Tree Frogs
Tree frogs, or Leaf frogs–the family Hylidae, represent a large family of more than 800 species worldwide. Costa Rica’s 43 species of tree frogs accounts for one third of the republic’s frogs.

Their tree and leaf-climbing adaptations include large adhesive toe pads, long limbs, binocular vision, and impressive jumping ability. Some species spend their entire lives in the canopy. Others visit ponds and streams to breed, while some are found predominently on the forest floor. The most famous hylid in Costa Rica is no doubt the Red-eyed tree frog (Agalychnis callidryas) –see image on home page.



Tree frogs such as the (Smilisca baudinii) pictured above have wide, suction cup-like toe pads which aid them in climbling and holding on to leaf and limb surfaces (they do pretty well on glass as well). (Smilisca baudinii) has one of my all time favorite calls, a loud rapid series of deep honks.The quality of the sound has is like the honking from a clown’s horn.

Links: Tree Frogs


Leptodactylid Frogs
Leptodactylid frogs, sometimes refered to as Neotropical frogs, and rain frogs, are the frog family with the most representative species in Costa Rica. The 46 species listed account for a third of Costa Rica’s anuran diversity.

Many of these species are very cryptically colored, blending masterfully into the forest litter layer. Quite a few of them are refered to as litter frogs. These are many a little brown job, hopping toad-like, and hiding under the fallen and decaying leaves. Others as the Smoky jungle frog to the left, complete with mosquito, are more formidable. In the rain forests of Costa Rica there is not a bigger frog (though there is a bigger toad). This frog is both a sit and wait predator, which will station itself patiently until it’s prey gets just close enough, as well as an active predator, one that will approach a chorus of vocalizing frogs, and close in to make the kill. There was always something very cool about these frogs, I would sometimes think of them as the jaguar, of the frog world. The picture above is of a frog near it’s burrow.