True_Frogs

This is frog filler…..

True Frogs seems perhaps the worst frog name of all? While the family Ranidae occurs on several continents and includes some of the best known and most recognizeable species extant, they are frogs, and in this authors estimation, no more a frog, than another frog in a world filled with frogs–so maybe something like Ranids would be better 🙂

But a frog is a frog, and by any other name its skin is smooth, eyes large and buldging, and the sound of its croaking is sweet.

crf_families

Costa Rican Frog and Toad Families

Herpetologist have placed the roughly 133 species of frogs and toads found within the Republic of Costa Rica into 8 groups or families.

These are the burrowing toads, toads, glass frogs, poison-dart frogs, tree frogs, leptodactylid frogs, narrow-mouthed frogs, and true frogs.

This website will attempt to provide some representative examples of each family, and to provide links to additional resources.

The frog above belongs to the family Leptodactylidae. This is family which includes the genus eleutherodactylus-and a variety of frogs sometimes referred to as rain frogs has the most species of all CR anuran families with 46.
Costa Rican Frog and Toad Families # of species
Rhynophrynidae (Mexican burrowing toads) 1
Bufonidae (Toads) 14
Centrolenidae (Glass frogs) 13
Dendrobatidae (Poison-dart frogs) 8
Hylidae (Tree Frogs) 43
Leptopdactylidae (Leptodactylid frogs) 46
Microhylidae (Narrow-mouthed frogs) 3
Ranidae (True frogs) 5
Total
133

Microhylids

Microhylids
Microhylids or Narrow-mouthed toads are represented by three species in Costa Rica.

They are probably best known by their loud buzzing vocalizations, to me reminiscent of a motor running at a high RPM, or a propeller plane moving by. Following periods of heavy rains microhylids will come to ponds and puddles to breed, to lay eggs.

Frogs as a group try to avoid ponds with fish. These are creatures which will eat the eggs young. While bodies of water will offer some advantage to eggs and tadpoles, they do not ensure safety to the adults which congregate at them and advertise their presence.

(Gastrophryne pictiventris) calls from the water surface, the frog to the left is holding on to a pond side leaf, while calling outward. Perhaps as a defensive measure, the calls of one male, run into and overlap others. Making it difficult to pinpoint the individual vocalist.

CostaRicanFrogs

Costa Rica and Biogeography
A definition of biogeography as the word indicates, is the study of life, (organisms, and species), relative to where it is found now, and over time.

The number of species found in an area, ecosystem or region, is known as biodiversity. And to understand why Costa Rica has such a high biodiversity–that is so many species within the borders of a republic which is roughly the size of Denmark or West Virginia, requires an understanding of this country’s location, history, climate now, and in the past. Obvious geographic facts point to Costa Rica’s perch on the Isthmus of Central America, between the continents of South America and North America. It is also located between two oceans–the Pacific to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea to the east.

I’ve stood on a high mountain peak in alpine tundra or paramo along continental divide on a clear day, my finger tips were cold, and there was frost at my feet, and looked out over the Caribbean and Atlantic ocean on one side, and then turned to see the peaceful Pacific Ocean on the other. From such a vantage point with the crisp morning air cool enough to see my breath, I could look out across mountains, and foothills, to the lowlands, and hot humid rainforests on both sides.

From such a vista, very little of the amphibian world is truly visible. These peaks, mountains, foothills and lowlands, with their different soils, and differing rainfall amounts, all harbor plant communities adapted to the changing conditions and microclimates. The result is a very high number of plant species, compressed across just a few miles.This high species diversity in plants in turn provides habitat and niches for a high species diversity of insects, of animals, and all that comes with these tropical forest zones, or ecosystems.

Costa Rica (map adapted from Google Earth)
Costa Rica is shown with the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean to the East and the Pacific Ocean to the west. To the north, beyond Central America and Mexico, is the rest of North America. To the south, beyond the Isthmus of Panama, you find South America.

