Herper of the week

Herper of the Week: Dr. Natalie Calatayud


The Herper (frog and reptile enthusiast) of the Week is Dr. Natalie Calatayud She crrently works at the San Diego Zoo as a Postdoc in Reproductive Sciences. She is currently working on the recovery and reintroduction of Mountain Yellow Legged Frogs.  She is also a consultant for the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife’s boreal toad recovery team. Her work in the states is almost over and she will be moving back to Australia. You can help her move her wonderful dogs by donating at this website. https://www.youcaring.com/sanchoandluna-816995

Natalie Calatayud obtained her doctorate in Reproductive Physiology and Molecular Biology of marsupials at Melbourne University but she did a postdoc fellowship at Mississippi State where she got into frogs.


Frog of the Week

Colorado River Toad (Incilius alvarius)

Image from Thevelvetknight

Common Name: Colorado River Toad, Sonoran Desert Toad
Scientific Name: Incilius alvarius
Family: Bufonidae
Location: United States (Arizona, California, New Mexico) and Mexico
Size: 7.3 inches or 187 mm

The Colorado River Toad is the largest native toad species in the United States, the Cane Toad is larger but its not native. The toad is more famous for the fact that it’s psychoactive because it produces 5-MeO-DMT and Bufotenin which are hallucinogens. These drugs are illegal to posses, distribute, buy, or manufacture in the USA. Possession of the toad is not illegal but the police can arrest if they believe you own them for making drugs. It’s also illegal to take the toad from the wild in California and New Mexico.


Herper of the week

Herper of the Week: George Rabb


The Herper of the Week is George Rabb, former director of the Brookfield Zoo. Sadly, he died on July 27, 2017. Before getting involved at the Brookfield zoo, George Rabb earned a Ph.D from the University of Michigan in Zoology.  He joined the Brookfield Zoo in 1956 and started working on improving the animals lives. He started the first nutrition lab and first stress testing lab for the animals at the zoo. He lead the way to make the zoo exhibits have more natural habitats for the animals inside. He also pushed zoos to help out with conservation.

George Rabb was very important to the amphibian conservation movement. He established the IUCN’s Species Survival Commission Declining Amphibian Population Task Force to determine the cause of amphibian declines.

Just read this article to learn more about this good man – http://www.amphibians.org/news/george-rabb-founder-amphibian-conservation-movement/

Frog of the Week

Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Treefrog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum)


Common Name: Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Ecnomiohyla rabborum
Family: Hylidae
Location: Panama
Size: Males: 2.4 to 3.8 inches or 62 to 97 mm Females: 2.4 to 3.9 inches or 61 to 100 mm

The Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Tree frog was a relatively new species discovered, only being found in 2005. It was named in honor of George Rabb and Mary Rabb. After its discovery, the frog was listed as critically endangered because dwindling populations caused by chytrid fungus. Some frogs were collected to attempt the captive breed them. Sadly that failed. The Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Tree Frog went extinct when the last known frog – Toughie, died at the Atlanta Botanical Garden on September 26th, 2016.

Besides the sadness from the loss of a species, the Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Tree Frog was really neat. The male frogs would grow spines on their hands during the breeding season. Males and females would breed in water filled tree holes. Males would watch over the eggs in the tree. Males would also back into the holes at night and let the tadpoles eat some of its skin, similar to what caecillians do. The Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Frog was the one species to do this that we know of.


The Amphibian Foundation


The Amphibian Foundation is a wonderful organization that works on education, conservation, and research of amphibians. They are currently working to save the Flatwoods Salamander and the Gopher Frog. One of the education work they do is the Critter Camp where children get hands on experience with reptiles and amphibians.

There website is located here. You can learn about more of what they do and even become a member.

Frog or Toad

Frog or Toad 7/25/17


Is this a frog? Is it a toad? Find out on Wednesday at 7 pm central time.

Herper of the week

Herper of the Week: Mark Mandica


The Herper (reptile and amphibian enthusiast) of the Week is Mark Mandica. He is the Executive Director of Amphibian Foundation. Mark has been working to with amphibians for a long time. He was the Amphibian Conservation Coordinator at the Atlanta Botanical Garden for 7 years.

Besides saving amphibians, he also is a talented artist. You can view his amazing work here – mandica.com.

Follow him on twitter @markmandica

Frog of the Week

Tusked Frog (Adelotus brevis)

Image By User: Tnarg 12345

Common Name: Tusked Frog
Scientific Name: Adelotus brevis
Family: Myobatrachidae
Location: Australia
Size: 1.9 inches or 50 mm for males while 1.5 inches or 40 mm for females

The Tusked Frog is named after bony structures on its lower jaw that look like tusks. Both males and females have these tusks but males have larger ones.

CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2747243

Males fight over females, often locking jaws with each other using their tusks. Females try to select the largest males to breed with. After the female selects a male, males and females lay their eggs in a foam nest. They can lay over 600 eggs in a nest. The male then guards the eggs until they hatch. Females probably selected larger males for breeding because they are better at protecting their nest.

The Tusked Frog is listed as Near Threatened. Dead Tusked Frogs infected with Chytrid Fungus have been found. Hopefully, we can stop Chytrid Fungus before it kills them off.