The Night Tour with Tracie

"The Bug Lady"

Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Discover the hidden treasures of Drake Bay,  Costa Rica with Tracie "The Bug Lady"


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 Media and Publications

Through the years we have had our work featured in several publications and have been invited to participate in the production of a few television and film projects.



Amazon Adventure 3D

Amazon Adventure 3D (2016)

Amazon Adventure 3D is an IMAX film produced by SK Films. The film depicts the 11 year journey of discovery through the Amazon of 19th century British explorer Henry Walter Bates.

During this period Bates identified over 8000 species new to science and developed his theory of "Batesian Mimicry". In his theory Bates proposed that certain harmless creatures mimic toxic or venomous creatures in order to avoid predation. Bates was particularly struck by the caterpillar Hemeroplanes triptolemus, which transforms from a harmless caterpillar into the image of a Pit Viper when disturbed.

We contributed to the production in June 2015 by capturing a Hemeroplanes caterpillar in Drake Bay and transporting it to San José to be filmed by a professional film crew. After the shoot we returned the caterpillar to Drake Bay and released it on its host plant.

In July 2016 we captured another Hemeroplanes caterpillar which was filmed in Drake Bay by a professional crew, including legendary nature cinematographer Richard Kirby, to complete the footage needed for the film.

You can read more about Hemeroplanes on the "Viper Caterpillar" page of our website by clicking here.





The Dark - Nature's Nighttime World


The Dark, Episode 1 "Central American Jungles" (2012)

The Dark: Nature's Nighttime World is a 3-part series produced by the BBC which highlights some of Central and South America's nocturnal wildlife.

Throughout the series, a team of biologists and film makers explores several Latin American locations using cutting edge technology to observe otherwise elusive nocturnal creatures.

We worked behind the scenes on the Corcovado National Park segment with presenter George McGavin, which was filmed in Sirena Station.




Naomi's Nightmares of Nature

Naomi's Nightmare's of Nature - Season 2 - Episode 3 (2014)

A BBC production for their children's channel, CBBC, about Costa Rica's Jungle creatures.

On this episode presenter Naomi Wilkinson discovers Drake Bay's spiders with Tracie "the Bug Lady", she hunts down Poison-dart Frogs and Honduran Tent-making Bats and visits a Sloth Sanctuary.



Naomi's Nightmares of Nature

Naomi's Nightmare's of Nature - Season 2 - Episode 6 (2014)

A BBC production for their children's channel, CBBC, about Central America's Coastal Regions.

On this episode presenter Naomi Wilkinson embarks on a search for Pelagic Sea Snakes, she shares a picnic with hoards of hungry Hermit Crabs on Caño Island, swims with sharks and sting rays, and explores the Rock Pools of Drake Bay with Gianfranco.



 J'ai Marché Sur la Terre

J'ai Marché sur la Terre au Costa Rica (2014)

We took part in the Drake Bay segment of this travel/nature show featuring presenter Mathieu Vidard. The program aired on channel France2 in March 2015.


Wild Costa Rica 

Wild Costa Rica (2015)

This nature documentary due to air on Animal Planet later this year features some of Costa Rica's most amazing wildlife. We collaborated with the production during the Drake Bay portion of the shoot.


Janus Asahi TV

Janus (2016)

Three of Gian's photographs of the caterpillar Hemeroplanes triptolemus
were featured on this Japanese television program which aired in March 2016 on TV Asahi.



We have contributed photographs or articles to Time Out Costa Rica (2008), Nature's Warriors (2011), PM Magazin, Naturreiseführer Costa Rica (2012), Ripley's Believe it or Not! Eye-Popping Oddities (2015), Field Guide to the Bats of the Amazon (2018), and the upcoming A Field Guide to the Larger Mammals of South America.

The Night Tour has also been featured in several publications and guide books in including: Lonely Planet, Fodor's, Costa Rica Alive!, Costa Rica for Dummies, Frommers, The Times of London, Vanity Fair, The Washington Post, and the New York Times to name a few.

In 2017 we collaborated with Bernal Morera Brenes,  José Pablo Barquero González and Julián Monge Nájera on their publication The relationship between humidity, light, and the activity pattern of a velvet worm, Epiperipatus sp. (Onychophora: Peripatidae), from Bahía Drake, South Pacific of Costa Rica which examines the ecology of Velvet Worms. This is an important article given the rarity of these creatures and the lack of information on their habits. Click here for the full article.

