Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lemur Leaf Frog

Hylomantis lemur
The Lemur Leaf Frog is a Critically Endangered Amphibian that lives in a very fragmented range that crosses parts of Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Lemur Leaf Frogs can actually change color, and do so based upon how active they are. During the day, when they tend to be resting, they are a bright green. However, at night, when they are feeding and hopping about, they turn brown or grey to stay camouflaged in the dark.

Another interesting fact is that these Frogs are able to bask in the sun for long periods of time without drying out. The theory is that a pigment in their skins allows heat to bounce right off, keeping them moist. This same pigment may be why the Lemur leaf Frogs are less susceptible to chytridiomycosis,a  devastating fungal infection that is affecting Frogs worldwide.

Though they are impacted by the fungal disease less than other frogs, the population has still been damaged by the affliction. Deforestation has also been a major threat to the Lemur Leaf Frogs, and the loss of habitat has caused the remaining frogs to live in very fragmented groups. Currently they live in a handful of protected areas, and since 2001 captive breeding efforts have been successful.

IUCN Status : Critically Endangered
Location : Central America
Size : Length up to 4.5cm
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Amphibia -- Order : Anura
Family : Hylidae -- Genus : Hylomantis -- Species : H. lemur
Image Attribution : Brian Gratwicke

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