Frog of the Week

Clown Frog (Atelopus varius)

by Brian Gratwicke

Common Name: Clown Frog, Costa Rican Variable Harlequin Toad
Scientific Name: Atelopus varius
Family: Bufonidae
Location: Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama
Size: 1.6 inches (41 mm) for males, 2.3 inches (60 mm) for females

The Clown Frog or the Costa Rican Variable Harlequin Toad is a small toad from the family Bufonidae. It is from the genus Atelopus, known as the Harlequin Toads or Stubfoot Toad

The Clown Frog has bright colors, which is how they get their name, to warn predators that they are toxic. They have no predators besides a species of fly that lay eggs on the frogs that burrow into the frog and eat it from the inside out.

The Clown Frog and most other Harlequin Toads are endangered of becoming extinct. The two primary causes of the decline are climate change and the spread of Chytrid Fungus.


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