We all had our flashlights as we walked around the frog pond near the dining hall. Found a couple pairs of courting Red-eyed Tree Frogs (Agalychnis callidryas). The tiny male sits on the back of the larger female. After this romantic interlude, the female climbs the tree to deposit eggs on a leaf. Supposedly the male follows to fertilize the eggs. Also saw some fat Marine Toads (Bufo marinus) on and around the lily pond.
Lenin spoke about not taking flash photography of the rain forest frogs due to their sensitivity to the environment. He told the story of the golden toads in Monteverde.
All around us we could hear the loud and distinctive "dink" or "tink" sound of the Common Dink Frog (Eleutherodactylus diastema). We kept trying to find one, and it was Joel who finally found this tiny almost-transparent frog that makes a sound so much bigger than its size!
Lenin found two different types of walking sticks (now how is that possible in the dark?!) and a centipede and millipede. Also a type of click beetle, the Fire Beetle (Pyrophorus noctilucus), with two bioluminescent spots on its back.
Lenin showed us a glowing piece of wood with phosphorescent microbes. Some of us saw a marvelous caterpillar, but the line of hikers was too spread out to let the others know.
Saddleback Caterpillar (Acharia stimulea)
We returned along the walkways, and some of the group were able to see a forest rat in the adjacent plants. Very cool hike!
Lamp on walkway
Next: 17. Jungle Cruise.

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