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Fringe Tree Frog - Cruziohyla craspedopus
This amazing frog, scientifically named Cruziohyla craspedopus (Hylidae), is a species known from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and two localities in Brazil, where inhabits high trees in primary forest, but descends to low branches to breed.
The dorsum of this frog is lavender green with scattered, irregular, lichenous, grayish white spots; the granular venter and all ventral surfaces of fringes are bright yellow or orange-yellow; and the flanks are yellow with 6-8 vertical browny bars.
It has conspicuous dermal fringes on the lips and shanks. The fingers lack webbing but the toes are four-fifths webbed; the discs on the digits are large and round. The iris is grayish white with fine black reticulations; the lower eyelid is dark green with irregular pale green and silver reticulations.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©John P. Clare (CC 2.0) | Locality: not reported (2014)

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Fringe Tree Frog - Cruziohyla craspedopus

This amazing frog, scientifically named Cruziohyla craspedopus (Hylidae), is a species known from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and two localities in Brazil, where inhabits high trees in primary forest, but descends to low branches to breed.

The dorsum of this frog is lavender green with scattered, irregular, lichenous, grayish white spots; the granular venter and all ventral surfaces of fringes are bright yellow or orange-yellow; and the flanks are yellow with 6-8 vertical browny bars.

It has conspicuous dermal fringes on the lips and shanks. The fingers lack webbing but the toes are four-fifths webbed; the discs on the digits are large and round. The iris is grayish white with fine black reticulations; the lower eyelid is dark green with irregular pale green and silver reticulations.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©John P. Clare (CC 2.0) | Locality: not reported (2014)

Andinobates geminisae: 
New Poison Dart Frog Species Discovered In Panama
by Science 2.0 News Staff
A bright orange poison dart frog with a unique call was discovered in Donoso, Panama, and described by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. Andinobates geminisae is named for Geminis Vargas, “the beloved wife of [coauthor] Marcos Ponce, for her unconditional support of his studies of Panamanian herpetology.” 
Every new species name is based on a representative specimen. The specimen for this species was collected Feb. 21, 2011, in the headwaters of the Rio Caño, in the district of Donoso, Colón Province, Panama, by Samuel Valdés, who was then the MWH Global Inc. environment office director, and his field assistant, Carlos de la Cruz…
(read more: Science 2.0)

Andinobates geminisae:

New Poison Dart Frog Species Discovered In Panama

by Science 2.0 News Staff

A bright orange poison dart frog with a unique call was discovered in Donoso, Panama, and described by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí in Panama, and the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia.

Andinobates geminisae is named for Geminis Vargas, “the beloved wife of [coauthor] Marcos Ponce, for her unconditional support of his studies of Panamanian herpetology.” 

Every new species name is based on a representative specimen. The specimen for this species was collected Feb. 21, 2011, in the headwaters of the Rio Caño, in the district of Donoso, Colón Province, Panama, by Samuel Valdés, who was then the MWH Global Inc. environment office director, and his field assistant, Carlos de la Cruz…

(read more: Science 2.0)

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Rediscovery of an enigmatic and endangered Andean toad
The small and understudied toad genus Andinophryne (Bufonidae) is restricted to the western slopes of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador. Three species of Andinophryne have been described; until recently, all three species were only known from five or fewer adult individuals at the type localities.
This year (2014) it has been reported the rediscovery of Andinophryne olallai, an endangered species only known from a single specimen, collected in 1970. At the type locality, Tandayapa, Pichincha Province, numerous follow-up surveys after 1970 failed to record the species suggesting that the population is extinct.
The rediscovery of the so called Tandayapa Andean Toad took place in 2012 at Río Manduriacu, Imbabura Province, Ecuador. Two surveys suggest that a healthy population of A. olallai survives at the site, with observations of froglets, juveniles, and adults across numerous stream systems.
However, the extent of known occupancy of the population is small (less than one square km), and this population is surrounded by logging, mining, and hydroelectric developments that could compromise its future survival.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Santiago Ron | Locality: Mandiruacu Reserve, Imbabura, Ecuador (2013)

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Rediscovery of an enigmatic and endangered Andean toad

The small and understudied toad genus Andinophryne (Bufonidae) is restricted to the western slopes of the Andes in Colombia and Ecuador. Three species of Andinophryne have been described; until recently, all three species were only known from five or fewer adult individuals at the type localities.

