Friends that Visit our TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge – Part 1

We are trying our best to offer privacy to our customers… but some visitors are beyond our control.

Spending some time in the middle of “the most biologically intense place on earth” (National Geographic) will offer you the chance to meet face to face many great animals and birds. Allow us to share some of them, as seen by some of those who visited our lodge. We are sure that there are many more great photos from those kind of encounters. We would love for you to share them with us!

Black-throated Trogon

Black-throated Trogon is a widespread species of lowland forests, which occupies three disjunct regions: in Middle America and in northwestern South America, west of the Andes; in Amazonia; and in the Atlantic forests of eastern South American. Males are green on the head, chest, and back, with grayish wings and a yellow belly; the underside of the tail is barred black and white. Females are golden brown where males are green, and had a rufous upper surface to the tail. Vocalizations include rough coughing barks and series of deep whistles. Black-throated Trogons primarily feed on insects but will also consume fruit.

A Black Throated Trogon Visiting TikiVillas
A Black Throated Trogon Visiting TikiVillas

Mantled Howler Monkey (Alouatta Palliata)

The mantled howler, or golden-mantled howling monkey, is a specie of howler monkey, a type of New World monkey, from Central and South America. It is one of the monkey species most often seen and heard in the wild in Central America. It takes its “mantled” name from the long guard hairs on its sides. The mantled howler is one of the largest Central American monkeys.

Mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata), Costa Rica
Mantled howler monkey (Alouatta palliata), Costa Rica.

Green and Black Poison Dart Frog

Poison dart frogs, wear some of the most brilliant and beautiful colors on Earth. Depending on individual habitats, which extend from the tropical forests of Costa Rica to Brazil, their coloring can be yellow, gold, copper, red, green, blue, or black. Their elaborate designs and hues are deliberately ostentatious to ward off potential predators, a tactic called aposematic coloration.

Some species display unusual parenting habits, including carrying both eggs and tadpoles on their backs. Although this “backpacking” is not unique among amphibians, male poison arrow frogs are exceptional in their care, attending to the clutch, sometimes exclusively, and performing vital transportation duties.

Dendrobatids include some of the most toxic animals on Earth. The two-inch-long (five-centimeter-long) golden poison dart frog has enough venom to kill 10 grown men. Indigenous Emberá people of Colombia have used its powerful venom for centuries to tip their blowgun darts when hunting, hence the genus’ common name.

Scientists are unsure of the source of poison dart frogs’ toxicity, but it is possible they assimilate plant poisons which are carried by their prey, including ants, termites and beetles. Poison dart frogs raised in captivity and isolated from insects in their native habitat never develop venom.

Green and Black Poison Dart Frog visitor of TikiVillas Lodge
Green and Black Poison Dart Frog visitor of TikiVillas Lodge

Giant long-legged katydid

The family contains over 6,400 species. They’re known by some as long-horned grasshoppers although they are much more closely related to crickets than grasshoppers. This species can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) in length.

Giant katydids like all katydids have long antennae which are known to exceed their own body length. The male of the species have sound producing organs on the hinds of their wings which they create sound by rubbing together (known as stridulation).

The giant katydid with their long legs may appear a frightening specter but in reality they’re very gentle and much more scared of you than you are of them. It has large leaf-like wings which are great for camouflage but despite their size, this species rarely chooses to fly. Similarly, they have very long legs but cannot jump very well.

Their behavior is hard to monitor but it’s known they use their long antennae to find food and attract a mate. During the daytime they are generally inactive and can be seen standing upon leaves and bushes. They mainly eat vegetation but some can be found to be predatory and feast upon smaller bugs and insects. As mentioned the males have sound producing organs and these are used to produce an extremely high pitched noise to call for a female. It’s believed to be one of the loudest insects in existence.

The Giant Katydid at TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge
The Giant Katydid at TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge

Toco Toucan

The Toco toucan is at home in South America’s tropical forests but recognized everywhere. The toucan’s oversized, colorful bill has made it one of the world’s most popular birds. Measuring 63.5 cm (25 in.) in length, the toco toucan is the largest of all toucans. Its black body and white throat are overshadowed by its most recognizable trait: a large colorful beak.

The bright orange beak is about 19 cm (8 in.) long – one third of the bird’s total length. But despite its substantial size, the beak weighs less than you may think. Composed of the protein keratin, the structure of beak incorporates many air pockets allowing for a very low mass. Furthermore, recent research has concluded that toucans regulate body temperature by adjusting the flow of blood to their beak. More blood flow means more heat is released. When toucans sleep, they tuck their beak under their feathers to keep them warm.

The beak may be seen as a desirable mating trait, but if so, it is one that both male and female toucans possess. In fact, both sexes use their beaks to catch tasty morsels and pitch them to one another during a mating ritual fruit toss.

As a weapon, the beak is a bit more show than substance. It is a honeycomb of bone that actually contains a lot of air. While its size may deter predators, it is of little use in combating them.

Toco toucans also use their beaks to pluck and peel fruit, their main source of food. In addition, the beak houses a flat tongue of the same length, which helps the toucan catch insects, frogs, and reptiles. Toco toucans also occasionally eat the eggs of other birds.

Toco toucans live in small flocks of about six birds. Their bright colors actually provide good camouflage in the dappled light of the rain forest canopy. However, the birds commonly keep up a racket of vocalization, which suggests that they are not trying to remain hidden.

Toucans nest in tree holes. They usually have two to four eggs each year, which both parents care for. Young toucans do not have a large bill at birth—it grows as they develop and does not become full size for several months.

Toucans at TikiVillas Rainforest Lodge
Toucans at TikiVillas

We are sure that there are many more great photos from those kind of encounters. We would love for you to share them with us!