Frog of the Week

Patagonia Frog (Atelognathus patagonicus)

Photo by Boris Blotto

Common Name: Patagonia Frog
Scientific Name: Atelognathus patagonicus
Family: Batrachylidae
Location: Argentina
Size: 2 inches (50 mm)

The Patagonia Frog has two different forms, an aquatic one and a land form. The aquatic form has smooth and looser skin than the land form which has more rough, tight skin. The aquatic form also have a orange coloration to their stomach from their different diet from the land form. The aquatic form eats more amphipods from the waters that have carotenoids which give the orange hue.

The Patagonia Frog is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List because of numerous threats. Both Chytrid Fungus, a deadly fungal disease, and Ranavirus have been problems for the frog. Introduced fish (perch, trouts, and salmons) have also been lame and been eating the frogs. Work has been done to reduce these fish around the lagoons the frog called home. Lastly, ranchers grazing their cows near the lakes the frogs call home is also a problem due to them drinking and grazing from the waters. It doesn’t help that the frog is found only in a small area around the Laguna Blanca National Park.

AmphibiaArk is working to help save the species. They plan to do captive breeding of the frog to help keep them alive and try to introduce them back into areas where they are no longer found.

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