This year (2014) it has been reported the rediscovery of Andinophryne olallai, an endangered species only known from a single specimen, collected in 1970. At the type locality, Tandayapa, Pichincha Province, numerous follow-up surveys after 1970 failed to record the species suggesting that the population is extinct.

The rediscovery of the so called Tandayapa Andean Toad took place in 2012 at Río Manduriacu, Imbabura Province, Ecuador. Two surveys suggest that a healthy population of A. olallai survives at the site, with observations of froglets, juveniles, and adults across numerous stream systems.

However, the extent of known occupancy of the population is small (less than one square km), and this population is surrounded by logging, mining, and hydroelectric developments that could compromise its future survival.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Santiago Ron | Locality: Mandiruacu Reserve, Imbabura, Ecuador (2013)

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South American Common Toad - Rhinella margaritifera 
The South American Common Toad, commonly known as Sapo Crestado in Spanish, belonging to the species Rhinella margaritifera (Bufonidae) is a medium-sized (up to 81 mm long) ground dwelling toad that shows obvious adaptations to the life on leaf litter of primary and secondary forests.
Their cryptic coloration resembles dark partly decomposed fallen leaves (“dead-leaf pattern”). Effect of this coloration is multiplied by body outline disruptive function of elevated and laterally widely expanded cranial crests, bone protrusions at angle of jaws and neural crests of vertebrae which serve as direct antipredator mechanism.
This is a species complex that occurs throughout the Amazon Basin of South America, the Guianas, and is also present in central Panama and the eastern lowlands and cordilleras of Panama, as well as in Gorgona Island, Colombia.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Frank Deschandol | Locality: Peru (2013)

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South American Common Toad - Rhinella margaritifera 

The South American Common Toad, commonly known as Sapo Crestado in Spanish, belonging to the species Rhinella margaritifera (Bufonidae) is a medium-sized (up to 81 mm long) ground dwelling toad that shows obvious adaptations to the life on leaf litter of primary and secondary forests.

Their cryptic coloration resembles dark partly decomposed fallen leaves (“dead-leaf pattern”). Effect of this coloration is multiplied by body outline disruptive function of elevated and laterally widely expanded cranial crests, bone protrusions at angle of jaws and neural crests of vertebrae which serve as direct antipredator mechanism.

This is a species complex that occurs throughout the Amazon Basin of South America, the Guianas, and is also present in central Panama and the eastern lowlands and cordilleras of Panama, as well as in Gorgona Island, Colombia.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Frank Deschandol | Locality: Peru (2013)

Herp Adventures in SE Arizona

Recently, friend of the blog, herpetologist, and naturalist, Robert Anthony Villa went on a herping trip to a mixed desert-grassland area in South East Arizona Here are some awesome photos of a few of the things he saw…

1 & 2 - Mexican Hog-nosed Snake (Heterodon kennerlyi)

3 - Western Green Toad (Bufo [Anaxyrus] debilis)

4 - California Kingsnake (Lapropeltis californiae)

5 - Black-headed Snake (Tantilla nigriceps)

6 - Long-nosed Snake (Rhinocheilus lecontei)

Redwood National and State Parks - CA, USA
This handsome forest inhabitant is the northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora), which is often spotted hopping along trails deep in the forest during the summer, far from the ponds where they breed. This is fortunate for young frogs leaving these ponds, since adults will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths, including smaller individuals of their own kind!

This handsome forest inhabitant is the northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora), which is often spotted hopping along trails deep in the forest during the summer, far from the ponds where they breed. This is fortunate for young frogs leaving these ponds, since adults will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths, including smaller individuals of their own kind!

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Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog - Pseudophilautus femoralis
The genus Pseudophilautus consists of 65 known species, all of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Pseudophilautus femoralis (Rhacophoridae) is an Endangered species whose distribution is restricted to tropical montane forests in central and southern Sri Lanka. 
It is arboreal, and associated with the understorey of tropical moist montane evergreen forest. Individuals are found on, or under, leaves. It is very sensitive to any disturbance of its habitat. Breeding takes place via direct development, with the eggs attached to the underside of leaves, hence its common name of Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog.
References: [1]
Photo credit: ©Sachindra Umesh | Locality: Sri Lanka (2014)

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Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog - Pseudophilautus femoralis

The genus Pseudophilautus consists of 65 known species, all of which are endemic to Sri Lanka. Pseudophilautus femoralis (Rhacophoridae) is an Endangered species whose distribution is restricted to tropical montane forests in central and southern Sri Lanka. 

