Frog of the Week

Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Treefrog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum)

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Common Name: Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Ecnomiohyla rabborum
Family: Hylidae
Location: Panama
Size: Males: 2.4 to 3.8 inches or 62 to 97 mm Females: 2.4 to 3.9 inches or 61 to 100 mm

The Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Tree frog was a relatively new species discovered, only being found in 2005. It was named in honor of George Rabb and Mary Rabb. After its discovery, the frog was listed as critically endangered because dwindling populations caused by chytrid fungus. Some frogs were collected to attempt the captive breed them. Sadly that failed. The Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Tree Frog went extinct when the last known frog – Toughie, died at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on September 26th, 2016.

Besides the sadness from the loss of a species, the Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Tree Frog was really neat. The male frogs would grow spines on their hands during the breeding season. Males and females would breed in water filled tree holes. Males would watch over the eggs in the tree. Males would also back into the holes at night and let the tadpoles eat some of its skin, similar to what caecillians do. The Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Frog was the one species to do this that we know of.

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