Frog of the Week

Chubby Frog (Kaloula pulchra)

ChubbyFrog_03
photo by Firereptiles

leastconcern
Common Name: Chubby Frog, Banded Bullfrog, Asian Painted Frog
Scientific Name: Kaloula pulchra
Family: Microhylidae
Location: Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam
Size: 3 inches

The Chubby Frog is a common frog in the pet trade. They are a hardy species which makes them easy to take care of for beginners. They are nocturnal though so don’t expect that much movement from them during the day. They also enjoy burrowing into the substrate of their enclosures. They can produce a sticky secretion when they are threatened. It is not poisonous but doesn’t taste great. The Chubby Frog has been introduced to other countries and have maintained stable populations.

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Other Amphibian of the Week

Anji Salamander (Hynobius amjiensis)

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photo by Jinzhong Fu

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Common Name: Anji Salamander
Scientific Name: Hynobius amjiensis
Family: Hynobiidae
Location: China
Size: 6.5 inches

The Anji Salamander is a critically endangered salamander found only on Mount Longwangshan in Anji County. All of the known populations of the salamander are found in a nature preserve so they are somewhat protected but tourists and development are still a threat to them. Breeding season takes place from November to March. Females lay around 150 eggs during the season. It takes around 3 years for the young to reach sexual maturity.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Texas Blind Salamander (Eurycea rathbuni)

Texas_blind_salamander
photo by Joe N. Fries

vulnerable
Common Name: Texas Blind Salamander
Scientific Name: Eurycea rathbuni
Family: Plethodontidae
Location: United States – Texas
Size: 5 inches long

The Texas Blind Salamander is only found around San Marcos in Texas. They live deep underground in streams in caves so they are rarely seen and not much is really known about their life. The first salamanders found were discovered when a well was dug 200 feet down. The Texas Blind Salamander is listed as an endangered species by the state of Texas and the US Federal Government.

Frog of the Week

Mallorcan Midwife Toad (Alytes muletensis)

Alytes_muletensis
photo by tuurio and wallie

vulnerable
Common Name: Mallorcan Midwife Toad
Scientific Name: Alytes muletensis
Family: Alytidae
Location: Spain
Size: 1.5 inches or 38 mm

The Mallorcan Midwife Toad is only found on the island of Mallorca in Spain. Interestingly, the toad was originally discovered from a fossil and then after two years, the first living ones were found. Like other Midwife Toads, the male toads carry around their eggs until they hatch. It is how they got their name. Chytrid Fungus and Invasive animals that have been brought to the island from the mainland has devastated the populations of the Mallorcan Midwife Toad. The future doesn’t look great for these toads.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Olympic Torrent Cascade Salamander (Rhyacotriton olympicus)

1280px-Olympic_salamander
vulnerable
Common Name: Olympic Torrent Cascade Salamander
Scientific Name: Rhyacotriton olympicus
Family: Rhyacotritonidae
Location: United States – Washington
Size: 2.4 inches or 6.2 cm

The Olympic Torrent Cascade Salamander is a threatened salamander found only in Washington State. Its small, fragmented habitat is the cause of its threatened status. Breeding takes place during the spring and early summer for the species. Males may try a tail wagging display towards the female to attract them. Once the eggs hatch, it may take the larva up to three years to complete metamorphosis.

Frog of the Week

Tiger-striped Leaf Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna)

Phyllomedusa tomopterna,Makifrosch, Tiger-striped leaf frog
photo by  Frank Teigler

leastconcern
Common Name: Tiger-striped Leaf Frog
Scientific Name: Phyllomedusa tomopterna
Family: Hylidae
Location: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela
Size: 2.3 inches or 60 mm

The Tiger-striped Leaf Frog is a beautiful frog found in the Amazon Rain Forest. These frogs are arboreal (living in trees) and nocturnal (active during the night). Since they live in trees, they also reproduce in the trees and lay their eggs on leaves hanging over pools of water. Once the eggs hatch, the tadpoles drop into the water where they stay until they fully complete their metamorphosis.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Red Backed Salamander (Plethodon cinereus)

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photo by Rklawton

leastconcern
Common Name: Red Backed Salamander
Scientific Name: Plethodon cinereus
Family: Plethodontidae
Location: Canada and the United States of America
US Location: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia
Size: 3.5 inches total length

The Red Backed Salamander is found in Northeastern USA and Southeastern Canada. Like all Plethodontid salamanders, the Red Backed Salamander lacks lungs. The Red Backed Salamander is terrestrial and is often found under logs or other cover. The salamander has two morphs or phases, a Red Backed phase and a Lead Backed phase. The lead-backed phase has more of a silver coloring on its back compared to the red-backed phase.

Plethodon_cinereus
leadback phase by Brian Gratwicke
Frog of the Week

Pouched Frog (Assa darlingtoni)

Assa_darlingtoni
photo by Hexasoft

leastconcern
Common Name: Pouched Frog, Hip-pocket Frog, Marsupial Frog
Scientific Name: Assa darlingtoni
Family: Myobatrachidae
Location: Australia
Size: 1 inch

The Pouched Frog is found in eastern Australia near Brisbane. Pouched Frogs lay around 10 eggs at a time. Once the eggs start to hatch, the male frogs come close to the tadpoles and let them slide into their pouches on their side. The tadpoles stay their for two months and then emerge as little frogs.

Herper of the week

Herper of the Week: Dr. Rob Denton

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Each week a “Herper” of the Week is chosen. These individuals come from all sorts of backgrounds but they all have one common interest – “herps” (reptiles and amphibians). Hopefully, you will learn about them and their important work.

This week’s herper is Dr. Rob Denton, soon to be Assistant Professor at the University of  Minnesota – Morris starting next term. Dr. Denton earned his Ph.D in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology from THE Ohio State University in 2017. The last year he has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Connecticut’s Department of Molecular and Cell Biology.

Dr. Denton research focuses on amphibians especially the unisex salamanders of the family Ambystomatidae. These all female salamander populations are found in the Eastern United States. They reproduce by stealing sperm from other male species of salamanders. Rob is also working on completing the genome of the African Bullfrog (Pyxicephalus adspersus). 

Other Amphibian of the Week

Blue Spotted Salamander (Ambystoma laterale)

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photo by Henk Wallays

leastconcern
Common Name: Blue Spotted Salamander
Scientific Name: Ambystoma laterale
Family: Ambystomatidae
Location: Canada and USA
US Location: Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Vermont,and Wisconsin
Size: 5 inches

The Blue Spotted Salamander is a beautiful salamander that is found in the Southeastern Canada and Northeastern United States of America. It is a member of the family Ambystomatidae which is known as the Mole Salamanders. They received this nickname due to the fact that they spend most of their life in burrows in the ground. The Blue Spotted Salamander does come out of these burrows in the spring when it is time to mate. They migrate to ponds to breed where they can lay as many as 200 eggs. It takes around a month for the eggs to hatch and then it takes the rest of the summer for them to finalize their metamorphism. Then they head onto land, only to return back to a pond in a few years to breed.