Lemur Leaf Frog
Thin, frail-looking frog which lacks much muscular structure. Males are 1.5 inches in length; females 2 inches. Light lime green to lemon yellow while resting; darker green with reddish flecks or uniform red dorsal coloration when active. Large bulging eyes with a white iris surrounded by a black ring. Pupil is horizontal. No webbing between the toes.
GEOGRAPHICAL RANGE AND HABITAT:
Humid lowland and montane primary forest from 440 to 1600 meters in Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama.
Insects and other arthropods.
LIFE CYCLE/SOCIAL STRUCTURE:
Nocturnal. Makes few jumps, but instead moves by slow hand-over-hand climbing. Males call to females from plant positions over water. Clutches (up to 35 eggs) are deposited on a leaf and after hatching, the larva fall into the water below.
Pads on digital tips for climbing. Coloration change from bright green during day to darker at night helps with camouflage from predators.
Hylomantis is a genus of tree frogs. The word lemur comes from the Latin word "lemures" which means "spirits" or "ghosts". It probably refers to the nocturnal habits, stealthy movements and large eyes in both the Madagascar mammal and this frog.
Several in the Children's Zoo.
STATUS IN WILD:
Listed as Endangered by the IUCN due to loss of habitat and chytridiomycosis, a fungus disease that can kill up to 90% of the amphibians in a stream. Amphibians in captivity can be cured with a fungicide, but applying fungicide to an entire watershed would kill beneficial fungi as well. There are captive breeding programs at several institutions, including the Bristol Zoo and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.