Frog of the Week

Black Spotted Rock Frog (Staurois guttatus)

Black Spotted Rock Frog
photo by Rachel Friedman

Common Name: Black Spotted Rock Frog or Black Spotter Rock Slipper
Scientific Name: Staurois guttatus
Family: Ranidae – True Frog Family
Locations: Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia
Female Size:  38.0 – 54.7 mm
Male Size: 34.9 – 37.7 mm 

The Black Spotted Rock Frog lives along rocky, clear, fast moving streams in forests. They are a diurnal species of frog (active during the day). The frogs are able to live amongst the loud streams thanks to their ability to communicate through foot flagging. There are some other species that foot flag but they are one of the only ones where both males and females do the behavior.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Black Spotted Rock Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a good size range and are numerous throughout it. The deforestation in the region is the primary threat to the frog. People are clearing the forests to make room for oil palm plantations, towns, or just to just sell the lumber.

Frog of the Week

Crowned Bullfrog (Hoplobatrachus occipitalis) 

Crowned Bullfrog
photo by Brian Gratwicke

Common Name: Crowned Bullfrog, African Groove-Crowned Bullfrog
Scientific Name: Hoplobatrachus occipitalis
Family: Dicroglossidae – Forked Tongue Frog family
Locations: Algeria, Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia
Size: 2.6 – 5.3 inches (68 – 135 mm)

The Crowned Bullfrog lives in savannas and some forests in sub-Saharan Africa. Frogs start to move to temporary ponds once the rainy season starts and the ponds start filling up. The Crowned Bullfrog takes the phrase don’t store all your eggs in one basket to heart. The mating pair only deposits a few eggs per rock pool and move on to the next one to prevent all their offspring from being eaten by one predator or drying out.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Crowned Bullfrog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a extremely wide range and are common throughout it. Overharvesting of the frogs is a problem for locale populations but overall, not a serious threat.

Frog of the Week

Pacific Lowland Poison Frog (Epipedobates machalilla)

Pacific Lowland Poison Frog
photo by Rebecca Tarvin

Common Name: Pacific Lowland Poison Frog
Scientific Name: Epipedobates machalilla
Family: Dendrobatidae – Poison Dart Frog family
Locations: Ecuador
Size: 14.4 – 17.6 mm

The Pacific Lowland Poison Frog lives in a variety of habitats in western Ecuador including the dry scrublands, deciduous forests, and the Choco rain forests. The female frog lays her eggs on land. After the female frog lays around 15 eggs, she leaves and the male takes care of the eggs. The male protects the eggs from predators and carries them on his back. Once the eggs hatch into tadpoles, the male carries them to a stream bank or pond where they will continue to grow and finish their metamorphosis.

Pacific Lowland Poison Frog carrying his tadpoles
photo by Cristopher Rodríguez-Moreira

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and believed to be large population. While listed as Least Concern, there are threats to the frogs from humans (we the worst).Areas of forests where the frog calls home are being logged and turned into farms.

Frog of the Week

Guibe’s Mantella (Mantella nigricans)

Guibe's Mantella
photo by flickr user Vogelfoto69

Common Name: Guibe’s Mantella, Green and Black Mantella
Scientific Name: Mantella nigricans
Family: Mantellidae
Locations: Madagascar
Size: 1.1 inches (28 mm)

The Guibe’s Mantella lives along streams in the rainforests of northern Madagascar. Mating primarily happens during the rainy season. Males call out from spots around the stream to attract the females. Once the female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in amplexus. Then, she lays her eggs usually under a moist leaf. Females lay around 40 eggs. Neither parent provides any parental care. The eggs take around a week to hatch into tadpoles.

Frog is named after french herpetologist Jean Guibé, who kinda described the species and worked in Madasgascar. He thought it was a subspecies of the Cowan’s Mantella (Mantella cowani)

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Guibe’s Mantella as Least Concern for Extinction. This is due to their wide range and presumed large population. It’s nice to see a Mantella ranked as only Least Concern because many of the species are at least considered endangered.

Frog of the Week

Northern Spadefoot Toad (Notaden melanoscaphus)

Northern Spadefoot Toad
photo by Robert Whyte

Common Name: Northern Spadefoot Toad
Scientific Name: Notaden melanoscaphus
Family: Myobatrachidae – Australian Ground Frog family
Locations: Australia – Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Queensland
Size: 2 inches (5 cm)

The Northern Spadefoot Toad lives in savannahs and grasslands in northern Australia. They are not a technically a “True Toad” member of the family Bufonidae (side note – no species of true toads are native to Australia) but they share many characteristics. Both are short and fat with small hind legs, but the Northern Spadefoot Toad lacks parotoid gland behind in their eyes that contain toxins that Bufonidae toads have.

They spend most of their time underground, only coming to the surface to mate. Mating takes place after heavy rains that fill shallow areas with water. The males call while floating in the pools. Once the female arrives, the male grasps her from behind in amplexus. Then, she lays her eggs and the male fertilizes them. Females lay between 500 – 1400 eggs. Tadpoles take 8 week to complete their metamorphosis.