It is arboreal, and associated with the understorey of tropical moist montane evergreen forest. Individuals are found on, or under, leaves. It is very sensitive to any disturbance of its habitat. Breeding takes place via direct development, with the eggs attached to the underside of leaves, hence its common name of Leaf-nesting Shrub Frog.

References: [1]

Photo credit: ©Sachindra Umesh | Locality: Sri Lanka (2014)

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Western Spotted Frog - Heleioporus albopunctatus
Heleioporus albopunctatus (Myobatrachidae) is a species of fat, globular burrowing frog, with granular skin, rather stubby limbs and toes with only rudiments of webbing. The body is chocolate-brown above; the back, head, sides and limbs are marked with scattered large white or yellow spots.
Endemic to Australia, this chubby frog is largely restricted to coast and ranges of south-western Australia.
References: [1] -[2]
Photo credit: ©Stephen Zozaya | Locality: Watheroo, Western Australia (2013)

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Western Spotted Frog - Heleioporus albopunctatus

Heleioporus albopunctatus (Myobatrachidae) is a species of fat, globular burrowing frog, with granular skin, rather stubby limbs and toes with only rudiments of webbing. The body is chocolate-brown above; the back, head, sides and limbs are marked with scattered large white or yellow spots.

Endemic to Australia, this chubby frog is largely restricted to coast and ranges of south-western Australia.

References: [1] -[2]

Photo credit: ©Stephen Zozaya | Locality: Watheroo, Western Australia (2013)

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Waxy Monkey Frog - Phyllomedusa sauvagii

Phyllomedusa sauvagii (Hylidae) is a large treefrog native to the Chacoan region of eastern Bolivia, northern Paraguay, Mato Grosso do Sul (Brazil), and northern Argentina.

Other common names: Painted-bellied Monkey Frog, Leaf-folding Frog, Rana Mono de Vientre Pintado, Rana Mono Chaqueña.

The skin of this frog contains natural opioids (Dermorphin and HYP6-dermorphin) that are more potent than morphine but less likely to produce drug tolerance and addiction. These properties make them ideal candidates for the doping of racehorses to enhance performance during competition; however, Dermorphin is a banned substance in equine athletes.  

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Milan Zygmunt | Locality: unknown | [Top] - [Bottom]

Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild
by Aldergrove Star staff
In continuing their scientific work and conservation efforts for the endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), last week the Greater Vancouver Zoo, BC, Canada, released more frogs back into the wild.
This is the second release of the year. The 127 frogs were bred in a captive environment while studying and marking them before finally releasing them back into their natural wetland environment.
For over a decade, animal care staff from the Greater Vancouver Zoo have worked on this important conservation project. Working alongside the wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, staff have helped with monitoring, research, habitat management and restoration of this endangered species.
The frogs were released into their natural wetland environment near Aldergrove, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the Oregon spotted frogs’ habitat needs…
(read more: Aldergrove Star)

Zoo releases captive-bred endangered frogs back to wild

by Aldergrove Star staff

In continuing their scientific work and conservation efforts for the endangered Oregon spotted frogs (Rana pretiosa), last week the Greater Vancouver Zoo, BC, Canada, released more frogs back into the wild.

This is the second release of the year. The 127 frogs were bred in a captive environment while studying and marking them before finally releasing them back into their natural wetland environment.

For over a decade, animal care staff from the Greater Vancouver Zoo have worked on this important conservation project. Working alongside the wildlife biologists from the Oregon Spotted Frog Recovery Team, staff have helped with monitoring, research, habitat management and restoration of this endangered species.

The frogs were released into their natural wetland environment near Aldergrove, in an area specifically modified and enhanced to meet the Oregon spotted frogs’ habitat needs…

(read more: Aldergrove Star)

The Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) was once common in the Pacific Northwest, but habitat loss and invasive species have caused serious population declines. The Oregon spotted frog will now be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. 
For more information: Washington F&W - Spotted Frog Photo by Teal Waterstrat / USFWS
(via: USFWS_Pacific Region)

The Oregon spotted frog (Rana pretiosa) was once common in the Pacific Northwest, but habitat loss and invasive species have caused serious population declines. The Oregon spotted frog will now be protected as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.

For more information: Washington F&W - Spotted Frog

Photo by Teal Waterstrat / USFWS

(via: USFWS_Pacific Region)