The tropics are defined as those the latitudes occurring between the Tropic of Cancer south past the Equator to the Tropic of Capricorn. Costa Rica is situated north of the Equator and south of the Tropic of Cancer roughly between 8° and 11° North in latitude. This part of the globe gets more direct sunlight, greater energy from the sun (or solar insolation) than areas further from the equator. This in short makes places like Costa Rica, warm. Moving up in elevation however, is a lot like moving further from the Equator. That is, the higher up a mountain you climb, the cooler it gets. Here, there is less air to trap heat radiated from the earth’s surface. Think of there being less of a blanket of air or atmosphere at higer elevations. Ironically their is less air and atmosphere to protect you from the suns rays..

Costa Rica with four mountain ranges, and peaks rising over 10,000 feet, or 3100 meters, then contains areas of warm, as well as areas or ecosystems of cooler more temperate climate. Costa Rica with its great elevational range over comparatively short distances, as well as regions with distinctly different amounts and patterns of rainfall. These same mountain ranges, and their effects upon prevailing winds, also affect the climate, the temperature and the amount of rainfall. To the northwest it is warm, and for part of the year dry, or less humid. Here we have dry forest and humid forest in the lowlands and foothills of the Pacific Slope. Further south along the Pacific Slope of Costa Rica moving towards Panama, it becomes more humid, with impressive rainforests again surrounding Golfo Dulce, and the Osa Peninsula. Where the tradewinds move up this Pacific Slope, as they rise, the air cools, and mist, fog and light rain occurs forming pre-montane wet forest, or more famously named “cloud forest”.

Differences in climate, results in areas with different plants, forests, and forest creatures. Costa Rica also owes elements of it’s biodiversity to species originating in South America, as well as North America. Long periods of stability in climate, provides an environment in which creatures can fine tune their niches, they can specialize to a particular forest and resource over the thousands of years that it remains stable. This may result in greater specialization, and accordingly speciation, the formation of distinct types of animals, of new species. Mountain ranges may also act as islands in biogeographical terms. Areas cut off or isolated from other populations of the original form on an organism or group. Again, over the millennia, these isolated populations may change slightly, diversify, and specialize to the point of forming new species over time. And so this is in part how biogeography plays a role, in how many species are in a place, and why.

view in Google Maps

 

CR Frogs Home
Costa Rica and Biogeography
Costa Rican Frogs and Toad Families
Where to See and Hear Them
Voices of Costa Rican Frogs and Toads
Tales of the tailless?
Frog Stories
Conservation
Links
Resources, Citations
Contact and Copyright

 

Voices of Costa Rican Frogs and Toads

Voices of Costa Rican Frogs and Toads:
An Anuran cyber CD of music from the moist-skinned marvels, —the Tico-frog-and-toad-tones
© David L. Ross, Jr. 2009

This compilation and page is a work in progress At present it includes natural sound recordings of stereo choruses of frogs and toads from various locations in Costa Rica. These are recorded in Costa Rica by the author. An attempt has been made to correctly identify not only the prevalent frog or toad species heard, but also other notable vocalist in the recordings. In essence a recording of frogs, is a recording of that type of habitat, a snapshot in time in which frogs were front and center.

Each recording for now, has a track # and a link to a description of the recording. Click on the Track # and the MP3 should play. Click on the Details/ Description, and you will be taken to a the section of the page which has a some description or detail pertaining to the recording. It works well with Internet Explorer, and the Windows Media Player. With this setup, the page should display properly, and while the media player handles the audio, the browser still allows you to link to the information in the description. If you see any errors, or have questions pertaining to the recordings, the species or identifications please let me know.

There are no doubt better ways to do this. And a flash- based presentation which could includes all aspects of the multimedia components might be best. Again, these sounds are the copyrighted property of the author. Contact me at: dlrossjr@gmail.com

Hope you enjoy the sounds,

David Ross   4/8/2009

Last updated 6-14-09

  Voices of Costa Rican Frogs and Toads: (cyber CD Jacket)
Disc 1: Stereo Frog Choruses   by David L. Ross, Jr.

