Frog of the Week

Golden Poison Dart Frog (Phyllobates terribilis)

Golden Poison Dart Frog
Golden Poison Dart Frog by Wilfried Berns
endangered

Common Name: Golden Poison Dart Frog or Golden Poison Arrow Frog
Scientific Name: Phyllobates terribilis
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Location: Colombia
Size: Male- 1.77 inches(45 mm | Female – 1.8 inches (47 mm)

The Golden Poison Dart frog is the most poisonous frog in the world and one of the most poisonous animals. It is estimated that a single one of the frogs has enough poison to kill 10-20 people. Their poison is derived from their diet in the wild, thus captive bred frogs are not poisonous, allowing them to be pets. While the frog is found in the pet trade, it is important to remember that they are endangered. Before buying a frog, make sure to read my article Preparing to Buy a Frog or Toad and make sure to buy a captive bred one. Indigenous people use the poisons of the frogs on their darts to help with hunting.

The frog lives in the leaf litter of the western foothills of the Andes. These poison dart frogs are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day. Their bright color warns predators that they are poisonous. They live most of their life in solitude in the wild. Occasionally, they are found in pairs. In captivity, they can be in groups as they are not hostile to eachother.

The Golden Poison Dart Frogs lay their eggs on land in clutches of less than 20. When the eggs hatch, the male parent moves the tadpoles to water on its back. They can even carry up 9 tadpoles on their back at once.

photo by Brian Gratwicke

Conservation of the Golden Poison Frog

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Golden Poison Dart Frog as an Endangered species. Their habitat is being destroyed for the a variety of reasons. The rain forests that they live in are being cut down illegally for agriculture, mining, and logging. Better enforcement of the laws are needed to protect the species.

conservation

Dominican Mountain Chicken Frog Project

mountainchickenfrogproject

The Mountain Chicken Frog is a critically endangered frog found only in the Caribbean on the islands of Dominica and Montserrat. Populations of the frogs have been damaged from the spread of Chytrid fungus.

mountain-chicken-frog1

The goal of the Mountain Chicken Frog Project is to help restore the populations on the islands. They are try to captive breed the Mountain Chicken Frogs and monitor the species in the wild.

Check out there website http://www.mountainchicken.org/

Family Friday

Ceratobatrachidae

Suborder: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 4 – Alcalus (5), Cornufer (42), Platymantis (45), Liurana(4)
Number of Species: 96

Ceratobatrachidae is a family of frogs that used to be part of the Ranidae family but scientists moved them over to their own family. They are found in the Pacific.

Alcalus is referred to as the Alcala’s dwarf mountain frogs. They are named after Angel Alcala, a biologist.

Platymantis is known as the wrinkled ground frogs, ground frogs, or forest frogs.

Frog of the Week

Turkeit Hill Frog (Allophryne ruthveni)

photo by Roger Le Guen
leastconcern

Common Name: Turkeit Hill Frog
Scientific Name: Allophryne ruthveni
Family: Allophrynidae
Location: Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname, and Venezuela
Size: .8 (20.6 mm) inches max for male and 1.04 inches or 26.6 mm for females

The Turkeit Hill frog is a quite small frog species. They are semi-arboreal meaning they spend some times in the trees and some on the ground. Some researchers believe that it should be in the Glass Frog family – Centrolenidae while others believe it should be in what I listed – Allophyrnidae. 

New Species

3 New Cryptic Frog Species Discovered in Brazil

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Researchers discovered three new species of cryptic frogs in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. The new species are Chiasmocleis altomontana, C. veracruz, and C. migueli. They are part of the genus Chiasmocleis which are the humming frogs. Cryptic species are species that look identical to each other on the outside but are genetically different.

To tell these three species apart from other members of their genus, scientists looked at the skeletons. They noticed significant differences. After they found differences in the bones, the researchers looked more carefully at the outer appearance of the frogs and noticed small differences.

The new frogs can’t even be listed with the IUCN Red List because there isn’t enough data. Almost a third of of the humming frogs are listed as data deficient.

 

Source:

Forlani, M. C., Tonini, J. F., Cruz, C. A., Zaher, H., & de Sá, R. O. (2017). Molecular and Forlani MC, Tonini JFR, Cruz CAG, Zaher H, de Sá RO. (2017) Molecular and morphological data reveal three new cryptic species of Chiasmocleis (Mehely 1904) (Anura, Microhylidae) endemic to the Atlantic Forest, Brazil. PeerJ 5:e3005https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.3005