Frog of the Week

Dotted Humming Frog (Chiasmocleis ventrimaculata)

Dotted Humming Frog
photo by Arley O. Gallardo

Common Name: Dotted Humming Frog
Scientific Name: Chiasmocleis ventrimaculata
Family: Microhylidae – Narrow mouthed frog family
Location: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru
Size: 0.78 inches (2 cm)

The DottedHumming Frog is known for its special relationship with Tarantulas. How does a tiny frog and a big spider that often eats frogs become friends? Well…. Momma tarantulas are very good at dealing with a variety of predators while defending their eggs but unfortunately, small insects such as ants can be a problem for such a large spider. Luckily, that’s where the little frog comes into play.

The Dotted Humming Frog is a member of the family Microhylidae – the Narrow mouthed frogs. The narrowness of their mouths are perfect for eating ants that could harm the eggs of the tarantulas. So the tarantulas gets protecting for her eggs and the frog gets protection from any other predators that would attack it. This is called a mutualism, where animals share a relationship where both benefit positively.

Dotted Humming Frog
photo by Andreas Schl├╝ter

Reproduction happens during the wet season when temporary pools form from the rain water. Males will call from the pools to attract the females. Once the female arrives, the male grabs her from behind in amplexus. Then, she lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays around 400 eggs. Neither parent provides any care for their offspring. The eggs hatch around a day and a half after being laid while the tadpoles take around 3 weeks to complete their metamorphosis.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Dotted Humming Frog as Least Concern for Extinction due to their wide range and presumed large population.

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