Stereo Choruses Species Reference Unidentified Sounds

 

Track 01 (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) Smoky Jungle Frogs in the Dusk Chorus    Details/ Description 04:54 MP3 8.98 MB
Track 02   (Eleutherodactylus diastema) Tink Frog and Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus) Details/ Description 02:05 MP3 3.82 MB
Track 03   (Smilisca sila) Tree Frog –maybe, and (Cochranella albomaculata) Yellow-flecked Glass Frog Details/ Description 03:11 MP3 5.84 MB
Track 04 (Hyla picadoi) calling from bromeliads in trees in high elevation oak forest. Details/ Description 2:01 MP3 3.71 MB
Track 05 (Hyla ebraccata) Harlequin Treefrog and (Hyla loquax) Swamp Treefrog Details/ Description 2:11 MP3 4.01 MB
Track 06 (Hyla loquax), (Scinax elaeochroa) Olive-snouted Treefrogs, and (Agalychis callidryas) Red-eyed Treefrogs and (Agalycnis saltator) Parachuting Red-eyed Treefrogs Details/ Description 3:22 MP3 6.19 MB
Track 07 (Physalaemus pustulosus) Tungara Frog Details/ Description 1:06 MP3 2.02 MB
Track 08 (Smilisca baudinii) Mexican Treefrog Details/ Description 1:36 MP3 2.93 MB
Track 09 Poison-Dart Frogs in the Mix
(Phyllobates lugubris) and (Dendrobates pumilio) Striped and Strawberry Poison-Dart Frogs

Details/ Desctipton2:36 MP34.76 MBTrack 10(Gastrophryne pictiventris) Southern Narrow-mouthed ToadDetails/ Description1:25 MP32.60 MBTrack 11(Dendrobates pumilio) Strawberry Poison-Dart Frogs with approaching rainDetails/ Description4:27 MP38.15 MBTrack 12(Scinax elaeochroa) Olive-snouted Treefrogsmany!Details/ Description1:27 MP32.66 MBTrack 13(Hyla loquax) Swamp Treefrogs–The Fast and the FuriousDetails/ Description3:31 MP36.44 MBTrack 14(Colostethus talamancae) Talamanca Rocket Frogs Details/ Description1:52 MP33.44 MBTrack 15(Hyla rosenbergi) Gladiator Frogs with some (Hyla ebraccata)Details/ Description1:01 MP31.86 MB


Track 01 (Leptopdactylus pentadactylus) “Smoky Jungle Frogs in the Dusk Chorus”
Recorded along the Cantarana Trail (the frog song trail) at the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) Finca la Selva Biological Station in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui ,Costa Rica. Recordist: David Ross Date May 1996.

Throughout the day in a humid forest there is almost always sound. Even on the calmest afternoon, lizards will rustle the leaf litter, the wings of flys’, beetles and bees will drone, poison dart frogs will call with trill and small ratchet sounds akin to the sounds of orthopterans and crickets, while orthopterans, crickets and cicadas will fill whatever gaps of quiet that might otherwise steal the stage. There are almost always bird sounds, or bird noises, the occasional vocalizations and movements of monkeys, the dripping of leaves, and falling of fruit.

There are also periods or moments of tumultuous ruckus, of deafening creatures which en masse, eclipse all else in the forest. This recording was made as the sun was setting, as the last shadows faded with a glow through the canopy. This is not purely a frog recording of course. This is a stereo recording of a lowland rainforest, where the creatures of the day utter their last, and the creatures of the night capture the flag and will hold it until the dawn. It was captured with a digital audio tape recorder (a DAT machine) and a pair of Sennheiser microphones. This is an event captured on tape, one that has occurred here for as long as the Cantarana Pond has filled with water, or perhaps flooded is a better description. This recording was made following a week or so of very heavy rains it seemed to rain and pour for days.. It was apparently at that moment, that just post-filling of the ponds, that the microphones had found the frogs, in a place we can only hope that they will always be.

The loud “woroop” sounds are from numerous Smoky Jungle Frogs (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) calling from the edges of this pond and beyond. These frogs called most forcefully at dusk and shortly into the night, the chorus was evident at probably a kilometer in distance. Great Tinamous compete for top billing with haunting tremulous whistles. Eleutherodactylus fitzengeri utters a few strident clicking series. Vehicles on the highway that heads past the field station and through banana plantations are heard very fainly beyond the din.

