Frog of the Week

Mexican Shovel headed Frog (Triprion spatulatus)

Mexican Shovel Headed Frog
photo by Jorge Armín Escalante Pasos

Common Name: Mexican Shovel headed Frog, Duck billed Frog
Scientific Name: Triprion spatulatus
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Location: Mexico
Female Size: 3.0 – 4.0 inches (75 – 101 mm)
Male Size: 2.4 – 3.4 inches (61 – 87 mm)

The Mexican Shovel headed Frog lives in the forests of the western coast of Mexico. They are both an arboreal and nocturnal species. Their unique head shape is a tool they use to prevent water loss. During the hot day, they will find a hole in a tree to sit in and fill in the opening with their head. This decreases the amount of surface area exposed to the elements.

They breed during the rainy season from June to November. They come down from the trees to temporary pools filled by the rain. The males call out for the females.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Mexican Shovel headed Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a wide range and a presumed large population. There are currently no threats to the species.

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