Go to Home Page
Go to Series 1
Go to Series 2
Go to Series 3
Go to About  Mark
Go to Herpetology
FAQ
Target Species: Splendid leaf frog, Agalychnis calcarifer
Location: Liverpool, Manzanillo & La Selva, Costa Rica
Director: Roger Finnigan


Location: Costa Rica is a small, environmentally aware, Central American country between Nicaragua and Panama.

Mission Statement:

Some dart-poison frogs are know to be possess highly toxic skin secretions but when they are kept in captivity their toxicity quickly diminishes until they are completely non-toxic. What is more, their captive bred young never develop toxic skin secretions. Toxinologists and bio-medical researchers are interested in skin secretions with an eye to the production of new, potentially live-saving drugs. Dart-poison frogs are believed to obtain their toxic skin secretions from a varied diet of rainforest floor invertebrates, but since this diet is impossible to duplicate in captivity captive dart-poison frogs quickly become non-toxic and are of little value for research. What is needed is a frog that possesses toxic skin secretions, of a genetic rather than dietary origin, that will not diminish in potency under captive conditions. Some neotropical treefrogs fit this pattern and treefrog expert Andrew Gray has for some years been involved in a captive breeding programs to study skin secretions and conserve frog species which are becoming increasing endangered in the wild. Mark joins Andrew and his fieldworker Miguel on a quest to find one of the largest and most threatened of these frogs, the Splendid leaf frog. Being a snakeman Mark is still on the look-out for venomous reptiles and he meets one of Latin America’s most unusual mammals, the three-toed sloth.


A close view of a Splendid leaf frog (Agalychnis calcarifer), the "Jewel of the Jungle".

Species recorded during 'Jewel Of The Jungle'

Species Common Name
BUFONIDAE TRUE TOADS
Bufo marinus Marine toad
CENTRONELIDAE GLASS FROGS
Hyalinobatrachium colymbiphyllum Plantation glass frog
DENDROBATIDAE DART-POISON FROGS
Colostethus talamancae Talamanca rocket frog
Dendrobates auratus Black and green dart-poison frog
Dendrobates pumilio Strawberry dart-poison frog
Phyllobates lugubris Lovely dart-poison frog
HYLIDAE TREEFROGS
Agalychnis callidryas Red-eyed leaf-frog
Agalychnis spurrelli Spurrell's leaf-frog
Hyla ebraccata Painted treefrog
Phyllomedusa lemur Lemur leaf frog
Smilisca phaota Masked treefrog
LEPTODACTYLIDAE SOUTHERN FROGS
Eleutherodactylus biporcatus Veragua robber frog
Eleutherodactylus sp. A (Costa Rica) (unidentified robber frog)
Leptodactylus pentadactylus Smokey jungle frog
Leptodactylus sp. A (Costa Rica) (unidentified bullfrog)
RANIDAE TRUE FROGS
Rana vaillanti Vaillant's frog
EMYDIDAE POND TERRAPINS & BOX TURTLES
Trachemys scripta nebulosus Baja California slider
KINOSTERNIDAE MUD & MUSK TURTLES
Kinosternon scorpioides Scorpion mud turtle
ALLIGATORIDAE ALLIGATORS & CAIMAN
Caiman crocodilus fuscus Brown caiman
CORYTOPHANIDAE BASILISKS & HELMETED LIZARDS
Basiliscus plumifrons Plumed basilisk
Basiliscus vittatus Common brown basilisk
Corytophanes cristatus Helmeted lizard
GEKKONIDAE GECKOES
Gonatodes albogularis Yellow-headed gecko
Hemidactylus frenatus Common house gecko
Sphaerodactylus graptolaemus Painted-throated least gecko
Thecadactylus rapicauda Turnip-tailed gecko
IGUANIDAE IGUANAS
Iguana iguana rhinolopha Central American green iguana
POLYCROTIDAE ANOLES
Norops humilis Humble anole
Norops limifrons Border anole
Norops sp. A (Costa Rica) (unidentified anole)
Norops sp. B (Costa Rica) (unidentified anole)
Norops sp. C (Costa Rica) (unidentified anole)
Polychrus gutturosus Throaty bush anole
TEIIDAE MACROTEIIDS
Ameiva festiva Festive ameiva
COLUBRIDAE TYPICAL SNAKES
Chironius grandisquamis Large-scaled black treesnake
Dendrophidion percarinatus Central American forest racer
Imantodes inornatus Brown blunt-headed treesnake
Oxybelis aeneus Brown vinesnake
Oxybelis brevirostris Green vinesnake
Sibon annulata Annulated slug-eater
Sibon longifrenis Green-spotted slug eater
Sibon nebulata Clouded slug-eater
ELAPIDAE CORALSNAKES & THEIR KIN
Micrurus alleni Allen's coralsnake
VIPERIDAE VIPERS & PITVIPERS
Bothriechis schlegelii Eyelash viper
Bothrops asper Terciopelo

 


Location: We concentrated our searches in locations along the Caribbean side of the country, including the world famous and ecologically diverse La Selva Reserve.

 


Neotropical treefrog expert Andrew Gray introduces Mark O'Shea to his field assistant Miguel Solano.

 

 


O'Shea meets 'Buttercup', a three-toed sloth at Avarios del Caribe Lodge, an injured sloth santuary near Cahuita.

 


For the snake enthusiasts, a Golden eyelash viper (Bothriechis schlegelii).

 

 


O'Shea holds one of our pair of Splendid leaf frogs, these are not small frogs !

 

 


O'Shea watches a diminutive female Strawberry dart-poison frog (Dendrobates pumilio) climbing a liana.


01:01 - 01:02 - 01:03 - 02:04 - 01:05 - 01:06 - 01:07 - 01:08 - 01:09 - 01:10 - 01:11 - 01:12 - 01:13