Amphibia

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Daddy Mimic Poison Frog carrying his tadpole

Ranitomeya imitator (Dendrobatidae), commonly known as Mimic Poison Frog, is a species of frog endemic to north-central Amazonian Peru. The species, which has several color morphs, exhibits some peculiar features. 

They have a monogamous mating system. In fact, the species is the only known monogamous amphibian, with monogamy in the wild confirmed by paternity analysis in studies. They also are strict phytotelm specialists (they only breed in water-holding plants of the genus Heliconia, Dieffenbachia, and Xanthosoma), and as if that were not enough, they have biparental care.

Eggs are normally laid in pairs among the bracts of the host plant. Upon hatching, tadpole transport is carried out by the male, who will later help the female locate tadpoles so she can provide the developing tadpoles with unfertilized food eggs. Males are highly territorial and will defend breeding resources vigorously.

The photo shows a Varadero morph, which was first discovered in 2004 and was heavily smuggled from 2006 to present. This morph appears to be a mimic of the “orange-and-blue” fantastica morph.

References: [1] - [2] - [3] - [4]

Photo credit: ©John P. Clare (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) | Locality: Vicinity of Isla Varadero, Rio Maranon, Peru (2013) | [Top] - [Bottom]

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Turtle Frog (Myobatrachus gouldii)

The only species in its unique genus, Australia’s Myobatrachus gouldii is even more divergent than the purple frog, having adapted to a mole-like existence of tunneling underground and breaking into termite nests, poking their comically small heads into the bug’s burrows and slurping them up. Rather than reproducing in water like a majority of other Anura, turtle frogs breed in their burrows and young skip past the tadpole phase, remaining in their eggs until they’ve formed into pin-headed burrowers themselves.

Source: toptenz.net/top-10-coolest-and-weird-frogs.php

Picture by Evan Pickett via flickr

Meet the Blue #Glassfrog (Cochranella mache), endemic to the Chocoan #rainforest of #Ecuador and #Colombia.

Until recently it was known only from a small region on the northwestern lowlands of Ecuador, but recently it was reported to occur also across western #Colombia on a paper published in the journal Herpetology Notes (http://www.biotaxa.org/hn).

#frog #amphibian #blue #Centrolenidae #Anura #Amphibia

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Ringed Caecilian (Siphonops annulatus)

is a species of caecilian (a type of legless amphibian) found in most parts of South America. Like most amphibians they can typically be found in moist forests and shrublands , but they can also be found in dry savannas and other non moist places. They get the name ringed from the series of white bands that are present across the body. the young of this species are born with 44 teeth which they use to feed on the outer layer of their mothers skin (which she can grow back) they do this several times resting when the mother grows a new skin layer. this is known as maternal dermatophagy and other species of caecilian do this as-well.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Amphibia-Gymnophiona-Caeciliidae-Siphonops-annulatus

Source,Source

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Triangle Treefrog - Dendropsophus triangulum 

This amazing frog with something like paws marks on its dorsum is scientifically named Dendropsophus triangulum (Hylidae), an uncommon species found in the Amazon Basin in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, northwestern Bolivia, and Brazil.

It is small frog less than 40 mm with several color patterns or morphs, so many that It was described as a new species four times subsequent to its first description in 1869, because different colour morphs were thought to be new species.

In general, Dendropsophus triangulum bears two large pectoral patches that are in contact or nearly so (weak, distinctly apart), a light dorsum with or without a varying number of dark blotches or spots and red venter (lemon-yellow). However, this morph is quite different than the more standard form, more akin to the “giraffe phase” of the sister species Dendropsophus leucophyllatus.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Kenneth P. Wray | Locality: Madre Selva Biological Station, Loreto, Peru (2015) | [Top] - [Bottom]

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Iberian Ribbed Newt (Pleurodeles waltl)

Also known as the Spanish Ribbed Newt or the Sharp-ribbed Newt, the Iberian ribbed newt is a species of ribbed newt (Pleurodeles sp.) which is endemic to the central and southern Iberian Peninsula and Morocco. They are noted for their ‘sharp’ ribs which puncture through its side and secrete a mild poison, acting as a defense mechanism for the newt while causing the newt no significant harm. 

