This frog looks like it’s got something to say. The strawberry poison-dart frog is native to Central America and the species varies widely in colour, from bright red all over to splashes of blue on its limbs – giving it the nickname blue jeans frog.
Cristobal Serrano has been photographing these creatures for years, but this one, spotted in the humid lowlands of a forest near the city of Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí in Costa Rica, was special.
The frog (Oophaga pumilio) had particularly well-defined blue trousers and sleeves and was perched in a Venus wine cup fungus. Its proud stance and outspread arm looked to Serrano like a speaker addressing a crowd, making an oratorical gesture.
To illuminate the scene, Serrano carefully set up three flashes: one backlight, one from the right and a spotlight just the right size for the frog. “In macro photography, you need to control the flashes very well,” he says.
He named the photo The Speaker to reference both the theatrical amphibian and the fungus cups, which look like audio speakers.
The photo won a string of awards, including France’s Nature Images Award, and the Memorial Maria Luisa contest and LUX award, both in Spain. Serrano attributes his success to the image’s lighting and composition – as well as the popularity of the animal under his spotlight. “This frog is the most iconic of the poison-dart frogs,” he says.
Original article appeared at Newscientist.com