Frog of the Week

Green Mantella (Mantella viridis)

Green Mantella
photo by Dawn Pedersen

Common Name: Green Mantella, Lime Mantella, and Green Golden Frog
Scientific Name: Mantella viridis
Family: Mantellidae
Location: Madagascar
Max Size: Males – 1 inch (25 mm) | females – 1.2 inch (30 mm)

The Green Mantella lives along streams in the grass lands of northern Madagascar. All members of the genus Mantella are found only in Madagascar. They’re bright colors warn predators that they are poisonous. This allows them to be active during the day (diurnal). The frogs feeds on insects and other invertebrates that cross its path. It’s the largest frog from the genus Mantella and it barely reaches an inch long!

The breeding season for the frog follows the start of the rainy season. Like most of the common frogs, they lay eggs that eventually hatch into tadpoles. The males of the species call out to attract the females. The female lays the eggs in between rocks and in trunks of dead trees and eventually the heavy rains wash them into a body of water. The female lays around 115 eggs.

The Green Mantella can be found in the pet trade due to their beautiful colors and relative easy of taking care of. If you were looking to buy one, make sure to read my article Preparing for a Pet Frog or Toad. Also, make sure to buy a captive bred frog from a reputable breeder. The mantellas are exploited in the wet pet trade.

Green Mantella Conservation

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the Green Mantella as Endangered. They are facing extinction because of habitat destruction from forest fires, logging of forests where they live, and overgrazing by livestock. The species suffered heavily from over-harvesting of them for the pet trade but captive breeding has slowed down the harvesting.

photo by wikiuser Jjargoud
Frog of the Week

Common Rain Frog (Breviceps adspersus)

Common Rain Frog
Common Rain Frog – photo by wikiuser Ryanvanhuyssteen

Common English Names: Common Rain Frog or Bushveld Rain Frog
Scientific Name: Breviceps adspersus
Family: Brevicipitidae – Rain Frog family
Location: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Size: 2.25 inches long (5.7 cm)

The Common Rain Frog is one of the many rain frog species from Sub-Saharan Africa. This cute, round frog lives most of its live in burrows underground. They are mostly seen after the heavy rains when they leave their burrows to come to the surface to hunt for food and to mate. It’s the reason they are named the Rain Frogs.

Males will start calling in early October but won’t form strong choruses until late October / early November. Calls will last until late December / early January. Once the female selects the male, the smaller male will stick to the back of the female with some sticky secretion. Removing the male from the female can damage their skin. The female will start to dig into the ground with the male on their back. She will make a chamber for herself and her eggs there. The eggs are laid in a foam to protect the eggs and the tadpoles eventually hatch there.

Here’s a nice video explaining it and showing it. Narrated by the GOAT Sir David Attenborough

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List categorizes the frog as Least Concern for Extinction. They have a wide range and are thought to have a large population.

Frog of the Week

Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog (Ascaphus montanus)

photo by Ryan Killackey

Common Name: Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog, Inland Tailed Frog, and Eastern Tailed Frog
Scientific Name: Ascaphus montanus
Family: Ascaphidae – Tailed Frog Family
Locations: Canada and the United States
US Locations: Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington
Size: 1 – 2 inches (30 – 50 mm)

As the name suggests, the Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog is found near the Rocky Mountains. They inhabit fast flowing, cold streams and the areas surround them in old growth forests. The tadpoles have specialized suctions in their months, allowing them to cling to rocks in the fast moving streams.

The tailed frogs have an unusual reproduction style. The males of the species have a tail-like appendage that they use to internally fertilize the females. There is only a handful of frogs and toads that use internal fertilization. There is only one other frog that has a tail in their adult form, the Coastal Tailed Frog, a close relative.

The frogs mate in early fall but the female doesn’t lay her eggs until mid summer of the next year, when the water flow of the stream lessens. The female lays between 45 – 75 eggs. Then the tadpoles take 3 years to complete their metamorphism.

Besides the tail aspects of its reproduction, the Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog is bizarre in the fact that it lacks a tongue and vocal cord. This makes it impossible for the frogs to make noise and do breeding calls.

Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog
photos by Forest Service Northern Region

The Rocky Mountain Tailed Frog is an ancient frog species as it has 9 presacral vertebrae while most have 8 or fewer. This resembles more of the earlier frog.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List assesses the frog as Least Concern for Extinction due to their large population and decent range.

Frog of the Week

Rapid’s Frog (Limnomedusa macroglossa)

by Axel Kwet

Common Name: Rapid’s Frog
Scientific Name: Limnomedusa macroglossa
Family: Alsodidae
Location: Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay
Size: 2.1 inches or 55mm

The Rapid’s Frog is the only member of it’s genus, Limnomedusa. They breed in the spring in Southern Hemisphere from late August to the start of February. The males call from under rocks to attract mates. The eggs are laid in isolated ponds in the forests.

While they are only listed as Least Concern, they are threatened by deforestation for agriculture and the creation of dams.

Herper of the week

Herper of the Week: David Steen Ph.D


The goal of Herper of the Week is to highlight people from all walks of life who work with reptiles and amphibians and show their work to others. This week’s Herper of the Week is David Steen Ph.D. Steen is an assistant research professor at Auburn University. He obtained his Ph.D from Auburn too.

David Steen’s research focuses on restoring habitat for reptiles and trying to have reptiles and people can coexist. One project he is currently working on is the re-introduction of the Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi) in the Conecuh National Forest in Alabama.

David Steen has been named the best biologist on twitter by His science communication work is amazing. He helps identify snakes especially helping people tell the difference between Copperheads (venomous snake) and non-venomous snakes (#notacopperhead).

You can follow him on various social media accounts.

You can help him out by becoming a patron of him