Frog of the Week

Andean Marsupial Tree Frog (Gastrotheca riobambae)

Andean Marsupial Tree Frog
photo by amphibiaweb ecuador
Conservation status is Endangered

Common Name: Andean Marsupial Tree Frog, Riobamba Marsupial Frog, Riobama Pouched Frog
Scientific Name: Gastrotheca riobambae)
Family: Hemiphractidae – Marsupial Tree Frog family
Locations: Ecuador
Male Size: 1.3 – 2.2 inches (34 – 56 mm)
Female Size: 1.8 – 2.6 inches (48 – 66 mm)

The Andean Marsupial Tree Frog lives in the montane forests Mature female frogs have a pouch on their back. They store their eggs in the pouch to protect them until the eggs hatch. This last between 76 – 120 days. Then, between 81 to 205 tadpoles emerge from the pouch on the females back and move into a water body to complete their metamorphosis.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Andean Marsupial Tree Frog as Endangered. It was once a common species but has disappeared from most of its range though most of its habitat in its range has also disappeared and turned into farms and urban areas. The Quito Zoo in Guayllabamba houses some captive individuals in case they do go extinct in the wild.

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