Frog of the Week

Granular Poison Frog (Oophaga granulifera)

granular.jpg
photo by Patrick Gijsbers

vulnerable
Common Name: Granular Poison Frog
Scientific Name: Oophaga granulifera
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Locations: Costa Rica and Panama
Size: .7 – .8 inches (18-22 mm)

The Granular Poison Frog is a diurnal (active during the day) species of frog. The males of the species are highly territorial in regards to their calling and breeding sites, even attacking other males. After breeding, the males will brood the eggs and keep them moist. After the eggs hatch, the females transport the tadpoles on their back to a water-filled plant. The females will lay unfertilized eggs for the tadpoles to feed on. The Granular Poison Frog is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat destruction and habitat fragmentation. Logging, agriculture, and expanding urbanization are causing this.

 

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Frog of the Week

Red Spotted Toad (Anaxyrus punctatus)

photo by the USGS

least concern

Common Name: Red-Spotted Toad
Scientific Name: Anaxyrus punctatus
Family: Bufonidae – True Toads
Locations:  Mexico and the United States
US Locations: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah
Size: 3.7 to 7.5 cm (1.5 to 3.0 in)

The Red-Spotted Toad is found in the southwestern United States down to almost Mexico City, Mexico. Breeding takes place from March to September, depending on location and habitat. Red-Spotted Toads that live near streams breed from March to June and typically breed 2 to 4 weeks. Populations that live in the desert breed from June to September, depending on when the summer rains come. These toads breed in pools form by the rain and only breed for a few days. The Red-Spotted Toad hybridizes with a few different toads including the Western Toad, Great Plains Toad, Woodhouse’s Toad, and Sonoran Green Toad.

Frog of the Week

Northern Red-legged Frog (Rana aurora)

photo by Walter Siegmund

least concern
Common Name: Northern Red-legged Frog
Scientific Name: Rana aurora
Family: Ranidae
Locations: Canada and the United States
US Locations: Alaska, California, Oregon, and Washington
Size: 3.3 inches

The Northern Red-legged Frog is found along the western coast of North America. They breed from January to March depending on how far north they are located. Farther north they are, the later they breed. Egg masses from the frogs number between 300 and 5000 eggs. Eggs hatch in about a week into tadpoles. The tadpoles take 3 to 7 months to fully undergo metamorphosis. Some of the tadpoles take until the next spring to turn into frogs. Adult frogs can live up to 10 years.

Frog of the Week

Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad (Bombina pachypus)

Alpine Yellow Bellied Toad
photo by Benny Trapp

Conservation status is Endangered
Common Name: Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad
Scientific Name: Bombina pachypus
Family: Bombinatoridae
Locations Italy
Size: 1.3 inches to 2.1 inches or 35-55 mm

The Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad is a diurnal (active during the day) species of toad, which is kinda unusual for most frogs and toads. It probably has to do with the fact that the Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad needs to show off its bright, yellow belly to warn predators that they are toxic. It would be hard to see if its dark out.  Other frogs and toads want to stay hidden during the day to avoid predators. When threatened by a predator, the Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad arch their back to show off their belly. This is called the unken reflex.

The Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad hibernates from November to late April. I wish I could hibernate during that time too. After waking up, the toads get to work to start breeding. They breed from May all the way to September. Mating takes place in temporary bodies of water. Females lay a couple eggs to a couple dozen of eggs.

Populations of the Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad have been decreasing. It is thought that Chytrid Fungus is one of the culprits behind the drops. Chytrid Fungus is a deadly disease affecting amphibians around the globe. The Apennine Yellow-bellied Toad was the first Italian species of amphibian to be confirmed to have Chytrid Fungus. Another reason for the declines include habitat loss due to farming.

Frog of the Week

Anaimalai Flying Frog (Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus)

Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus
photo by Kalyan Varma

CR
Common Name: Anaimalai Flying Frog, Anaimalai Gliding Frog, False Malabar Gliding Frog, False Malabar Tree Frog, and the Parachuting Frog
Scientific Name: Rhacophorus pseudomalabaricus
Family: Rhacophoridae – Asian Tree Frogs
Location: India
Size: 2.6 inches (66 mm) maximum size for females, 2 inches (50.5 mm) maximum for males

The Anaimalai Flying Frog is found in the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Western Ghats of India in the tropical evergreen forests. As an semi arboreal species of frog, the Anaimalai Flying Frog is found in the lower canopy and under story levels of the forests. They do however come to the ground floor often and are often mushed by cars. The Anaimalai Flying Frogs is called a flying frog because they are able to glide from tree to tree thanks to their large webbed hands.

Mating

Mating for the frogs happens from June to October after the monsoon season. The female frogs create foam nests during breeding from mixing excretions with their hind legs. These nests help protect their eggs from drying out. After the mating, the females cover the nests with leaves, grass, or other vegetation to disguise them. The foam nests can be found from the ground floor of the forests up to 9 meters up and are found near or above streams or other water source.

