Frog of the Week

Barking Tree Frog (Craugastor augusti)

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Photo by Sean Michael Rovito

leastconcern
Common Name: Barking Tree Frog
Scientific NameCraugastor augusti
Family: Craugastoridae
Country Location: United States and Mexico
State Location: Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas
Size: 1.9 – 3.7 inches or 47 – 94 mm

The Barking Tree Frog isn’t a regular tree frog that most people are used to. It doesn’t belong to the family Hylidae, it belongs to Craugastroidae. All the members of the family Craugastroidae are direct developing which means that when they hatch, they are already froglets.

The Barking Tree Frog has three subspecies: Common Barking Tree Frog (Craugastor augusti augusti), Western Barking Tree Frog (Craugastor augusti cactorum), and Eastern Barking Frog (Craugastor augusti latrans).

The frog is named after it’s call that sounds like a barking sound. The species epithet – augusti , is named after Auguste Duméril, a zoologist.

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Frog of the Week

Marbled Snout-Burrower (Hemisus marmoratus)

Hemisus_marmoratus
Photograph by Ryanvanhuyssteen

leastconcern

Common Name: Marbled Snout-Burrower, Marbled Shovelnose Frog, and Mottled Shovelnose frog
Scientific Name: Hemisus marmoratus
Family: Hemisotidae
Location: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, United Republic of Togo, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Size: 1.9 inches or 49 mm for females, males are 1.3 inches or 34 mm

The Marbled Snout-Burrower pretty much just lives everywhere in Africa that is lower than the Sahara Desert. These frogs are adept at living underground in burrows. They even lay their eggs in burrows underground. They dig underground head first, which is rare since most dig with their hind legs.

Mating for the frogs starts when it starts to rain. The male calls out to the female frogs like most frog species. Males start the amplexus on the female frog while the female still has to dig a burrow for the eggs. The male does the usually stuff and leaves his mate after breeding. The females sit on their eggs to keep them moist. The rain continues to fall during the time the female sits on the eggs over days and eventually the tadpoles hatch and the water level raises enough for the tadpoles to move toward bigger bodies of water. The mother also helps them along the way.

Frog of the Week

Common Midwife Toad (Alytes obstetricans)

alytesobstet
Picture by Christian Fischer

leastconcern
Common Name: Common Midwife Toad
Scientific Name: Alytes obstetricans
Family: Alytidae
Location: Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Switzerland. Introduced in the United Kingdom.
Size: 2.1 inches or 55 mm

The Midwife Toad is named after the fact that the male toads will carry their eggs around on their back, thigh, and legs. To keep the eggs moist, the toad takes baths in water bodies. It usually takes three to six weeks for the eggs to hatch into tadpoles so imagine how hard that must be for the males to carry them around.

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Frog of the Week

Central Bright-eyed Frog (Boophis rappiodes)

boophos
picture by AxelStrauss

leastconcern

Common Name: Central Bright-eyed Frog
Scientific Name: Boophis rappiodes
Family: Mantellidae
Location: Madagascar
Size: .7 inches – .9 inches (20-25 mm) for males, 1.1 inches – 1.3 inches (30-34 mm) for females

Not much is known about the life history of the frog. It breeds in November, December and possibly January. Female Central Bright-eyed frogs can carry over 200 eggs at a time. The frogs live in the tropical rain forests of Madagascar and breed in streams.

Frog of the Week

California Red-legged Frog (Rana draytonii)

red_legged_frog
photo by Chris Brown

vulnerable

Common Name: California Red-legged Frog
Scientific Name: Rana draytonii
Family: Ranidae
Location: United States of America – California
Size: 5 inches or 12.7 cm

The California Red Legged Frog is listed as a federally as a threatened species. Much of its range has been lost to land development. Invasive species such as the American Bullfrog and heavy use of pesticides haven’t helped the frog either. The California Red Legged Frog is the state amphibian of California.

Frog of the Week

Common Spadefoot Toad (Pelobates fuscus)

Pelobates_fuscus_fuscus
photo by Franco Andreone

leastconcern

Common Name: Common Spadefoot Toad or Garlic Toad
Scientific Name: Pelobates fuscus
Family: Pelobatidae
Location: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine
Size: 2.6 inches or 6.6 mm for males, 3.1 inches or 7.8 mm for females

There are two subspecies of the Common Spadefoot Toad – P. fuscus fuscus and P. fuscus insubricus. P. fuscus insubricus is found in Northern Italy while the other subspecies is found in central Europe.

They are nicknamed the Garlic Toad because when they are threatened, they release a secretion that smells like garlic.

Frog of the Week

Great Plains Narrow mouth Toad (Gastrophryne olivacea)

Great-Plains-Narrowmouth-To
pic from the National Park Service

leastconcern
Common Name: Great Plains Narrow Mouth Toad or Western Narrow Mouth Toad
Scientific Name: Gastrophryne olivacea
Family: Microhylidae
Location: Mexico and the United States
US States Location: Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas
Size: 1.5 inches or 38.1 mm

The Great Plains Narrow mouth toad is usually found burrowed into the ground. They like to stay hidden the majority of the time and are nocturnal. Their primary food is ants. The call of the toad has been described as angry bees.

Frog of the Week

Painted Ant-nest Frog (Lithodytes lineatus)

Lithodytes_lineatus01
By Giovanni Alberto Chaves Portilla – http://calphotos.berkeley.edu, CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6773713

leastconcern

Common Name: Painted Ant-nest Frog, Sapito Listado
Scientific Name: Lithodytes lineatus
Family: Leptodactylidae
Location: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela
Size: Female: 2 inches or 55 mm, Male: 1.8 inches or 47 mm

The Painted Ant-nest Frog makes it’s nest in the leaf cutting ants nest. Usually, leaf cutting ants will attack any species that comes close to it but it doesn’t attack the Painted Ant-nest frog. This is because the Painted Ant-nest frog has special chemicals in its skin that mimic the chemicals of the leaf cutting ants. So the ants are tricked into thinking its own of them.

The bright colors on its skin shows off that it is toxic! Scientists originally thought that they were just mimicking the colors of Poison Dart Frogs but they actually are just poisonous.

Frog of the Week

Colorado River Toad (Incilius alvarius)

colaradorivertoad
Image from Thevelvetknight

leastconcern
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.

 

Frog of the Week

Rabb’s Fringe-limbed Treefrog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum)

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ex

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.