Holcosus leptophrys — Delicate Ameiva
This species was recently moved into the genus Holcosus; it was formerly known as Ameiva leptophrys.
I first noticed this large and colorful male rustling through the leaf litter on the shaded forest floor. I thought it was some sort of medium-sized rodent until it popped up its head and moved on to the next promising-looking leaf pile. After some more poking and prodding through the leaves, it finally decided to bask briefly in a sun patch, where I got this overly high-contrast photo.
Trail from Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Golfito region, Puntarenas province, Costa Rica—September 26, 2001
The common name for this beefy ameiva seems ill-chosen. We came across several adults basking in sun spots on the forest trail, but I never managed to get a photo before they ran off. A few feeble attempts to capture them failed miserably. The one pictured here is a juvenile.
Here is a complete list of the species we found on this GreenTracks trip.
We saw a few of these attractive ameivas zipping around open areas of the forest behind the hotel. This was the only one that sat still long enough for a photo.
- Holcosus leptophrys account on iNaturalist
- The species list from a 2000 GreenTracks trip to this same area includes a photo of this species.