Frog of the Week

Tomato Frog (Dyscophus antongilii)

Tomato Frog
photo by RicciSpeziari

Common Name: Tomato Frog
Scientific Name: Dyscophus antongilii
Family: Microhylidae
Location: Madagascar
Male Size: 2.3 – 2.5 inches (60-65 mm)
Female Size: 3.3 – 4.1 inches (85-105 mm)

The Tomato Frog lives in the tropical rainforests and coastal forests of eastern Madagascar. They spend much of their time buried down in the leaf litter. The frogs feed on invertebrates such as worms, spiders, and insects. They are mostly active at night, making them nocturnal.

Tomato frogs are often found in the pet trade and at zoos. If considering getting a pet Tomato Frog, consider reading my article Preparing for a Pet Frog or Toad. Its very helpful to first time buyers. Their red color gave them their name. Males appear to be more reddish-yellow in color while females are bright red. The color is a warning to predators that they toxic. They can produce a secretion that can both predators including us humans.

Typical breeding season is from October to January following heaving rains. The males will call out from ponds to attract the females. Once the female selects their mate, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, she starts to lay her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays between 1,000 to 15,000 eggs. Neither parent provides any parental care. The tadpoles take only a day and a half to hatch from the eggs. Then, they complete their metamorphosis in two months.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Tomato Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They were listed as a Near Threatened species because of habitat loss, pollution, and over harvest for the pet trade. Their numbers have bounced back thankfully due captive breeding of the frog for the pet trade and regulations on the trade.

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