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.

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

Frog of the Week

Golfodulcean Poison Dart Frog (Phyllobates vittatus)

Golfodulcean Poison Dart Frog

Common Name: Golfodulcean Poison Dart Frog or Golfo Dulce Poison Dart Frog
Scientific Name: Phyllobates vittatus
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Locations: Costa Rica
Size: females up to 1.2 inches (31 mm); male up to 1 inches (26 mm)

The Golfodulcean Poison Dart Frog lives in the Golfo Dulce region of southwestern Costa Rica. They are a diurnal species of frog, active during the day. Their colors warn predators that the frogs are poisonous. Just like most Poison Dart Frogs, they accumulate their poison from the ants they eat. Therefore, in captivity, the frogs lose their toxins. They are common in the pet trade. If you are thinking about getting a pet frog, make sure to read my article Preparing for a Pet Frog or Toad. Its very informative.

Females are able to lay a clutch of eggs every week or two. The clutches usually contain between 7 to 21 eggs. The female lays her clutches on leaves of plants and the male watches over them. He will even pee on the eggs to keep them from drying out. Once the eggs hatch, the male carries the tadpoles on his back to small ponds for them to develop further.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Golfodulcean Poison Dart Frog as Vulnerable to Extinction. They live in a small, severly fragmented area. Their habitat area is threatened by deforestation to make room for agriculture and tree plantations. Also, gold mining threatens their water.

Frog of the Week

White-lipped Thin-Toed Frog (Leptodactylus fragilis)

White-lipped Thin-Toed Frog
photo by Esteban Alzate
leastconcern


Common Name: White-lipped Thin-Toed Frog, Mexican White-Lipped Frog, and American White-Lipped Frog
Scientific Name: Leptodactylus fragilis
Family: Leptodactylidae
Location: United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela
US Locations: Texas
Introduced Locations: Cuba
Size: 1.2 – 2 inches (3 – 5 cm)

The White-lipped Thin-Toed Frog lives in a variety of habitats from savannahs to montane tropical forests. The frogs are often referred to as the Mexican White-Lipped Frog but they are found in a lot more places than just Mexico. Therefore, the name isn’t really fitting imo. The frogs feed on invertebrates such as spiders and beetles, mainly during the night, making them nocturnal.

The White-lipped Thin-Toed Frog breeds in spring following heavy rains. The males dig out a breeding spot under rocks or logs for mating. Next, he calls out for females in hopes of finding a mate. Once he finds the mate, he grasps her from behind in the amplexus position. Then, the male and female create a foamy nest made out of their secretions to house the eggs. The female lays between 20 and 250 egg. Neither parent provides any further care for the offspring. The nest keeps the eggs from drying out until the rains arrive. The rains fill the burrow and break the tadpoles out of the eggs. Then, the tadpoles taken under a month to turn into frogs.

White-lipped Thin-toed Frog Conservation

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the White-lipped Thin-Toed Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range, reaching from the top of Texas down into the northern parts of South America. The frogs are also thought to be abundant throughout the range.

Recently, scientists discovered the frog in Cuba, a place where they are not naturally found. Scientists and conservationists are worried about the effects these frogs can have on the native wildlife and frog populations of Cuba. Researchers believe that the frog can become invasive in Cuba if left unchecked.

Frog of the Week

Anthony’s Poison Dart Frog (Epipedobates anthonyi)

Phantasmal Poison Dart Frog
photo by John P Clare

Common Name: Anthony’s Poison Dart Frog or Anthony’s Poison Arrow Frog
Scientific Name: Epipedobates anthonyi
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Locations: Ecuador and Peru
Size: 0.75 – 0.96 inches (19 – 24.5mm)

The Anthony’s Poison Dart Frog lives in equatorial dry forest and montane forest on the western slopes of the Andes. They are diurnal, active during the day, thanks to their poisons scaring off predators. Predators able to tell they are poisonous due to their bright colors.

Mating takes place during the wet season. The males call out to attract the females to the territory the male guards. Once the female arrives, the male grasps the female around the head (cephalic amplexus). Then, the female lays her eggs in leaf litter and the male fertilizes them. The female lays between 15 – 40 eggs. After mating, the males protect the eggs until they hatch. Once the eggs hatch into tadpoles, the male carries them on his back to pools of water or streams. There, the tadpoles complete their metamorphosis.

The Anthony’s Poison Arrow Frog is found in the pet trade. The frogs are not poisonous in captivity due to the frogs accumulating their poison from the ants and termites they eat. If you want to buy an Anthony’s Poison Arrow Frog as a pet, make sure to buy a captive bred frog due to their conservation state. Also, read my article – Preparing for a Pet Frog or Toad to see how to get ready for one.

Anthony’s Poison Dart Frog Conservation

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Anthony’s Poison Dart Frog as Near Threatened with Extinction. The frog has a pretty small range that is threatened with habitat destruction. Luckily, the population is still abundant in some parts of their range. The frogs have also been adapting to life surrounding plantations and farms.

Frog of the Week

European Tree Frog (Hyla arborea)

European Tree Frog
photo by Christian Fischer
least concern

Common Name: European Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Hyla arborea
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog Family
Location: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.
Introduced Location: United Kingdom
Male Size: 1.3–1.7 inches (32 – 43 mm)
Female Size: 1.6 – 2.0 inches (40 – 50 mm)

The European Tree Frog lives throughout most of Europe and down to the northern parts of the Middle East. They prefer to live in broad-leafed and mixed forests, bushlands, meadows, and shrubland. The frogs vary in color from green, gray, brown, and yellowish.

Mating occurs between March and June. First, the males move to ponds, lakes, and other stagnant water bodies and start calling. Once a female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in amplexus. Then, the female lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. The female lays between 200 – 2000 eggs. Neither parent provides any parental care. The eggs hatch into tadpoles in 10 – 14 days after being laid. Then, the tadpoles usually complete their metamorphosis in 3 months, peaking in July.

European Tree Frog
photo by wikiuser RobertC1301

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes he European Tree Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and are thought to be abundant throughout it. There are local population declines due to habitat loss from destroying forests to make room for urban development.