Frog of the Week

Agile Frog (Rana dalmatina)

Agile Frog
photo by Simon J. Tonge

Common Name: Agile Frog
Scientific Name: Rana dalmatina
Family: Ranidae – True Frog family
Locations: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom
Introduced Locations: Belgium
Size: 3.14 inches (8 cm)

The Agile Frog lives throughout most of Europe besides the northern regions.

The breeding season starts shortly after the frogs awake from their hibernation (between February and March) and lasts until April. Males gather in large groups in the shallows of water bodies to call. Once the female arrives, the males try to grasp the female behind in the amplexus position. The female frog lays between 450 – 1800 eggs. The tadpoles usually take 2 to 4 months to complete their metamorphosis but have been known stay as tadpoles over winter and complete it in spring.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Agile Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a wide range and are numerous throughout it. Though in some areas of its range, it has been harder to find due to draining of wetlands and cutting down woodlands they call home. On the isle of Jersey, the frogs are considered critically endangered and they have even re-introduced the species there.

Frog of the Week

Spotted Snout Burrower (Hemisus guttatus)

Spotted Snout-Burrower
photo by Wayne Sullivan Rawlinson

Common Name: Spotted Snout Burrower
Scientific Name: Hemisus guttatus
Family: Hemisotidae – Shovel-Nosed Frog Family
Locations: South Africa
Size: 3 inches (80 mm)

The Spotted Snout Burrower lives in the loose, sandy soils in the grasslands and savannas of the South Africa. The frog starts to breed at the start of the rainy season. The male will grab the female from behind in the amplexus position while the female digs a burrow. The female lays her eggs in the burrow and the male fertilizes them.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Spotted Snout Burrower as Near Threatened with Extinction. Although the frog is wide spread, decreases in quality habitat is causing population declines. Also, the species habitat is severely fragmented.

Frog of the Week

Boie’s Frog (Proceratophrys boiei)

Boie's Frog
photo by João P. Burini 

Common English Names: Boie’s Frog or Rio de Janeiro’s Smooth Horned Frog
Scientific Name: Proceratophrys boiei
Family: Odontophrynidae
Locations: Brazil
Size: 1.5 – 2.9 inches (40 – 74 mm)

The Boie’s Frog lives in the Atlantic rain forest and other primary and secondary forests of eastern Brazil. They are often found in leaf litter near streams.

When threatened, the Boie’s Frog flattens its body and stiffens its arms out to their side. Researchers believe that this helps the frog better mimic a dead leaf on the ground.

Males call from September to January, end of the rainy season. Eggs are laid in swamps or streams.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Boie’s Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and a presumed large population. Primary threat to the frog is deforestation to make room for more farms, cattle grazing areas, and human settlements,

Frog of the Week

Natal Ghost Frog (Hadromophryne natalensis)

Natal Ghost Frog
photo by Luke Verburgt

Common Name: Natal Ghost Frog
Scientific Name: Hadromophryne natalensis
Family: Heleophrynidae – Ghost Frog family
Locations: Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland
Male Size: 1.77 inches (45 mm)
Female Size: 2.4 inches (63 mm)

The Natal Ghost Frog breeds in late summer (March to May). The males call out from around the streams. Once the female arrives, the male grasps the female from behind in the water in the amplexus position. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays between 50 – 200 eggs and attaches them to the underside of rocks in the stream. The tadpoles take 2 years to complete their metamorphosis.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Natal Ghost Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and a presumed large population.

Frog of the Week

San Jose Cochran Frog (Cochranella euknemos)

San Jose Cochran Frog
photo by Brian Gratwicke

Common Name: San Jose Cochran Frog
Scientific Name: Cochranella euknemos
Family: Centrolenidae – Glass Frog family
Locations: Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama
Female Size: 1.0 – 1.25 inches (25 – 32 mm)
Male Size: 0.8 – 1.0 inches (21 – 25 mm)

The San Jose Cochran Frog lives on trees and other vegetation near streams in lowland, premontane, and montane forests. Their translucent skin helps them hide on leaves during the day. The frogs breed during the rainy season. The males call from branches over hanging streams.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (ICUN) Red List assesses the San Jose Cochran Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog is common in Colombia but rare in Costa Rica and Panama. The major threat to the species is deforestation.

