Frog of the Week

Smoky Jungle Frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus)

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Common Name: Smoky Jungle Frog
Scientific Name: Leptodactylus pentadactylus
Family: Leptodactylidae
Location: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Peru, and Suriname
Size: 7.2 inches / 185 mm

The Smoky Jungle Frog is one of the largest frogs in the world, with females reaching over 7 inches long while males are slightly smaller. The frogs have a long life span that can reach over 15 years.

Mating takes place during the rainy months. Females form foam nests that the eggs are laid into to protect them from the environment. Not all eggs are fertilized, when the tadpoles emerge, they eat the unfertilized eggs.

The super power of the Smoky Jungle Frog is its anti predator defense system where its able to secrete vast amounts of mucus when attacked. Besides the mucus being gross,  it is also toxic so any predator won’t want to eat them.

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Froggin Logs

Best Catches of 2017

Big American Bullfrog that I caught
Cute Eastern Gray Tree Frog
Beautiful Wood Frog
I really like the colors on this Northern Leopard Frog
Tiny Wood Frog

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This big Northern Leopard Frog I found driving home from a friend’s house. It was in the middle of the road and i had to swerve to avoid it. Probably the largest Northern Leopard Frogs I’ve ever seen.

Family Friday

Craugastoridae – Fleshbelly Frogs

Suborder: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 4*
Number of Species: 100~ or 800~*

Craigastoridae is a family of direct developing frogs from the southern United States all the way down to South America. Some sources combine the family Craugastoridae and Strabomantidae into one single family so exact number of genera and species depends on sources and who you ask. We need to better study the amphibians all over the world.

Family Friday

Salamandridae

Number of Subfamilies: 3 – Pleurodelinae, Salamandrinae, Salamandrininae
Number of Genera: 21
Pleurodelinae – Calotriton, Cynops, Echinotriton, Euproctus, Ichthyosaura, Laotriton, Lissotriton, Neurergus, Notophthalmus, Ommatotriton, Pachytriton, Paramesotriton, Pleurodeles, Taricha, Triturus, and Tylototriton
Salamandrinae – Chioglossa, Lyciasalamandra, Mertensiella, and Salamandra
Salamandrininae – Salamandrina
Number of Species: 119

The family Salamandridae contains salamanders and newts. Often members of the family are called “True Salamanders” because they have smooth skin but there are members with rough skin. The subfamily Pleurodelinae is home to the newts. It’s the largest subfamily. The family is found in Europe, the United States, Asia, and the northern tip of Africa.

The members of the family use internal fertilization for breeding, but some lay eggs and some give birth to live offspring.

Pleurodelinae

The genus Calotriton is known as the European Brook Newts. There are only two newts in the genus, Montseny Brook Newt (Calotriton arnoldi) and the Pyrenean Brook Salamander (Calotriton asper).

Oriental Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops orientalis)
Oriental Fire-bellied Newt (Cynops orientalis)

The Fire bellied Newts are members of the genus Cynops. They are naturally found in China and Japan.

The genus Echinotriton is known as the Mountain Newts or Spiny Newts. They are found in China and Japan.

European Mountain Salamanders Euproctus are found on the island of of Sardinia and Corsica.

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Alpine Newt

Alpine Newt (Ichthyosaura alpestris)is the only newt in the genus Ichthyosaura. It is found throughout central Europe.

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Photo by Henk Wallays

The genus Laotriton is home to only 1 species of newt, the Laos Warty Newt (Laotriton laoensis). It is obviously found in Laos but it’s only found there. It is listed as an endangered species by the IUCN.

The genus Lissotriton is found in Europe and Asia minor.

The genus Neurergus contains the Spotted Newts. They are found in the Middle East but mostly Turkey and Iran.

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Eastern Newt (Notophthalmus  viridescens)

The genus Notophthalmus is known as the North American Newts because they are found in North America (duh).

The genus Ommatotriton is known as the Banded Newts. There are only two species in the genus – the Northern Banded Newt (Ommatotriton ophryticus) and the Southern Banded Newt (Ommatotriton vittatus).  They are found in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

The genus Pachytriton is known as the Chinese Newts. They are found in Southeastern China.

The genus Paramesotriton is known Asian Warty Newts.

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Iberian Ribbed Newt

The Ribbed Newts, Pleurodeles, are found in Northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula.

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Rough Skinned Newt

The Pacific Newts, Taricha, are found on the western coast of the United States and Mexico.

Great Crested Newt – photo by Rainer Theuer

The genus Triturus is found throughout Europe from Great Britain to Serbia. The genus contains the Crested and Marbled Newts.