Fun Fact: Pleurodeles waltl has been sent to space at least six times. As they are a good model organism for the study of microgravity. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Amphibia-Caudata-Salamandridae-Pleurodeles-P. waltl

Image(s): Peter Halasz

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The Olm - Proteus anguinus 

This strange creature is commonly known as the Olm, a rare cave salamander belonging to the species Proteus anguinus (Caudata - Proteidae), which is only found in Europe. 

The Olm is perfectly adapted to live in caves. As it spends its entire life in darkness, Proteus anguinus has very poorly developed eyes and is blind. It also lacks pigment in the skin, giving its body a pasty white appearance, Its pink hue is due to blood capillaries near the skin, and as its translucency shows the contours of the internal organs. 

This salamander does not undergo a clear metamorphosis and retains many juvenile features, such as gills, throughout its life. It is long-lived, potentially reaching up to 58 years of age.

The Olm is restricted to subterranean aquatic habitats in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Italy and Slovenia. The species is classified as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. 

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Darko Visek | Locality: Rokina, Croatia, 2008] - [Bottom: ©National Geographic | Locality: Divje Jezero, Idrija, Slovenia]

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Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis)

…is a species of giant salamander found throughout eastern North America. Like its Asian cousins the hellbender is often found in fast moving bodies of water where it preys on small fish and crayfish. Hellbenders are perfectly adapted to their environment, as their flattened shape gives them less resistance to the fast flowing water, and allows them to crawl in-between narrow rocks. They also have light-sensitive cells all over their bodies which are most strong on their tail. These help them hide safely under rocks without their tails giving their position away. And if that wasn’t enough they have an excellent sense of smell which helps them locate prey as their eyesight is poor. Like their fish prey they also have a lateral line which helps them detect vibrations in the water. All of this and their 2 foot length make them expert predators, however this does not protect them from humans as several hellbender subspecies, specifically the Ozark hellbender C.a.bishopi, have been listed as endangered due to human interactions.

Phylogeny

Animalia-Chordata-Amphibia-Caudata-Cryptobranchidae-Cryptobranchus-alleganiensis

Image Source(s)

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Hyloscirtus condor - A new frog species described for Ecuador 

An assessment of the herpetofauna in the southern part of Cordillera del Condor, province of Zamora Chinchipe, Ecuador, led to the discovery of a new species of tree frog of the genus Hyloscirtus (Hylidae), a group little known because of their elusive habits, and their distribution restricted to unexplored places.

The new species, described just this year (2014), was named Hyloscirtus condor alluding to the Cordillera del Condor where these frogs were found. This name is intended to highlight the biological importance of this mountain range.

Hyloscirtus condor has a unique dorsal color pattern that distinguishes it from other species of the group. The back is dark cinnamon brown with yellow spots, extending to the flanks and limbs. Other distinctive features are the golden iris with fine reticulations, horizontal black pupil, hypertrophied arms and fingers and feet with skin ridges.

The images shown are of the holotype of the species.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©J. Brito - Secretaría Educación Superior Ecuador | Locality: Ecuador (2012) | [Top] - [Bottom]

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Truncate-snouted Burrowing Frog - Glyphoglossus molossus 

This bizarre frog is known by several common names, such as Balloon Frog, Blunt-headed Burrowing Frog, Truncate-snouted Burrowing Frog, and Broad-lipped Frog. Its scientific name is Glyphoglossus molossus and belongs to the Microhylidae Family. 

These frogs spend the majority of their time underground but emerge with seasonal rains to breed. The species occurs in north-central Myanmar through most of mainland Thailand through Laos to southern Vietnam.

References: [1]

Photo credit: ©Apisit Wilaijit | Locality: Chian Mai, Thailand (2014) | [Top] - [Bottom]

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