Frog of the Week

Red Pumpkin Toadlet (Brachycephalus pitanga)

Red Pumpkin Toadlet
photo by Carlos Henrique Luz Nunes de Almeida

Common Name: Red Pumpkin Toadlet
Scientific Name: Brachycephalus pitanga
Family: Brachycephalidae – Saddleback Toads
Locations: Brazil
Size: 0.42 – 0.55(10.8 – 14 mm)

The Red Pumpkin Toadlet lives in the Atlantic rainforests of São Paulo state of southeastern Brazil. They live primarily amongst the leaf litter on the ground but can be found up to three feet off the ground. The females are slightly larger than the males. Their colors are aposematic, meaning their colors warn predators that they are poisonous. This allows the toadlet to move around during the day without fear of being eaten by a predator. Also, the species posses highly fluorescent bones on their back and head. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why but its probably a signal possibly to warn of their toxins.

The mating season for the toadlet is believed to be during the rainy season. The males stake out territory and will defend the land from other males including fighting them. Depending on the humidity, the male toadlets call from on or in the leaf litter to attract females. The females lay their eggs on the ground and the male fertilizes them. The eggs are direct developing, skipping the free tadpole stage.

Conservation Status of the Red Pumpkin Toadlet

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has no conservation status for the Red Pumpkin Toadlet. Currently, the IUCN Red List does not have enough data to officially give them a status but it is believed that the toadlet is doing well. Researchers have noted that the toadlet is numerous at sites that they found them.

Frog of the Week

Eungella Torrent Frog (Taudactylus eungellensis)

Eungella Torrent Frog
photo by Geordie Torr

Common Name: Eungella Torrent Frog and Eungella Day Frog
Scientific Name: Taudactylus eungellensis
Family: Myobatrachidae – Australian Ground Frog Family
Locations: Australia
Size: 1.25 – 1.45 inches (32 – 37 mm)

The Eungella Torrent Frog lives near streams in rain forests and sclerophyll forests of the Eungella National Forest in Queensland. They are most active during the day (diurnal) but they do also call at night. The females are larger than the males, a common trait in frogs and toads.

The breeding season takes place from spring to fall. The males call out to attract the females to them. The female lays between 30 – 50 eggs under rocks in the water.

Conservation of the Eungella Torrent Frog

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Eungella Torrent Frog as a Critically Endangered species. Once considered a common species, the frog’s populations have been declining. This is primarily due to Chytrid Fungus, a deadly disease for frogs and toads. The disease thickens the skin of the frog, making it harder for the frog to transport nutrients so they then die. There has been suggestions for the reason for decline such as habitat loss and invasive species, but there is no evidence to confirm these claims.

Uncategorized

Frogs and Toads of Jersey

Frogs and Toads of Jersey

The isle of Jersey is home to only one frog and one toad. This is the only spot in the United Kingdom where you can find them

Ranidae – True Frog Family

Agile Frog (Rana dalmatina)

The Agile Frog has smooth skin compared to the Spiny Toad.

Bufonidae – True Toad family

Spiny Toad (Bufo spinosus)

The Spiny Toad has large paratoid glands and warts that the Agile Frog does not have.

Uncategorized

Pet Update

Here’s an update on my pets, I’m probably gonna do one of these a month.

Hall and Oates

Hall and Oates are my twin tabby cats, They are around one and a half years old. Oates (the gray one) is the more cuddly of the two while Hall likes belly rubs more.

Rayna the African Bullfrog

Rayna is still going strong, I have no idea how old she is since I got her off craigslist.

Tyrion the Dyeing Poison Dart Frog

Tyrion is my sole poison dart frog atm. I’ve had him since December 2019 and he or she is doing well.

Mario the Tomato Frog

Mario is the newest member of the team. I got him around April this year.

Sven and Olaf the African Clawed Frogs

Sven and Olaf are my oldest frogs, I can’t remember exactly when I got them but it was during college between 2013-2015.

The Hound and The Mountain (Axolotls)

The Hound (white) and the Mountain (black) are two axolotls that I got off of craigslist for free in 2019. They still rocking on.

Stuart the Snapping Turtle

Stuart is doing well. He is getting a lot bigger and i’m gonna soon need to buy him a new tank.