The genus Tylototriton is known as the Crocodile Newts or Knobby Newts. They are found throughout Southeast Asia.

Salamandrinae

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Gold Striped Salamander

There is only one salamander in the genus Chioglossa, it is the Gold-striped Salamander (Chioglossa lusitanica). It is found in Spain and Portugal.

The salamanders of the genus Lyciasalamandra are commonly referred to as the Lycian salamanders. All the member of the genus are found in Turkey or the Aegean Islands in Greece.

The only salamander in the genus Mertensiella is the Caucasian Salamander (Mertensiella caucasica). It is found in Turkey and Georgia and is listed as vulnerable by the IUCN Red list.

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Corsican Fire Salamander (Salamandra corsica)

The genus Salamandra is known as the fire salamanders because most of the species are different fire salamanders. The genus is spread throughout Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa.

Salamandrininae

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photo by Clemens M. Brandstetter

This subfamily only has two species of salamanders in it that come from the same genus. They are the Northern Spectacled Salamander (Salamandrina perspicillata) and the Southern Spectacled Salamander (Salamandrina terdigitata). Both salamanders are found only in the Apennine Mountains in Italy.

Family Friday

Alsodidae

Alsodidae

Subfamily: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 3 – Alsodes (19), Eupsophus (6), and Limnomedusa (1)
Number of Species: 26

Alsodidae is a family of frogs from South America. It used to be part of the family Leptodactylidae and Cycloramphidae before eventually winding up its own family.

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Olive Spiny-chest Frog by José Grau de Puerto Montt

The genus Alsodes is known as the Spiny Chest Frogs. They have received the name because the males grow spine-like projections on their chest during the breeding season. They are found in Chile and Argentina.

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Emilio’s Ground Frog by José Grau de Puerto Montt

The genus Eupsophus is nicknamed the Ground Frogs, even though there’s other genera nicknamed that. It is found in the Patagonia in Argentina and Chile.

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Rapid’s Frog by Axel Kwet

The Rapid’s Frog (Limnomedusa macroglossa) is the only member of the genus Limnomedusa. It is found in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

Other Amphibian of the Week

Olm (Proteus anguinus)

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photo by Arne Hodalič

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Common Name: Olm
Scientific Name: Proteus anguinus
Family: Proteidae
Location: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Italy, and Slovenia
Introduced: France.
Size: 11.8 inches max or 30 cms

The Olm is a bizarre creature that lurks under the surface of the Balkans. This weird salamander is found in underground caves and rivers and because of that, most of what is known about the it is from captive bred individuals in labs. The Olm is thought to be the longest living salamander and amphibian, capable of living over a hundred years.

The Olm is a highly adapted to life under ground. Their eyes are highly reduced but other senses are increased, kinda like Daredevil. They find their pray by any means including smell, taste, and sound through the dark underground world.

It takes the Olm nearly 14 years to reach sexual maturity. After reaching sexual maturity, males start to defend their territory from other males. The females of the species will come into the male’s territory and the male starts to court the female. The male waves his tail in her face. After mating, the female goes off and finds a place to lay her eggs. After laying the eggs, the females protect them from predators.

There is one subspecies of olm. It is called the Black Olm (Proteus anguinus parkelj). Besides the fact that they are black, there are other differences between the two. The Black Olm has developed eyes compared to the regular one. It also has a smaller head and is found in Slovenia.

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Black Olm by Arne Hodalič
Family Friday

Batrachylidae

Suborder: Neobatrachia
Number of Genera: 4 – Atelognathus, Batrachyla, Chaltenobatrachus, and Hylorina
Number of Species: 15

Batrachylidae is a family of frogs from Chile and Argentina. It used to be a subfamily of the family Ceratophryidae, the Horned Frogs, but were removed because of genetics sequencing and it’s actually closer related to Rhinodermatidae.

Patagonia Frog by Boris Blotto

The genus Atelognathus is known as the Patagonia frogs. It is from the Patagonia in southern Argentina and Chile.

The genus Batrachyla is known as the Southern Wood Frogs because they look like the Wood Frog.

The genus Chaltenobatrachus only has one species Puerto Eden frog Chaltenobatrachus grandisonae which is also found in the Patagonia. It’s named after the location where they found in Puerto Edén, Chile.

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Emerald Forest Frog by José Grau de Puerto Montt

The only species in the genus Hylorina is the Emerald Forest Frog (Hylorina sylvatica). It is found in the austral forests along the eastern slopes of the Andes Mountain range in Chile and Argentina.