For those of you still reading, here is what the recordist’s ears still hear more than a dozen years after the DEET, the sweat, and the DAT meter was glowing in the near dark, and then dark.

Smoky Jungle Frogs (Leptopdactylus pentadactylus) –loud “woroop” sounds
Great Tinamou (Tinamus major) eerie tremulous whistles
Chestnut-backed Antbird (Myrmeciza excul) song –two note “tooo choo”
Dusk Cicadas –pulsing siren-like cicada sound
Fitzinger’s Rainfrog (Eleutherodactylus fitzingeri)
(Clack, clack,clack,clack,clack,clack,clack,) sounds like someone tapping two stones together, heard very sporadically throughout the piece
Harlequin Treefrog (Hyla ebraccata) starting up, ratchet-like sound, that never quite gets going
Red-eyed Tree Frogs (Agalychis callidryas) — soft “cluck”, or single “chuck” sounds
Black-faced Antthrush (Formicarius analis) “toot, toot-toot-toot”
Chestnut-backed Antbird calls, (raspy cat-like sounds)
louder/ closer Tinamou
Fitzinger’s Rainfrog closer,
Olive-snouted Treefrog (Scinax elaeochroa) –a few calls “wraaack”


Track 02 Tink Frog and Common Potoo
Recorded at Night, OTS Finca la Selva Biological Station in Puerto Viejo de Sarapiqui ,Costa Rica.
Recordist: David Ross Date May 1996.

The sharp metalic chime-like “tink” or “dink” sounds are the vocalizations of the apply-named Tink Frog. This small eleutherodactyid will perch on low vegetation, often sheilded from view, to utter his plaintive advertising call. Throughout the piece there are a few startling calls from the Common Potoo (Nyctibius griseus). Recorded in stereo, in the small hours of what had been and incredible moonlit night. The target in this recording was the potoo. This gray bird of the night was using a song perch on a dead snag to give its haunting mornful call. Potoos are insectivores, akin to goatsuckers or whip-poor-wills, or if you’re from down under, to frogmouths. The common potoo with its large eyes will be able to see the silouettes of insects, against the night time sky, and fly to capture them with its wide-gaped bill. –but enough of such bird-speak, this is a site for frogs, and the tink frog is a favorite. Pure tones, given in short bursts across the cool air of the night, like a lone bugle on a hill in the still of morning, or a pebble dropped deliberately into the calm surface of a pond. The sound ripples and spreads outward across the forest.


Track 03 (Smilisca sila)? and (Cochranella albomaculata) Yellow-flecked Glass Frog
Recorded 12-17-90 approximately 1900hrs on the Osa Peninsula at Corcovado National Park, near the Los Patos Field Station entrance,
Puntarenas Costa Rica, Recordist: David Ross

This recording was made a long time ago, in a place I will probably never be again. I do remember suffering from the flu, but wanting to have a listen to whatever the night might offer. Not far from the field station guard shack, and the clearing where the tent was pitched, there was a trail, which would head into the rainforest, down towards the Sirena Field Station. By day this forest would offer recordings of the Colostethus frogs (sleek, black and white striped, tan frogs which are in the poison-dart frog family). At night, after a rain in the afternoon, the nearby creek came alive soon after dark.

The recording is made on the edge of this creek, or babbling brook. It was truly an amazing experience. The most obvious initial sound was the larger raucus tree frog (Smilisca sila) identified only tenuously here many years later. This species was calling from down low, on the banks, and in the creek it seemed, along the length of the creek. The calls would occur in waves, starting either up the creek and travelling downward or from down creek and heading past the microphones in the other direction. The frogs would synchronize their calling, it was a bit like fans doing the wave at a sports stadium.

The high pitched notes (sharper and higher than those of the tink frog above) are of a glass frog, and from photos, and descripions and other recordings, These vocalizations are deduced to be from Yellow-flecked Glass Frog (Cochranella albomaculata) –Twan Leenders pesonal communication.


