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Puerto Rico Trip

Last month, I went to Puerto Rico and I thought I’d share some pics.

Various pics of Crested Anoles (Anolis cristatellus)

Puerto Rican Ground Lizard (Pholidoscelis exsul

There was many Green Iguanas (Iguana iguana) chilling

Some videos of a turtle and fish from when i was snorkeling

some photos from El Yunque, the only rain forest in the usa

Random photos

Pics of the old fortresses in San Juan

some terrible pics of the only coqui i found

Frog of the Week

Melodius Coqui (Eleutherodactylus wightmanae)

Melodius Coqui
photo by Luis J. Villanueva-Rivera
Conservation status is Endangered

Common Name: Melodius Coqui, Puerto Rican Melodius Frog, Wrinkled Coqui
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus wightmanae
Family: Eleutherodactylidae
Locations: Puerto Rico
Size: 0.74 inches (19 mm)

The Medlodius Coqui lives amongst the leaf litter in the mountainous forests of Puerto Rico. While they are a species of coqui, their call isn’t the standard coqui sound. The frog breeds all year long but peaks around May when the warm, rainy season starts. The males call out to attract females from the leaf litter and in vegetation up to 3 feet high. The female lays between 5 – 8 eggs. They are a direct developing species, skipping a free tadpole phase. When they hatch from their egg, there is just a small froglet that emerges. The males provide parental care for the eggs sometimes.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Melodius Coqui as an Endangered Species. The frogs live in only a handful of locations on the island. Chytrid Fungus, a deadly fungal disease, has killed off numerous mature coquis. Also, habitat destruction to make room for housing, urban areas, and farms have decreased its habitat.

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Purple Harlequin Toad (Atelopus barbotini)

Purple Harlequin Toad
photo by Henk Wallays

Common Name: Purple Harlequin Toad or Purple Fluorescent Frog
Scientific Name: Atelopus barbotini
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad family
Locations: French Guiana
Size: 1 – 1.3 inches (25 – 34 mm)

Species or sub-species? That is the main question for the Purple Harlequin Toad. They were considered / still are a subspecies of the Pebas Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus spumarius). Two different papers have shown that the Purple Harlequin Toad and the Pebas Stubfood Toad are not the same species. Though one of the papers argued that they are a subspecies of Cayenne Stubfoot Toad (Atelopus flavescens). But then there’s more. Another group of researchers has shown that the toad is part of the Hoogmoed’s Harlequin Frog (Atelopus hoogmoedi) species complex. At the end of the day, who care’s? It’s really cute.

photo by Christopher McHale 

The International Union for the Conservation has not assessed the species because they don’t believe it is an independent species. However, the toad isn’t doing well. The whole genus Atelopus has been decimated by Chytrid Fungus, a deadly fungal disease. On top of that, deforestation and gold mining isn’t helping any of them.

Frog of the Week

Mascarene Ridged Frog (Ptychadena mascareniensis)

Mascarene Ridged Frog
photo by flicker user Frank Vassen

Common Name: Mascarene Ridged Frog or Mascarene Grass Frog
Scientific Name: Ptychadena mascareniensis
Family: Ptychadenidae
Locations: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Introduced Locations: Mauritania, Seychelles, and Réunion
Size: 1.6 – 2.6 (43 – 68 mm)

The Mascarene Ridged Frog lives in humid savannahs and open forests all across African and various islands including Madagascar. There are only two species of frogs that are not endemic (only found on) to Madagascar, the Indian Bullfrog (xxxx) and the Mascarene Ridged Frog.

It is believed that the Mascarene Ridge Frog got to Madagascar from Africa on a raft of some sort before humans arrived but after Madagascar split from Africa. The frog is named after the Mascarene Islands which the frog is not native to. It is believed that the frog was introduced to the islands in the late 1800’s.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Mascarene Ridged Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a wide range and a presumed large population.

Frog of the Week

Asian Rugose Nose Frog (Hoplobatrachus rugulosus)

Asian Rugose Nose Frog
photo by Jesse Change

Common Name: Asian Rugose Nose Frog, Chinese Edible Frog, Rugosed Nose Frog, or Tiger Skinned Frog
Scientific Name: Hoplobatrachus rugulosus
Family: Dicroglossidae – Forked Tongue Frog family
Locations: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam
Introduced Locations: Malaysia and Philippines
Size: 4.9 inches (125 mm)

The Asian Rugose Nose Frog is commonly found in food markets across Asia. It is why they are often referred to as the Chinese Edible Frog. The frog was introduced to Malaysia and the Philippines as a potential food source. The frog mates from April to August.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assess the Asian Rugose Nose Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and a presumed large population. Some threats to the frog include overharvesting for food, introduced American Bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana), and pollution.

