Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tomato Frog

The common name "Tomato Frog" can refer to all three species that are found within the genus Dyscophus. Each species does have its own common name, but they aren't especially helpful since it appears that both Dyscophus antongilii and Dyscophus insularis are given the official "Tomato Frog" moniker, and calling a species the Madagascar Tomato Frog seems kind of redundant, as all three species are native to the rainforests Madagascar. But whatever. I'm talking about all three collectively.

Image from Charles Paddock Zoo
If you couldn't guess from the name, Tomato Frogs are usually red, though the color span, depending on the specific species and the individual frog, ranges from yellow to red to brown. Interestingly it is the females that are the most vibrantly colored. They are also larger than their male counterparts, growning up to 10.5cm in length, while the males hit up to only 6.5cm.

Tomato Frogs use their coloring as a warning to predators. When threatened, they puff up in size.If that scare tactic doesn't work, and the frog ends up in some animals mouth, they will secrete a mucus that irritates the eyes of their attackers. While the predator is trying to clear their eyes, the Tomato Frog escapes.

Female Tomato Frogs are capable of laying up to 15,000 eggs at a time. They will hatch in the pools they were laid in and go through metamorphosis after an additional 45 days. One of the species, D. antongilii, is listed as Near Threatened, due to collection for the pet trade and loss of habitat. A consortium of Zoos in the United States, led by the Baltimore Zoo, is working to increase their numbers. The other two species are listed as being of Least Concern.

Woah! I just realized this was animal #75! 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...