Track 04 (Hyla picadoi) Oak Forest Frog Species
Frog unseen, unidentified at the time of the recording, but 11 years later a 2007 paper by Erik Lindquist and John Cossel Jr shed light on this very cool nocturnal canopy caller. From high elevation oak forest, in the still of the night, in cool mountain air, this characteristic, enchanting, wooden sound can not be missed. I was always sure it was a frog, and it seems to originate from bromeliads high in the oak trees.
Recorded at the Cuerici Biological Station in stereo 4/20/96 0012hrs, David L. Ross DAT 96-31

What sealed the deal on identifying this frog is a recording cataloged at the Borror Lab of Bioacoustics BLB # 32346 found at this link;
http://blb.biosci.ohio-state.edu/LongData.asp?RecordingID=32346


Track 05 (Hyla ebraccata) Harlequin Treefrog and (Hyla loquax) Swamp Treefrog
(recording description in progress)
(Hyla ebraccata),(Hyla loquax) La Selva  stereo DAT 93-13@ 11:00
21:44hrs 6/7/93


Track 06 Swamp Treefrog, Olive-snouted Treefrog, and Red-eyed Treefrog and Parachuting Red-eyed Treefrog
(recording description in progress)
(Hyla loquax)  (La Selva) stereo 96-48 @ 58:00 0450hrs 5/13/96
Scinax elaeochroa
NICE CHORUS of (Hyla loquax), (Scinax elaeochroa), (Hyla ebraccata), (Agalychnis callidryas), (Agalychnis saltator), (Smilisca baudinii),
(Leptodactylus pentadactylus)


Track 07 (Physalaemus pustulosus) Tungara Frog
(recording description in progress)
This recording has been identified based on the description of the sounds heard. The vocalists were not seen. Confidence in the identification being correct–hmm? I’ld at least put a dollar on it. Flooded field and ditch habitat, at night, mosquitoes swarming, small gnats and moths gettign into sweaty eyes if the headlamp was on–other excuses. So no photo, no confirmation, but if you know your (Physalaemus pustulosus) please email me.

(Physalaemus pustulosus) (Paloverde) stereo 5/25/94 2230hrs RDAT # 93-07@c 31:00


Track 08 (Smilisca baudinii) Mexican Treefrog
(recording description in progress)
Smilisca baudinii (La Selva) stereo 6/13/93 DAT 93-15@~1:29:20 chorus


Track 09 (Phyllobates lugubris) and (Dendrobates pumilio) Poison-Dart Frogs in the Mix
Striped Poison-Dart Frogs, and Strawberry Poison Dart Frogs, with Smoky Jungle Frogs and a few Fitzinger’s Rainfrogs too!

The air is heavy with moisture, a late afternoon sky with a darkening, ominous gray clouds. Thunder rumbles in distance. Night is not far off, and rain is even closer. In this segment four species of frogs are easily discenible. In addition to the two species of poison dart frogs (with numerous individuals), there are the resonant “horoop” calls of Smoky Jungle Frogs which forms a back beat of base, and the stone tapping calls of Fitzinger’s Rainfrogs–given very sporadically. The recordist’s aim and game here, is to put the stereo microphones, somewhere close enough to the comparatively small sounds, in a manner in which several of them are prominent in the stereo field, with some to the left, and some to the right. This recording was captured in well developed rainforest, with closed canopy, and large vines. It was not far from a flooded pond. Also not far enough from a road, a field station, and a trail, and as dusk approaches, so does dinner, and foot traffic.

The amazing, the magical, a wonder at arms reach, but all invisible– without a tiny bit of help. I wish I’ld had this help when I was your age 🙂
In anycase, those that know, know it is true.. Some secrets are pretty easy to figure out, and others, such as how to find a poison-dart frog might not be. Yes they are bright, beautiful–and small. But the way to find them, is with your ears.

The trills, and cricket like sounds in this recording, are a natural stereo recording (no additives or preservatives) and for listening purposes, non-toxic. The cut is mostly of (Phyllobates lugubris), as there are several giving their plaintive ringing trills from perches on or near the forest floor. About halfway in to this recording, a very prominent (Dendrobates pumilio) starts up with a less plaintive, ratchet-like or grasshopper-like series. This insect-like sound of several Dendrobates pumilio, is actually evident in the background throughout the cut. The Dendrobates pumilio is definitely more common and prevalent. Additional species are heard in this piece as well, including the “Clack, clack, clack, clack,clack,clack” of the rainfrog (Eleutheradactylus fitzingerii).