Frog of the Week

Fiji Tree Frog (Cornufer vitiensis)

Fiji Tree Frog
Fiji tree frog by Tamara.osborne

Common Name: Fiji Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Cornufer vitiensis
Family: Ceratobatracidae
Locations: Fiji – Islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Ovalau, and possibly Taveuni
Male Size: 1.25 – 1.7 inches (32 – 45 mm)
Female Size: 1.8 – 2.3 inches (47 – 60 mm)

The Fiji Tree Frog is one of the two native frogs to the islands of Fiji with the other being the Fiji Ground Frog (Cornufer vitianus). As you can tell by their names, the Fiji Tree Frog lives in trees and other vegetation, often near streams.

The frog breeds all year round but is most active breeding from December to March. The Fiji Frog is one of the few species where both the male and the female call for males. Amplexus for the species is inguinal, where the male grabs the female by her things. Twenty to forty eggs are laid in leaf axils, where they will hatch directly into tiny frogs, skipping a free larval tadpole phase.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Fiji Tree Frog as Near Threatened with Extinction. Habitat loss is the number one issue for the frog. The forests that they live in are being cut down for lumber and to make room for more farms and urban areas.

Frog of the Week

Arizona Tree Frog (Hyla wrightorum)

Arizona Tree Frog
photo by the USDA

Common Name: Arizona Tree Frog, Wright’s Mountain Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla (Dryophytes) wrightorum
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: Mexico and the United States
US Locations: Arizona and New Mexico
Size: 1 – 2 inches (25 – 51 mm)

The Arizona Tree Frog is the state amphibian of Arizona. The males of the species have tan-green throats.

The Arizona Tree Frog starts to breed at the start of the summer monsoon season. Breeding season for the frogs only last a couple days. The males will call from the top of trees at the start and move down to slow moving bodies of water. Eventually, the females will show up and the male will grasp her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, she will lay her eggs and the male will fertilize them. Afterwards, both parents leave the water and neither provide any care for the offspring.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list classifies the Arizona Tree Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frogs have a wide range and a presumed large population.

Frog of the Week

Rusty Robber Frog (Strabomantis bufoniformis)

Rusty Robber Frog
photo by Brian Gratwicke;
Conservation status is Endangered

Common Name: Rusty Robber Frog
Scientific Name: Strabomantis bufoniformis
Family: Strabomantidae
Locations: Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama
Size: 2 – 3.7 inches (50 – 94 mm)

The Rusty Robber Frog lives along the streams in lowland and moist forests. They are primarily nocturnal, spending its nights catching insects near the stream. While the frog may live near the stream, they don’t reproduce in them. The female frog lays her eggs in the sand. The frogs are a direct developing species, skipping a free living larval phase (aka no tadpoles).

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Rusty Robber Frog as Endangered. The two main problems for the frog are Chytrid Fungus and habitat destruction. The frog is probably extinct in Costa Rica now since it hasn’t been seen there since 1978.

Frog of the Week

Argus Reed Frog (Hyperolius argus)

Argus Reed Frog
Female Argus Reed Frogs – photo by Alfeus Liman

Common Name: Argus Reed Frog, Argus Sedge Frog, or Argus-eyed Frog
Scientific Name: Hyperolius argus
Family: Hyperoliidae – Reed and Sedge Frog Family
Locations: Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, and Tanzania
Size: 1 – 1.3 inches  (27-34 mm)

The Argus Reed Frog is found along the eastern coastal lowlands of Africa in grasslands, shrublands and savannas. They are always close to a water body. The frogs are sexually dimorphic. The colors of the male frog tend to be green or yellow in color with two stripes running down the back while females are brown in color but with large spots on their back. Though in southern range of the species, the males are brown in color.

Mating takes place in the shallows of water. The female frog can lay up around 200 eggs in clutches of 30.

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

Frog of the Week

Annam Horned Toad (Brachytarsophrys intermedia)

Annam Horned Toad (Brachytarsophrys intermedia)
photo by В естественной среде

Common Name: Annam Horned Toad, Annam Short-legged Toad, and Annam Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Brachytarsophrys intermedia
Family: Megophryidae – Leaf Litter Frogs
Locations: Laos, Vietnam, and probably Cambodia
Size: 4.6 – 5.5 inches (11.8 – 13.9 cm)

The Annam Horned Toad lives in evergreen forests near stream side boulders. The toad was previous a member of the genus Megophrys.

In Laos, breeding has been observed in July in streams. The males call out from half way submerged rocks. After breeding, the male protect the clutches of eggs.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Annam Horned Toad as Least Concern for Extinction. The species has a wide range however, their range is threatened with the rapid increase in agricultural development in the area.