Conservation Status

The Anaimalai Flying Frog was listed as a Critically Endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The main threat to the frog is habitat loss due to clearing of land for plantations and timber harvesting. Also locals kill the frog because they believe it is a bad omen. Plantation owners believe that the frogs eat their fruit crop – the cardamom, so they offer rewards for killing the frog. It seems the locals need to be educated about the frog since they are carnivorous, not fruit eaters.

Frog of the Week

Mexican Spadefoot Toad (Spea multiplicata)

Mexican Spadefoot Toad
photo by Sarah Beckwith

leastconcern
Common Name: Mexican Spadefoot Toad, New Mexican Spadefoot Toad, Southern Spadefoot Toad, Desert Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Spea multiplicata
Family: Scaphiopodidae – American Spadefoot Toad family
Locations: Mexico and the United States
US Locations: Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah
Size: 2.5 inches

The Mexican Spadefoot Toad is found in the southwestern United States and most of central Mexico. Like all spadefoot toads, the Mexican Spadefoot Toad does have keratinized spade-like projections on their hind legs. They use these spades to burrow into the ground. The Mexican Spadefoot Toad spends most of the day underground, coming up at night to hunt and look for mates. For mating, it usually takes place after heavy rains. Breeding periods only last one or two days in ponds and pools that form from the rains. These pools and ponds only last a few weeks. Therefore, the eggs hatch in a few days and it only takes the tadpoles a couple weeks to undergo metamorphosis.

 

Frog of the Week

Fiji Ground Frog (Cornufer vitianus)

A reddish Fiji Ground Frog next to a ruler
photo by Tamara Osborne

Conservation status is Endangered
Common Name: Fiji Ground Frog, Viti Wrinkled Ground Frog
Scientific Name: Cornufer vitianus
Family: Ceratobatrachidae
Location: Fiji
Size: 2.3 inches

The Fiji Ground Frog is found only on the islands of Fiji. It is found on the four larger islands (Taveuni, Vanua Levu, Ovalau, and Gau) and on the smaller island of Viwa. Sadly, the frog hasn’t been doing to well. The islands of Fiji have been hit hard by invasive species. The Javan Mongoose / Small Indian Mongoose (Herpestes javanicus) and the Brown Indian Mongoose (Herpestes fuscus) have been introduced to the island and have found that the Fiji Ground Frog is delicious. These mongooses have wiped out the frog from other islands of Fiji. Other invasive species such as cats and Cane Toads also aren’t helping. Neither is deforestation of their habitat.

small-asian-mongoose
Small Indian Mongoose – photo by Chung Bill Bill
Frog of the Week

Boreal Chorus Frog (Pseudacris maculata)

Boreal Chorus Frog
photo by Todd Pierson

leastconcern
Common Name: Boreal Chorus Frog
Scientific Name: Pseudacris maculata
Family: Hylidae
Locations: Canada and the United States
US Locations: Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Michigan, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, New Mexico, New York, Vermont, Wyoming, and Wisconsin
Size: around an inch

The Boreal Chorus Frog is found throughout the central United States and Canada. They are also found around the US / Canada border near New York and Vermont. The frog is gray, tan, brown, or green in color and has 3 dark black lines down its back that can be broken.  Also, they have a stripe through its eye. During early spring, the frogs breed  right after the snow melts. While the Boreal Chorus Frog is a tree frog, they are not strong climbers and rarely climb higher than branches on low scrubs.

Frog of the Week

Cliff Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus marnockii)

Cliff Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus marnockii)
photo by LA Dawson

leastconcern
Common Name: Cliff Chirping Frog, Marnock’s Frog
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus marnockii
Family: Eleutherodactylidae
Locations: Mexico and the United States (Texas)
Size: .75 – 1.5 inches

The Cliff Chirping Frog is named after the fact that its found underneath rocks and crevices near limestone bluffs and ledges, talus slides, cliffs, and ravines. They can also be found in caves. These frogs are highly terrestrial, even breeding on land. Females lay up to 20 eggs in soil and then they are covered to keep them safe. The eggs eventually hatch and out comes a small froglet, skipping the tadpole stage.

Frog of the Week

Cuban Tree Frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis)

osteopilus_septentrionalis_6
photo by Munkel

leastconcern
Common Name: Cuban Tree Frog
Scientific Name: Osteopilus septentrionalis
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog Family
Locations: Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Cuba
Introduced Locations: Anguilla, Costa Rica, Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States (Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Texas), British Virgin Islands, and US Virgin Islands.
Size: 3 to 5.5 inches

The Cuban Tree Frog is a large tree frog native to the Caribbean but has been introduced to other areas of the world such as Florida. In Florida, the Cuban Tree Frog has become a problem. Their size allows them to eat other smaller frogs and other native animals.  They also can breed year round and it takes only a couple weeks for the tadpoles to reach frog stage. They also can produce skin secretions that can irritate humans.

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