The phyllobates, in real life, might not sound this loud, unless you put your ears a little lower to the ground, and a little closer to the moist log, or mossy root, they are calling from.

Other sounds for those interested include the distant child-like shout, or call of a Collared Forest-Falcon (Micrastur semitorquatus), and an even more distant train-whistle sound from the Slaty-breasted Tinamou (Crypturellus boucardi)


Track 10 (Gastrophryne pictiventris) Southern Narrow-mouthed Toad
The loud “whaaaaaaa” calls are of this microhylid Gastrophryne pictiventris. After a period (days it seemed) of heavy rains had flooded a pond, and forest, these toads were heard soon after dusk. They were calling while floating on the surface in shallow water but a few inches deep. The toads seem to carefully overlap each other, in an acoustic game of electricity, or harmony. Some resonant “wrooop” calls of the Smoky Jungle Frog are heard ramping up their chorus throughout the recording, if you’re testing your frog-acoustic processing, you might listen for Red-eyed, and Harlequin Treefrogs.


Track 11 (Dendrobates pumilio Strawberry Poison-Dart Frogs ) with approaching rain
Later afternoon, light rain and steady drip set the stage, the sound droplets impacting broad stiff leaves. The close ratcheting crick,crick,crick…. crick, that goes on for about a minute at time, is the call or song, of the Strawberry, or Blue Jeans Poison-Dart Frog. The piece starts off with one dart-frog calling from the left, There are the throat-clearing sounds and deep, faint whistles of Purple-throated Fruitcrows, parakeets fy over, distant dart-frogs call, there’s the pulsing call of Dusk Cicadas, a second Strawberry Poison Dart-Frog calls from the right, White-breasted Woodwrens give a more querulous whistled phrase, the rain picks up, more cicadas, more distant dart-frogs, and then another calls more strongly from the right of center again. Cicadas take us to the end, with the sound of rain.


Track 12 (Scinax elaeochroa) Olive-snouted Treefrogsmany!
This is a multi-species, multi-frog recording. The piece starts with a wall of the whining sound of many Scinax elaeochroa, there is some honking from the Mexican Treefrog, are some popcorn like sounds from the Swamp Treefrog, some sharper ratched sounds of Harlequin Treefrog, some “whaaaaa” sounds from the Southern Narrow-mouthed toads, and if you’re ears and sound system are up to the task, you can pick out the plastic comb tine, sounds of the parachuting treefrog (Agalychnis saltator) heard throughout the piece.


Track 13 (Hyla loquax) Swamp TreefrogsThe Fast and the Furious
The louder wooden sounding calls are of Hyla loquax, the steady pulsing, almost whining wall of frog sound in the background is provided by Scinax Elaeochroa, some sharper crick crick crick sounds are from the Harlequin Treefrog, (Hyla ebraccata), very far back are some Mexican Treefogs (Smilisca baudinii) honking.


Track 14 (Colostethus talamancae) Talamanca Rocket Frog
This chorus of bird-like peeps, was given in the heat of the afternoon, beneath a canopy of mature rainforest trees in the foothills of Corcovado National Park, near the Los Patos Field Station. Several frogs were calling from the leaf litter, announcing and defending their territories. The microphones were placed very near to the ground, and scurrying lizzards (Ameiva festiva) are heard making their way across the forest floor during the recording. Birds that add background sounds include Thrushlike Manakin, Rufous Piha, and Blue Ground-Dove.


Track 15 (Hyla rosenbergi) Gladiator Frogs, with some (Hyla ebraccata)
When the Gladiator Frogs are in chorus, it can sound a bit like a ping-pong match, with the double-noted percussive sounds bouncing from one side to the other. There are also some higher pitched ratchet-like sounds from the Harlequin Tree Frog (Hyla ebraccata). This recording was made at Corcovado National Park, near the Sirena Field Station. The frogs were calling from temporary ponds bordering some secondary forest, and the grass airstrip. The roar of the Pacific Ocean surf is heard in the background.