Velvet Worm

Velvet Worm - Epiperipatus sp.

With help from our friends at La Paloma Lodge as well as arachnologists Carlos Víquez and Darko Cotoras, we organized a project to catalogue the arachnids of Drake Bay in May 2018. This project is of significant scientific importance in terms of understanding the area's arachnid diversity as well as the possibility of identifying new species. Check out our Field Guide to the Arachnids of Drake Bay by following this link.

Crab Spider - Epicadus granulatus

Crab Spider - Epicadus granulatus

We contributed with José Pablo Barquero González and Julián Monge Nájera in the publication Are Tropical Reptiles really declining? A Six-year Survey of Snakes in Drake Bay, Costa Rica, and the Role of Temperature, Rain and Light in 2019. Read the full publication by following this link.

On November 5th, 2019 we discovered Barbour's Pygmy Snake (Trimetopon barbouri) in Drake Bay, which was previously only known from a handful of records in Panama. At the time of the discovery this find represented a new record for Costa Rica and increased the number of snake species in the country to 144. Alejandro Solórzano helped collect and identify the snake and published a note in Herpetological Review extending the geographic distribution of this species. You can view the note following this link.


Barbour's Pygmy Snake - Trimetopon barbouri

Tracie was chosen to write the foreword to Pocket Guide to the Insects of Costa Rica by Paul E. Hansen, Kenji Nishida and Ángel Solís, which was published in 2021 by Zona Tropical/Cornell University Press. Click the image below to purchase the book!

A Pocket Guide to the Insects of Costa Rica


Gian coauthored Pocket Guide to the Mammals of Costa Rica with Fiona A. Reid. This comprehensive guide was published in 2022 by Zona Tropical/Cornell University Press includes all of Costa Rica's mammal species. Click the image below for more information!

A Pocket Guide to the Mammals of Costa Rica 

In 2022 Gian translated Lola Pereira Varela's historical novel Las Almas de Cabo Blanco from Spanish to English. This novel tells the true story of Karen Mogensen and Nils Olof Wessberg, who emigrated to Costa Rica in 1955 searching for a way to live their lives in harmony with nature. They settled in Montezuma, on the southern tip of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula, and quickly realized that the forest was being devastated by uncontrolled logging for subsistence farming and cattle ranching. Karen and Nils Olof mounted an unprecedented effort to save the remaining primary forests of Cabo Blanco and created one of Costa Rica’s first Nature Reserves. This novel is now available in Spanish, English and German. Click on the cover in your preferred language for more information!

Las Almas de Cabo Blanco - Lola Pereira Varela  Die Seelen von Cabo Blanco - Lola Pereira Varela  The Souls of Cabo Blanco - Lola Pereira Varela 
In 2023 Gian and Tracie contributed to the publication: Roosting habits of disk-winged bats, especially Thyroptera discifera. The roosting habits and natural history of Thyroptera discifera are not well known and our observations of this species in Drake Bay were included in this publication. You can read the article by following this link.

Peters' Disk-winged Bats - Thyroptera discifera

Peters' Disk-winged Bats at their roost - Thyroptera discifera
In 2023 Gian and Tracie contributed to the publication: New records of lizard and frog predation by spiders and whip spiders in Costa Rica and Honduras. Many of the novel observations of arachnids predating amphibians and reptiles featured in this article were observed during the Night Tour. You can read the article by following this link.

Central American Wandering Spider (Phoneutria depilata) feeding on a Giant Marine Toad (Rhinella horribilis)

Mammals of the Osa Peninsula

The Bug Lady's Guide To Drake Bay

Facts about Drake Bay, Costa Rica

Travel To Drake Bay

Drake Bay Area Map

Hotel Information

Tips for Travelers


Recommended Reading



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Costa Rica Tel: (506) 8701-7356 / (506) 8701-7462

© 2018 Gianfranco Gómez and Tracie Stice.  All Rights Reserved. The use of any photographs, reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, or stored in a retrieval system, without prior consent of the owner - is an infringement of the copyright law and is forbidden.

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