A tall, dark-haired 40-something Tico farmer creeps into foliage, listening.
"BRUUURP.... BRUUURP.... BROH-UHRP," he calls again for a creature of the night, waiting. He whispers to me while gazing into the foliage, "He's close...."
Suddenly, a brave little "broh-uhrp" chirps back from behind some banana leaves. Our farmer, who doubles as a wildlife guide, moves swiftly. My travel buddy and I peer into the thick green. Where did he go? We've only just met this man, with whom we'd organized a nighttime nature walk after arriving tired to our hostel in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. In the less than ten minutes we've known him, we've lost him in some overgrown bushes aside a soccer field. We were feeling worried, apprehensive, and skeptical of this guy, our arms crossed and our eyes peering into the leaves, when he appeared behind us.
|A startled Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas)|
|A terebellid flatworm navigates the fungal forest under a log|
|Blue-jeans frogs Oophaga pumilio secrete unpalatable toxins|
|A large brown spider (Sparassidae?) camping out on bananas|
|Polydesmid millipedes may excrete cyanide to deter predators!|
|An insect undeterred by millipede defenses!|