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

Frog of the Week

Bruno’s Casque-headed Frog (Nyctimantis brunoi)

Bruno's Casque-headed Frog
photo by Renato Augusto Martins

Common Name: Bruno’s Casque-headed Frog
Scientific Name: Nyctimantis* brunoi
Family: Hylidae – Tree Frog family
Locations: Brazil
Male Size: 1.9 – 2.5 inches (48.9- 62.4 mm)
Female Size: 2.2 – 3.2 inches (56.3 – 81.2 mm)

Do you know the difference between venomous and poisonous? Poisonous is where you have to absorb, inhale, or swallow the toxins while venomous is where the toxin is injected into you. Most people know about poisonous frogs such as the many different species of dart frogs. But do you know about venomous frogs? Maybe now you are thinking about the fangs that these frogs must have to be venomous but guess what? They don’t have any. They use a spike on their head to inject venom as a defensive mechanism. A single gram of their poison could kill 80 people. I wouldn’t try to handle these frogs without gloves.

The Bruno Casque-headed Frog lives in the rainforest and the coastal restinga shrubland, often hiding in the holes of bromeliads and shrubs during the day. They move backwards into these holes and then plug the hole with their weird shape head. This helps protect against water loss.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Bruno’s Casque-headed Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a large range and a presumed large population. Only potential threat to them is the increase of agriculture and grazing in the area.

*formerly Aparasphenodon brunoi

Frog of the Week

Holdridge’s Toad (Incilius holdridgei)

Holdridge's Toad
photo by Juan G. Abarca

Common Name: Holdridge’s Toad
Scientific Name: Incilius holdridgei
Family: Bufonidae – True Toad family
Locations: Costa Rica
Size: 1.25 – 2 inches (32 – 53 mm)

The Holdridge’s Toad lives in the secondary montane forest of Costa Rica. They are an explosive breeder following the rains in April. Interestingly, the toad lacks vocal slits, making it impossible for the frog to call. The toads breed in forest pools filled by the recent rains and man-made ditches. Females lay between 45 to 137 eggs. The tadpoles take around a month to complete their metamorphosis.

Holdridge's Toad
photo by Juan G. Abarca

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Holdridge’s Toad as Critically Endangered. The toad was thought be extinct until it was spotted in 2009. The habitat of the toad has not been that distrubed, leading reasearchers to believe that Chytrid Fungus, a deadly fungal disease, wiped out most of their population. There is thought to be less than 50 total mature toads left. Luckily, the toads habitat falls into a protected area but researchers haven’t been able to captive bred the toad.

Frog of the Week

Poza Turipache Rain Frog (Craugastor pozo)

Poza Turipache Rainfrog (Craugastor pozo)
photo by Ruth Percino Daniel

Common Name: Poza Turipache Rain Frog
Scientific Name: Craugastor pozo
Family: Craugastoridae
Locations: Mexico
Female Size: 1.8 – 3.2 inches (46 – 81 mm)
Male Size: 1.5 – 1.9 inches (37 – 48 mm)

The Poza Turipache Rain Frog lives amongst the leaf litter in the wet forests of the western foothills and highlands of Chiapas, Mexico. The species is a direct developing, skipping the free living tadpole stage and hatching directly into a froglet.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the Poza Turipache Rain Frog as Critically Endangered. The forests they call home have been reduced to make room for farms and human settlements. Part of the frog’s range extends into the Reserva de la Biosfera Selva El Ocote and the original type location is in the Zona Sujeta a Conservacion Ecologica La Pera. However, more protected areas are needed to save the species.

Frog of the Week

Rio Grande Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus campi)

Rio Grande Chirping Frog
photo by Hardin Waddle (USGS)

Common Name: Rio Grande Chirping Frog, Camps Chirping Frog
Scientific Name: Eleutherodactylus campi
Family: Eleutherodactylidae
Locations: Mexico and the United States – Texas
Introduced Locations: Alabama, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana
Size: 0.6 – 1 inch (16 – 26 mm)

The Rio Grande Chirping Frog is a small frog that lives in the leaf litter and short vegetation Breeding season for the frog lasts from March to July. The eggs of the frog are direct developing, skipping the tadpole stage and hatching straight into tiny froglets. Due to this, the frogs don’t need a water body to reproduce. They like to hide their eggs in moist, sheltered spots.

The species was once considered a subspecies of the Mexican Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus cystignathoides) but was elevated to full species status in 2018.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assess the Rio Grande Chirping Frog as Least Concern for Extinction. The frog has a wide range and a presumed large population. They are quite adaptable to habitat disturbances like the increase of coffee and banana plantations.

The plant trade has brought the Rio Grande Chirping Frog to other parts of the US. Its native to the southern tip of Texas but has spread more north and over to Louisiana and Alabama.


RIP Mountain Mist Frog (Litoria nyakalensis)

Mountain Mist Frog
photo by Steve Richards

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List has assessed the Mountain Mist Frog as Extinct earlier this month. The frog lived in northeastern Australia in the streams of their rain forests. Sadly, the frog hasn’t been seen since the 1990s. There are a couple reasons for its extinction including Chytrid Fungus, a deadly fungal disease, habitat loss, and climate change. Biggest reason I believe is because the people in power just don’t give a fuck.