Frog of the Week

Common Eastern Froglet (Crinia signifera)

Common Eastern Froglet
photo by wikiuser Retama

Common Name: Common Eastern Froglet, Eastern Brown Froglet, or Common Froglet
Scientific Name: Crinia signifera
Family: Myobatrachidae – Australian Ground Frog family
Locations: Australia and Tasmania
Size: 1.2 inches (3 cm)

The Common Eastern Froglet lives in southeastern Australia and all over Tasmania. It is one of the most common frogs found there, hence the name. The frog breeds all year long besides the peak of summer when it is too hot to mate. Males call out from a variety of water sources such as streams, ponds, ditches, and dams. Once the female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in amplexus. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. Females lay between 100 – 150 eggs. Neither parent provides any care for their offspring. The tadpoles take between 2 to 3 months to complete their metamorphosis.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assessed the Common Eastern Froglet as Least Concern for Extinction. This is due to the froglet having a wide range, presumed large population, and being able to tolerate habitat disturbances.

Frog of the Week

Iberian Midwife Toad (Alytes cisternasii)

Iberian Midwife Toad
photo by Benny Trapp

Common Name: Iberian Midwife Toad
Scientific Name: Alytes cisternasii
Family: Alytidae – Midwife Toad and Painted Frog family
Locations: Portugal and Spain
Size: Males – 1.4 inches (36 mm) | Females 1.7 inches (42 mm)

The Iberian Midwife Toad lives in the drier scrub-like environment of eastern Portugal and western Spain. The toad is rather fossorial, burrowing down into this loose dry soil.

Mating season lasts from September to March, peaking around October and November. The males call out every night on land to attract the females. Once the female arrives, the male grabs her from behind in the amplexus position. Next, she lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. Now comes the interesting part. The male wraps the egg mass around his legs. He can then go out and mate with more females, capable of carrying up to 4 clutches at a time.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assess the Iberian Midwife Toad as Least Concern for Extinction. The species has a wide range and are thought to be numerous throughout it. In some areas, the toads are disappearing due to destruction of their habitat.

Frog of the Week

Black-spotted Casque-headed Tree Frog (Trachycephalus nigromaculatus)

Black-spotted Casque-headed Tree Frog
photo by Renato Augusto Martins

Common Name: Black-spotted Casque-headed Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Trachycephalus nigromaculatus
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Location: Brazil
Size: 3.14 – 3.62 inches (8 – 9.2 cm)

The Black-spotted Casque-headed Tree Frog lives in bromeliads or hollowed out tree branches in the primary and secondary forests as well as the coastal scrubs of southeastern Brazil.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and very common throughout it. Potential threat to the species is habitat loss from cutting down the forests they live in to make room for cities and farms.

Frog of the Week

Florida Bog Frog (Rana okaloosae)

Floridae Bog Frog
photo by Kevin Enge
vulnerable

Common Name: Florida Bog Frog
Scientific Name: Rana okaloosae
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: United States – Florida
Size: 1.3 – 1.9 inches (34 to 49 mm)

The Florida Bog Frog lives in bogs in the panhandle of Florida. They are the smallest species of True Frogs in the United States. The frogs have a brownish-yellow body with a yellow throat.

The frogs mate between April and August. During this time, males call out from shallows of water bodies to attract females. Once the female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Next, the female starts to lay her eggs and the males fertilize them. Neither parent provides any parental care.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Florida Bog Frog as Vulnerable to Extinction. The frog is only found in a small drainage areas in the panhandle of Florida. These areas are threatened by poor watershed management, leading to excessive stream siltation. As well, they are also threatened by fire suppression, leading to oaks trees taking over the bogs they live in.

Frog of the Week

Madagascar Bright-eyed Frog (Boophis madagascariensis)

Madagascar Bright-eyed Frog
photo by Charles J Sharp

Common Name: Madagascar Bright-eyed Frog
Scientific Name: Boophis madagascariensis
Family: Mantellidae
Locations: Madagascar
Size: 2.3 – 3.1 inches (60 – 80 mm)

The Madagascar Bright-eyed Frog lives in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar. Often found during the day on vegetation and in bamboo tree holes.

During the mating season, the males call out loudly to attract females. Once the female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the female frog lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female can lay at least 400 eggs at a time.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Madagascar Bright-eyed Frog as Least Concern with Extinction. The frog has a wide range and are thought to be numerous throughout it. The major threat to these guys is the destruction of their habitat for agriculture, timber harvesting,