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)

libutron
libutron:

Mountain Hourglass Treefrog - Taruga eques
Also commonly known as Günther’s Whipping Frog, this frog is currently named Taruga eques (Rhacophoridae), a species endemic to Sri Lanka restricted to the Central Hill Country, which gets its common name by the hour-glass shaped marking its dorsum. 
It is supposed that Taruga eques is a species complex enclosing the Polypedates eques group.
This arboreal and terrestrial frog is considered Endangered on the IUCN Red List because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Sachindra Umesh | Locality: Sri Lanka (2014)

libutron:

Mountain Hourglass Treefrog - Taruga eques

Also commonly known as Günther’s Whipping Frog, this frog is currently named Taruga eques (Rhacophoridae), a species endemic to Sri Lanka restricted to the Central Hill Country, which gets its common name by the hour-glass shaped marking its dorsum. 

It is supposed that Taruga eques is a species complex enclosing the Polypedates eques group.

This arboreal and terrestrial frog is considered Endangered on the IUCN Red List because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.

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

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

libutron

libutron:

Thesit-and-wait feeding strategy of the Surinam Horned Frog - Ceratophrys cornuta 

It has been said that frogs of the South American genus Ceratophrys (Leptodactylidae) can best be described as big, bad and beautiful. Big because of their size (C. cornuta attains a length of up to 15 cm), bad because they are aggressive, and beautiful because of their often gaudy combinations of green and brown dorsal coloration.

The Surinam Horned Frog, Ceratophrys cornuta occurs in the Amazon Basin (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru and Suriname). These frogs are voracious predators, which use a sit-and-wait feeding strategy to ambush prey that varies from ants to small vertebrates.

Horned frogs bury themselves in the leaves on the ground with only the head sticking out. Once in this position and helped by its camouflage coloration, C. cornuta waits for something edible to pass by and eats almost anything that passes, as long as it will fit in the frog’s mouth.

The cryptic coloration of these frogs is thought to be an anti-predator adaptation as it aids in camouflaging them in their surroundings. It is also thought that the horns may function as part of this camouflage, since the horns may be perceived by predators as the stem of a leaf or other such object

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Robert Oelman | Locality: unknown (2013) | [Top] - [Bottom]

Boophis ankarafensis:
A New Species of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) from the Sahamalaza Peninsula, northwest Madagascar, with Acoustic Monitoring of its Nocturnal Calling  [2014]
A new species of treefrog of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) is described from the Sahamalaza – Iles Radama National Park in northwest Madagascar.
This new species is green in colour with bright red speckling across its head and dorsum; similar in morphology to other species of this group including: B. bottae, B. rappiodes, B. erythrodactylus and B. tasymena.
All individuals were detected from the banks of two streams in Ankarafa Forest. The new species represents the only member of the B. rappiodes group endemic to Madagascar’s western coast, with the majority of other members known from the eastern rainforest belt.
Despite its conspicuous call, it has not been detected from other surveys of northwest Madagascar and it is likely to be a local endemic to the peninsula. The ranges of two other amphibian species also appear restricted to Sahamalaza, and so the area seems to support a high level of endemicity.
Although occurring inside a National Park, this species is highly threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat. Due to these threats it is proposed that this species should be classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria…
read the paper  
(via: NovaTaxa - Species New to Science)

Boophis ankarafensis:

A New Species of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) from the Sahamalaza Peninsula, northwest Madagascar, with Acoustic Monitoring of its Nocturnal Calling  [2014]

A new species of treefrog of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) is described from the Sahamalaza – Iles Radama National Park in northwest Madagascar.

This new species is green in colour with bright red speckling across its head and dorsum; similar in morphology to other species of this group including: B. bottae, B. rappiodes, B. erythrodactylus and B. tasymena.

All individuals were detected from the banks of two streams in Ankarafa Forest. The new species represents the only member of the B. rappiodes group endemic to Madagascar’s western coast, with the majority of other members known from the eastern rainforest belt.

Despite its conspicuous call, it has not been detected from other surveys of northwest Madagascar and it is likely to be a local endemic to the peninsula. The ranges of two other amphibian species also appear restricted to Sahamalaza, and so the area seems to support a high level of endemicity.

