translucent glass frog

i was fortunate enough to spend almost 5 weeks in costa rica earlier this year, and it was unbelievable: the trip itself, the people i went with and/or got to meet, the sheer diversity of life – from entire ecosystems down to curiously specialized organisms.
right now, i’m in the process of going through and organizing the many photos i took there… and even though i’ve only just finished day 6, i already know which picture i would choose, had i to limit myself to a single photo to show:

translucent glass frog (cochranella sp.) on a young dieffenbachia leaf, illuminated from below

what you see here, is a little glass frog (cochranella sp., centrolenidae), illuminated from below the leaf it’s sitting on with only a headlight.
glass frogs are aptly named for their often transparent abdominal skin. this allows one to see through its belly and make out some of the inner organs. the “x-ray effect” effect in the photo shows not only a vague blueprint of this glass frog (including the spine and individual vertebrae), but also “highlights” the one organ that must be as oblique as possible1 in order to work properly: the eye.
the young dieffenbachia leaf with its water conduit system tops the photo off with a perfect background.

  1. except, of course, at the pupil []

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