Out of the mouths of Darwin’s frogs come babes.
- Darwin’s frogs are a species of frog, native to South America’s Argentina and Chile.
- Darwin’s frogs are also known by the names ‘Darwin’s toads’ and ‘southern Darwin’s frogs’, and their common names are reference to Charles Darwin who discovered the frogs in the 1830s.
- The scientific name of a Darwin’s frog is Rhinoderma darwinii and it is one of two species in the family Rhinodermatidae, the family of the same name.
- Darwin’s frogs grow to be around 2.2 to 3.5 centimetres (0.9 to 1.4 inches) in length and weigh 2 to 5 grams (0.07 to 0.17 ounces).
- The skin of Darwin’s frogs is somewhat smooth and is usually coloured brown to green on the back, and a combination of black and white on the underside.
- Darwin’s frogs are typically found among dead leaves in grassy or forest habitats, featuring streams or other smaller water bodies.
- The diet of Darwin’s frogs consists primarily of insects as well as invertebrates like spiders, snails and worms, which it typically lays in wait for.
- A Darwin’s frog has a pointed head and the frog utilises camouflage to evade predators, taking the appearance of a dead leaf when still.
- Female Darwin’s frogs lay 30 to 40 eggs among decomposing vegetation on the forest floor, while the males keep watch over the eggs for around three weeks, and then collect them in their mouth and store up to 19 of them in their vocal sac, where they mature into tadpoles and then young frogs before being released from the adult male’s mouth after approximately six weeks.
- Due to habitat loss and possibly disease, Darwin’s frogs are listed as vulnerable, with their population dwindling at a moderate rate.
Maybe one day someone will see an oriental fire-bellied toad combust.
- Oriental fire-bellied toads are a species of frog native to Korea, southern parts of Japan, northeastern areas of China and south-eastern sections of Russia.
- The scientific name of an oriental fire-bellied toad is Bombina orientalis and it is from the family Bombinatoridae, the family of fire-bellied toads.
- Oriental fire-bellied toads grow to be 3.5 to 8 centimetres (1.4 to 3 inches) in length and weigh 28 to 56 grams (1 to 2 ounces).
- Oriental fire-bellied toads have a green to brownish-grey coloured back with wart like bumps, sometimes accompanied by black spots, that helps them to blend into their surroundings, and are a vivid red to yellow colour on the underside, spotted with black.
- The bright colour of the underside of an oriental fire-bellied toad signifies that it is poisonous and will release toxic secretions, and to scare off predators it can arch its back and display its colourful belly.
- Somewhat still streams and small water pools, in a variety of forest habitats, are the haven of oriental fire-bellied toads.
- Female oriental fire-bellied toads generally lay between 40 to 250 eggs at a time, deposited in and around aquatic vegetation.
- The diet of oriental fire-bellied toads consists of worms, molluscs, algae, insects, fungi, and spiders, and they can have a lifespan up to 20 years in the wild.
- Oriental fire-bellied toads are commonly kept as pets, as they are fairly easy to care for, although caution needs to be taken when handling the toads, to avoid being irritated by their poison.
- Oriental fire-bellied toad pupils can be of a triangular shape, and its tongue cannot extend, unlike many other frog species.
The grainy Cochran frog is hidden in a forest of secrets.
- Grainy Cochran frogs are a species of frog native to the southern countries of Central America.
- The scientific name of a grainy Cochran frog is Cochranella granulosa and it is from the family Centrolenidae, the family of glass frogs.
- The Spanish name for the grainy Cochran frog is ‘ranita de cristal’ which literally means ‘glass frog’, while the frog is also known as a ‘granular glass frog’.
- Grainy Cochran frogs are found around streams among plants, in moist forests that are situated in low-lying habitats.
- Grainy Cochran frogs are small and generally reach a length of 2.25 to 3.2 centimetres (0.9 to 1.3 inches).
- The skin of grainy Cochran frogs is a green-blue colour speckled with tiny white dots that give it a grainy texture.
- Around 50 to 60 eggs are laid by female grainy Cochran frogs, on vegetation that branches over and touches water bodies, so that on hatching, the new tadpoles can drop into the water.
- On the underside of a grainy Cochran frog, the skin is translucent, allowing its internal organs to be viewed.
- A grainy Cochran frog male fends off other amphibious intruders to its territory, often by wrestling on a leaf, where the loser is the individual that falls off, and the winner claims the territory.
- While grainy Cochran frogs are classified as ‘least concern’, they are still threatened by pollution of water and loss of habitat.
