Frog of the Week

Helmeted Water Toad (Calyptocephalella gayi)

Chilean Helmeted Water Toad
photo by José Grau de Puerto Montt


Common Name: Helmeted Water Toad, Chilean Giant Frog
Scientific Name: Calypotocephaella gayi
Family Name: Calyptocephalellidae
Location: Chile
Size: Males can reach 4.7 inches or 120 mm, while females can reach 12.5 inches or 320 mm

The Helmeted Water Toad aka the Chilean Giant Frog faces many threats and an uncertain future. Their habitat is being destroyed for the creation of more urban areas. They are also illegally caught and sold as food and as pets to buyers around the globe. Non native species introduced into their habitat have also caused problems. Non-native trouts, that were brought in for sport fishing,  eat the juvenile frogs in great numbers. The African Clawed Frog (Xenopus laevis) has been introduced to the area and might be spreading Chytrid Fungus, a deadly disease to frog, to the Helmeted Water Toad and other frogs around. For all these reasons, the International Union for Conservation of Nature as listed the Helmeted Water Toad (Calypotocephaella gayi) as Vulnerable to extinction.

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