Amazon Milk Frog


ORDER: Anura

FAMILY: Hylidae

GENUS: Trachycephalus

SPECIES: Resinifictrix

DESCRIPTION:
These frogs are light grayish in color with brown or black banding. Juveniles show stronger contrast which fades somewhat with maturity. Skin also becomes somewhat bumpy as they age. They are 2.5 to 4 inches in length. Males are smaller than females.

GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Above or near slow-moving water in humid rainforest regions in northern South America (Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela.)

DIET:
Insects and other small arthropods.

LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Nocturnal and arboreal. During the day they sleep in the vegetation near the streams. Reproduction usually takes place during the rainy season (November through May). Males are territorial about their calling sites and physical confrontations may take place. Reproductive strategy which works for them is as follows: The male stakes out a water-filled hollow in a tree or bromeliad. He calls a female who comes and lays a clutch of about 2000 eggs which he fertilizes. He watches over these eggs and calls another female to come. He does not fertilize these eggs but leaves them as food for the tadpoles which hatch from the first eggs. Tadpoles hatch in one day and metamorphosis from tadpole to juvenile takes approximately three weeks. (This development is much faster than most frogs.)

SPECIAL ADAPTATIONS:
They have large toe pads for climbing. Trachycephalus refers to the elongated snout which is useful for pushing aside leaves and branches and allowing this nocturnal frog to tuck itself into tight hiding places during the day.

INTERPRETIVE INFORMATION:
Also known as Mission Golden-eyed Tree Frogs or Blue Milk Frogs. The name "Milk Frog" refers to the poisonous, white secretion this frog may secrete when threatened.

OUR ANIMALS:
Several in the Children's Zoo.

STATUS IN WILD:
Assessed in 2004 as not significantly threatened at this time, but loss of habitat due to agriculture and logging could be a problem.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

  1. Internet: Wikipedia; National Geographic Museum, National Geographic Frogs Exhibition; zipcodezoo.com.; Amphibiancare.com; Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
  2. Badger, David. Frogs. 1997. Barnes and Noble Books, New York, NY, p. 37. CL:09

Birds

Amphibians

Arthropods

Reptiles

Mammals


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