Do you get a bit jumpy around American bullfrogs?
- American bullfrogs are a species of large frog, native to Canada and southern and eastern parts of the United States, as well as parts of Mexico, and they are also just called ‘bullfrogs’, although this term can be used loosely to refer to other frog species.
- The scientific name of an American bullfrog is Rana catesbeiana and it is from the family Ranidae, the family of true frogs.
- The colour of the skin of American bullfrogs is generally a combination of green, brown, grey and yellow.
- The length of an American bullfrog can range from 9 to 15 centimetres (3.5 to 6 inches) or larger, and it can weigh 300 to 500 grams (0.6 to 1.1 pounds) or more.
- Anything swallowable makes up an American bullfrog’s diet, including fish and other water creatures, birds, rodents, reptiles and insects.
- American bullfrog hind legs are eaten as a food item by humans in a number of countries, and the frogs are often captured through spearing or by hand.
- American bullfrog females can produce up to 20,000 eggs at a single time, and they hatch as tadpoles, which can take a few months and up to a few years, depending on water temperature, to grow into adult frogs.
- Male American bullfrogs display social dominance, and they emit a deep sound when calling, said to be similar to that of cattle, hence their common name.
- American bullfrogs can live up to 16 years, although this is rare – they are more likely to have a lifespan of six to ten years.
- American bullfrogs have been introduced, accidentally or deliberately, to parts of South America, Europe and Asia, and they have been detrimental to native species in some of these areas.
Cane toads are more than just a bump in the ecosystem.
- Cane toads are a species of toad native to southern areas of North America, to the northern half of South America, and they are notoriously regarded as a pest in many other countries.
- The scientific name of a cane toad is Rhinella marina, although previously listed as Bufo marinus, and it is from the family Bufonidae, the family of true toads.
- ‘Cane toads’ are also known as ‘marine toads’, ‘giant toads’, ‘giant marine toads’ and ‘giant neotropical toads’.
- Cane toads are generally 10 to 15 centimetres (4 to 6 inches) in length and weigh an average of 500 to 800 grams (1.1 to 1.7 pounds), however, they can grow to be more than double the average size.
- The skin of cane toads is dry and has wart like bumps, and can vary in colour from shades of brown, grey, yellow or olive.
- Cane toads have been introduced in Australia, the Pacific, the United States and other countries, primarily to control pests on sugar cane, particularly the cane beetle, however, they have instead become highly invasive in some areas and fatal to native animals when eaten.
- The diet of cane toads consists of insects, rodents, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and the odd vegetation, and they will also eat pet food.
- The skin of cane toads, as well as the glands behind their head, contains bufotoxin, making them poisonous to touch or consume, to the extent of being fatal to many animals, and dangerous to humans.
- Cane toad toxin has been collected and used as an arrow poison and a drug, while some parts, including skinned legs, are edible.
- Female cane toads may produce from 8000 to 35,000 eggs every six months, breeding in water, and they have an average lifespan of five to ten years.
Don’t pick a fight with Panamanian golden frogs.
- Panamanian golden frogs are a brightly coloured amphibian species native to Central America’s Panama.
- ‘Panamanian golden frogs’ are also known as ‘golden arrow poison frogs’, ‘Zetek’s golden frogs’ and ‘golden frogs’, and despite their common name, they are toads, not frogs.
- The scientific name of the Panamanian golden frog is Atelopus zeteki and it is from the family Bufonidae, the family of true toads.
- Panamanian golden frogs have a distinctive gold, yellow or yellow-green skin colouration that is generally spotted with black, though the young toads are green in colour.
- The length of Panamanian golden frogs reach 3.5 to 6.3 centimetres (1.4 to 2.5 inches) and they are typically 3 to 15 grams (0.1 to 0.53 ounces) in weight.
- The skin of adult Panamanian golden frogs is highly toxic on touch, excreting poisons deadly to rodents and other animals, and they are also potentially hazardous to humans.
- The diet of Panamanian golden frogs consists of invertebrates like spiders, ants, caterpillars, wasps, and flies, and the wider the variety of its diet, the more poisonous the toad becomes.
- Along with a noise that sounds like a whistle, Panamanian golden frogs commonly move their hands in a waving motion as a means of communication, signalling to both potential mates and threats.
- Panamanian golden frogs typically live in mountainous river and stream habitats, and have a lifespan of approximately 12 years, growing from egg to tadpole to adult.
- Due to fungal diseases and habitat destruction, Panamanian golden frogs are listed as critically endangered, although it is possible that in 2007, they became extinct in the wild.