Frog of the Week

Hochstetter’s Frog (Leiopelma hochstetteri)

Hochstetters_Frog_on_Moss
Photo by the Maungatautari Ecological Island Trust

vulnerable
Common Name: Hochstetter’s Frog
Scientific Name: Leiopelma hochstetteri
Family: Leiopelmatidae
Location: New Zealand
Size: 1.5 inches (38 mm) for males, 1.8 inches (47 mm) for females

The Hochstetter’s Frog is a small frog from New Zealand. It was named after the German geologist Ferdinand von Hochstetter. The frog is an ancient frog that still has tail muscle but no eardrum or vocal cords. Interestingly, they can live 30 to 40 years.

The Hochstetter’s Frog is in trouble. Historically, they were located on both of the islands of New Zealand but now they are only found on the northern island. Invasive species introduced to the island have been predating on the frogs and damaging their environment. Pacific rats (Rattus exulans) and Stoat (Mustela erminea) introduced to the island have been eating the frogs. Goats and pigs that were introduced have been eating all the vegetation that the frog likes to hide in.

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