Frog of the Week

Suriname Toad (Pipa pipa)

Suriname Toad

Common Name: Suriname Toad or Star-Fingered Frog
Scientific Name: Pipa pipa
Family: Pipidae – Tongueless Frog family
Location: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela
Size: 4 – 8 inches (10 – 20 cm)

The Suriname Toad is a fully aquatic frog species from the northern Amazon basin of South America. These flat frogs like to hide on the bottom of ponds and streams by looking like dead leaves. They are from the family Pipidae – the tongueless frogs so they don’t have tongues. They are not “true toads” from the family Bufonidae. I have no idea who decided to call them toads. The males don’t have vocal cords to make mating calls but can make clicking noises to signal they want to mate. They produce the noise by snapping their hyoid bone in their neck. They can live up to eight years.

The Suriname Toad can be found in the pet trade. They make relatively easy pets to take care of. Before buying a pet frog or toad, make sure to read my article Preparing to Buy a Pet Frog or Toad.

photo by Alisha

Suriname Toad Reproduction

Once the female selects a mate, the male hugs the female around the waist in inguinal amplexus. Then, the female releases between 60 – 100 eggs during the mating. Next, the male fertilizes the eggs. Finally, the male pushes the eggs into the female’s back and the skin of the female encloses the eggs. The eggs stays in her back for three to four months before hatching. Once the frogs emerge from the eggs, they pop out the female’s back.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List classifies the Suriname Toad as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a fairly large range and they are common throughout it. While not a serious threat, local populations are troubled by the destruction of the habitat for urban development.

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