Toad with attitude

Jaime Culebras's Image

The moon shone bright over the Tiputini River, making it easy for Jaime to find his way as he searched for nocturnal wildlife. A huge smooth-sided toad was clambering and hopping along the river bank. Eventually the toad paused to rest, and Jaime noticed its belly, speckled with white spots ‘like stars in the sky’.

Yasuní National Park is one of the most biodiverse regions on Earth, with 150 different species of amphibians alone. Smooth-sided toads can look after themselves, actively squirting a toxin from glands around their shoulders. Their paradise, however, is increasingly under threat – new oil reserves have recently been found below the surface.

Behind the lens

Jaime Culebras

Jaime Culebras


Jaime has a bachelor's in biology, an MSc in environmental education and an MSc in biodiversity and conservation of tropical areas. He has been living in Ecuador for over nine years, where he works as a reptile and amphibian researcher and nature photographer. He has won numerous photography and conservation awards.

Image details

  • Canon 6D
  • Sigma 24mm lens
  • 30 sec at f4 and f16  •   ISO 500  •   two Yongnuo Speedlite flashes  •   softbox
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