Frog of the Week

Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog (Rana kauffeldi)

Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog
photo by Brian R Curry

Common Name: Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog or Mid-Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog
Scientific Name: Rana kauffeldi
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: United States – Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
Size: 5.1 inches (13 cm)

The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog lives near coastal habitats. The majority of the species lives within 13 miles of the coast. The frog is relatively new species to western science, only being described in 2014. The species epithet is named after herpetologist Carl Kauffeld who wrote a paper about how he believed there was a third species of leopard frog in Staten Island way back in the 30s. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List didn’t give the frog a conservation status yet due to it being so new. The Atlantic Coast Leopard Frog looks similar to other leopard frogs. They have less and small spots on their dorsal than the other leopard frogs.

The frogs breed in the winter and early spring, usually February or March. The more south the species lives, the earlier it breeds. The males gather in groups and call out from shallow water bodies to attract the female frogs. Once the female frogs arrive, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays around a thousand eggs. Neither of the parents provide any care for their offspring.

Frog of the Week

Common Mexican Tree Frog (Smilisca baudinii)

Common Mexican Tree Frog
photo by Todd Pierson

Common Name: Common Mexican Tree Frog or Baudin’s Tree Frog 
Scientific Name: Smilisca baudinii
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, and the United States
US Location: Texas
Male Size: 3.77 inches (96 mm)
Female Size: 3 inches (76 mm)

The Common Mexican Tree Frog is found from the tip of Texas almost all the way through Central America. It seems like it be better to be named the Central American Tree Frog. They are the largest native tree frog to the United States, Cuban Tree Frogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis) are larger but are not native. This tree frog has a special gift. During the hot summer, the frog will make a cocoon around its body to keep itself from drying out.

The frogs breed at anytime of the year following enough rain fall. Breeding for the Common Mexican Tree Frog is pretty standard. The males migrate to shallows of water bodies and start to call. Once the female shows up, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays between 2,500-3,500 eggs.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List classifies the frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The state of Texas lists them as a Threatened Species but there is no federal listing. In Texas, there are only small isolated populations of the frog while south of the border, the frog is very common.

Frog of the Week

New Jersey Chorus Frog (Pseudacris kalmi)

Two New Jersey Chorus Frogs
photo by Will Lattea

Common Name: New Jersey Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris kalmi
Family: Hylidae– Tree Frog family
Locations: United States – Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia
Size: 1.1 – 1.4 inches (28 – 36 mm)

The New Jersey Chorus Frog lives mostly in marshes, meadows, and woodlands. Like many of the Chorus Frog in the US, they have 3 pronounced lines that run down their back. Even though they are part of the Tree Frog family, most chorus frogs spend most of their time on the ground or very low to the ground vegetation;

The breeding season lasts from February to June. The frogs mate in temporary ponds created by the melting snow. First, the male calls out to attract the females. Next, the female arrives and the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays between 8 and 143 eggs. Neither parent will look after their eggs or offspring.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the New Jersey Chorus Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. This is due to the frog having a decent range, presumed large population, and being very tolerable to habitat modification. However, they are listed as a endangered species in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and a Species of Greatest Conservation Need-Tier 4a in Virginia.

Frog of the Week

Cave Coqui (Eleutherodactylus cooki)

Cave Coquí
photo by Luis J. Villanueva-Rivera
Conservation status is Endangered

Common Name: Cave Coqui, Puerto Rican Cave Frog, Puerto Rican Demon, and Coquí Guajón
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus cooki
Family: Eleutherodactylidae
Locations: Puerto Rico
Size: 3.3 inches (8.5 cm)

The Cave Coqui lives in caves, rock grottos, and rocky stream beds. The females are larger than the males. The males have a yellow colored throat and down to the belly. During the mating season (summer and fall), the frogs mate and lay their eggs on boulder surfaces. The female lays on average 17 eggs. The males provide parental care for their eggs by guarding them. The male doesn’t stop mating when protecting the eggs. Its been shown that the males can protect up to 4 different female’s nests. The eggs are direct developing, so once the egg hatches, a froglet comes out, skipping the tadpole stage.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Cave Coqui as Endangered. The United States federal government only lists the species as threatened. They only live in a small area in the southeastern part of Puerto Rico. Human development threatens the frog’s habitat. Also, tick and Chytrid Fungus, a deadly fungal disease, are also harming the frogs.

Researcher Samantha Shablin, a Phd Student at the University of Florida, hopes to help protect the Cave Coqui. She fundraising for her research project that aims to understand how the frogs are responding to parasitic and environmental threats. You can help fund this project by donating at https://experiment.com/projects/how-are-cave-dwelling-amphibians-responding-to-parasitic-and-environmental-threats