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The Secret Lives of Costa Rica's Smallest Creatures

Last year, the ITM team took a leisure trip to Costa Rica, and while we were staying in the small coastal town of Cahuita, we met a friendly camera-wielding gentleman by the name of Tszkin Ng. Since Chris was never without his camera either, we struck up a conversation and learned that Tszkin was also on vacation and was determined to capture images of the smallest members of Cahuita’s wildlife - lizards, amphibians, arachnids, insects and more. As the week went on, we had a chance to share stories and our own photos with our new macro photographer friend and we found that we couldn’t wait to see which critters he photographed each day. Now, we are delighted to share Tszkin Ng’s images from his trip.

Staying mindful of the approaching camera and poised to flee,this curiously-crowned frog was found on a deserted plastic table. (Costa Rica)

This amusingly-proportioned burrowing frog lay covertly beneath low vegetation, profiting from the recent downpour. (Costa Rica)

This Costa Rican glass frog, found in the Limón province, hangs comfortably sideways, her beating heart and organs visible through her translucent flesh.

At ease in her environment, this tree frog was found perched on a moldy leaf in Limón, Costa Rica, as if awaiting an audience.

A heavy-looking burrowing frog, with her matte and warty skin, climbed onto a moldy leaf hours after heavy rainfall. (Tortuguero, Costa Rica)

The elusive yellow-striped dart frog, found here on muddy ground, ready to evade and shrink away from the macro light. (Costa Rica)

Found near the base of a Kekoldi waterfall, this coin-sized rocket frog (2cm) stubbornly darted away in successive leaps. (Costa Rica)

This jumping spider was seen prowling at night in Limón, Costa Rica, carrying the Lannister colors of the popular series, Game of Thrones.

After much struggling and tumbling across the uneven beach ground, this well-camouflaged Caribbean spider successfully subdued her glass-winged prey. (Costa Rica)

Still as a statue, a hand-sized wandering spider bathed in the last light of day in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge, Costa Rica.

Presumably unaware of the parasitoid wasp larva living on her abdomen, the L.argyra spider from Cahuita, Costa Rica hung quietly in the shade.

Fearless of the night, this egg-toting forest crab wandered to a branch’s edge at the Red Frog Beach in Panama.

After making sure there were no more footfalls nearby, a crab cautiously poked out of hiding during a sunset on Punta Uva Beach, Costa Rica.

On this texture-rich trunk, along the inner fringes of the Red Frog Beach, Panama, a cicada emerged out of the carapace of her former self.

This Costa Rican owl butterfly was seen displaying her gargantuan wings, the eye-like pattern staring back at any viewer in the black of night.

Ever so cautious of the photographer looming around him, the crested male was ready to forfeit his late morning sun-basking and withdraw at any given moment. (Costa Rica)

This small anole from Costa Rica stayed serenely asleep even as the glare of the macro light was approaching.

At an iguana farm in Kekoldi, a large male glanced back, his green to brown to orange scales indicative of his transition to adulthood. (Costa Rica)

Like a trap set along the current’s motion, this early-morning caiman drifted in the river near Tortuguero, Costa Rica.

A small blunt-headed tree snake, with her iridescent charcoal scales and disproportionate head, rested placidly in the primary forest. (Costa Rica)

A timid snake, possibly hungry for late-night frog eggs, was quick to retreat into the vegetation near an artificial frog pond. (Limón, Costa Rica)


All photos and captions by Tszkin Ng.

June 16, 2016

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