Frog_Stories

Swamp, Rain, Umbrellas, Frogs — a more prose-like/ poetic version of this should become “Of Rain and Frogs”
David L. Ross

This anecdote pertains to the night upon which the recording which loads with this page was made. It was dark, it was stormy, but there were frogs in the offing.

It’s raining lightly, a thunderstorm is approaching, the site is the edge of a swamp lined with aril plants (Spathiphyllum background photo) and bordered by rainforest.  While recording frog sounds with rain hitting the microphones does not work (pounding drum roll thumps on the microphones as raindrops hit, and water eventually shorting them out, also high humidity will  stop the recorder) recording in the rain under an umbrella  is sometimes worth a try.

This possibility  –that of heavy rains in a rainforest, at the onset of the rainy season, was hoped, and planned for. The requisite gear,  rubber boots, rain poncho, a large umbrella, (and in an attempt to reduce the drum beat of water dropping on a taught umbrella) a wool blanket, cut to a correct sized circle, with an umbrella spike hole cut in the center of it was at the ready.

The idea was that the sound of the droplets would be dampened, or softened by impacting the blanket instead of the umbrella.

Believe it or not, on a rainy night at the field station, just shy of midnight, this swamp, was my very own.

In this recording you can hear the sound of rain and droplets everywhere –wool covered blanket included, everywhere that is, except on the microphones.

There is a chorus of “cluck” sounds from (Agalychnis callidryas) (pictured in the banner above) followed by some thunder, and the addition of some higher pitch “eek-ek-ek” sounds from (Hyla ebraccata).  (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) “whroop” from the distance, as lightning flashes illuminate the broad-leaved Spathiphyllum plants growing on the edges. Thunder rolls, and evening cicadas pulsate from the canopy.   It is raining at the rainforest swamp.  Several species depend on swamps and ponds without fish for reproduction and survival.  In such a pond, with these heavy rainy season showers, the chorus will be soon be booming. For now however, patience, and dry gear are required.

At this congregation, the clucks, croaks, honks and whines of numerous male frogs of many forms and sizes, will be broadcast across the forest.  A deafening cacophony will result, perhaps sometime after the rain stops long enough, to ditch this increasingly heavy umbrella.

 

 

About this page.
Author, photographer, sound recordist, web designer, D.L.Ross Jr.

(Photo editing with Adobe PhotoShop, web page composed with Adobe Dreamweaver, audio editing with Sony Sound Forge, and Sony Acid)

The header, is a rollover image created from one photo of an (Agalychnis callidryas),

With PhotoShop, the original scanned image was cropped and edited to have the same dark green color on the horizontal edges.  A new image was created having the dimensions exactly 2X the width as the original.  The original was then flipped horizontally to create a mirror image.  The left and right images were pasted into the longer frame. This image was saved.

From this image a second image was created (this is my lightning flash image).
The PhotoShop selection tool was used to select the green areas around the frogs. Some frog limbs which were in too much shadow needed to be redrawn slightly.   This green area was then filled with the lighter lightning flash green.

Also, the frogs themselves in the lightning flash image were adjusted.  With PhotoShop, I simply selected inverse selection, than adjusted brightness and contrast, to make the frogs dark, but not total silhouettes.  This image was saved.

With Adobe Dreamweaver, I then created a rollover image of these two identically sized, and frog positioned images.

Within Dreamweaver, I also added an AP divider  (placement/ text box) between the two frog images.  In this box I entered the text “Costa Rican Frog Stories” in a large font colored the same as the dark green used in PhotoShop.

Rollover images change from image 1 (normal frogs and text hidden dark green on green) to image 2 (lightning flash image).   Against this image, the text “Costa Rican Frog Stories” shows up as dark green against light green.  Coincidentally when you mouse over the text itself the image rolls back to dark green image one.

So to do this one better, it would load as a flash movie/ animation, that would flicker a second or two in advance of when the audio hit  had thunder.

Background color:
Gradient fill background image created with Adobe PhotoShop, top and bottom of image employs the same color at the edges, to facilitate repeating if ever needed.