Although occurring inside a National Park, this species is highly threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat. Due to these threats it is proposed that this species should be classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria…

read the paper 

(via: NovaTaxa - Species New to Science)

scientificillustration
jehart:

Red-eyed tree frog life cycle
in watercolour and technical pen on Arches hotpress watercolour board. 
Finally posting this piece, which I finished a while ago. This was part of my semi-private lessons on topics in scientific illustration, and was the first time I’d made a descriptive illustration in watercolour (usually, it’s Adobe Illustrator). I’ve discovered that I’m not so skilled in painting backgrounds, but it was an interesting learning experience, and I think that it would be fun to try again some day. I’m not crazy about the illustration board I use, since it curved severely under heavy washes, so next time I’ll probably use stretched or heavy hotpress paper. On the plus side, it holds up remarkably well to multiple layers of liquid masking fluid. 

jehart:

Red-eyed tree frog life cycle

in watercolour and technical pen on Arches hotpress watercolour board. 

Finally posting this piece, which I finished a while ago. This was part of my semi-private lessons on topics in scientific illustration, and was the first time I’d made a descriptive illustration in watercolour (usually, it’s Adobe Illustrator). I’ve discovered that I’m not so skilled in painting backgrounds, but it was an interesting learning experience, and I think that it would be fun to try again some day. I’m not crazy about the illustration board I use, since it curved severely under heavy washes, so next time I’ll probably use stretched or heavy hotpress paper. On the plus side, it holds up remarkably well to multiple layers of liquid masking fluid. 

The Madagascar Poison Frog, Mantella baroni, lives only in swamp forests, semi-arid streambeds, bamboo groves, and stream side forests in east-central Madagascar. These frogs are active diurnal foragers. They eat various arthropods, mostly ants, but also beetles and mites. This diet creates high alkaloid concentrations in the frogs’ skin, making them toxic to predators. The bright colors of M. baroni are thus aposematic and serve as a warning to predators. Read more: Encyclopedia of LifeImage by Kristian; via iNaturalist.org 

The Madagascar Poison Frog, Mantella baroni, lives only in swamp forests, semi-arid streambeds, bamboo groves, and stream side forests in east-central Madagascar. These frogs are active diurnal foragers. They eat various arthropods, mostly ants, but also beetles and mites. This diet creates high alkaloid concentrations in the frogs’ skin, making them toxic to predators. The bright colors of M. baroni are thus aposematic and serve as a warning to predators.

Read more: Encyclopedia of Life

Image by Kristian; via iNaturalist.org 

libutron
libutron:

Harlequin Toad - Atelopus spumarius barbotini
This is a toad endemic to the Central Massif of French Guiana. It can be easily distinguished from the other species of the Guianan region by its body color and the shape of its dorsal pattern. However, despite being very distinctive, the taxonomy of the species or subspecies is not fully resolved.
Formerly this toad was called Atelopus spumarius barbotini (Bufonidae), but it seems that populations of this form and another ones in the Atelopus spumarius group might be treated as a species complex, and it has not been cleared out how many and how they are related. 
Anyway, the species Atelopus spumarius, including its subspecies, is regarded as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Henk Wallays | Locality: Panama (2008)

libutron:

Harlequin Toad - Atelopus spumarius barbotini

This is a toad endemic to the Central Massif of French Guiana. It can be easily distinguished from the other species of the Guianan region by its body color and the shape of its dorsal pattern. However, despite being very distinctive, the taxonomy of the species or subspecies is not fully resolved.

Formerly this toad was called Atelopus spumarius barbotini (Bufonidae), but it seems that populations of this form and another ones in the Atelopus spumarius group might be treated as a species complex, and it has not been cleared out how many and how they are related. 

Anyway, the species Atelopus spumarius, including its subspecies, is regarded as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.

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

Photo credit: ©Henk Wallays | Locality: Panama (2008)

Tiny Newly Discovered Frog From Brazil Given Heroic Name
The Atlantic Forest is a hotspot of biodiversity and one of the most species richness biome of anurans (frogs, tree-frogs, and toads) in the world. However, current levels of diversity might be still underestimated.
In the past few years has been an increase in the description of new endemic species of this biome along with the advance of molecular techniques and availability of samples for DNA analysis.
Using a more extensive number of samples for molecular and morphological analysis, researchers from the University of Richmond and The George Washington University described a tiny new species of narrow-mouthed frog from the Microhylidae family in the open access journal ZooKeys.
Chiasmocleis quilombola occurs in the Atlantic Forest of the Espírito Santo State, southeastern Brazil. Despite its modest size, adults reach only about 14 mm, the new species bears a heroic name inspired by the quilombos communities typical of the Espírito Santo State in Brazil, where the frogs were collected…
(read more: Science Daily)
Credit: João F. R. Tonini; CC-BY 4.0

Tiny Newly Discovered Frog From Brazil Given Heroic Name

The Atlantic Forest is a hotspot of biodiversity and one of the most species richness biome of anurans (frogs, tree-frogs, and toads) in the world. However, current levels of diversity might be still underestimated.

In the past few years has been an increase in the description of new endemic species of this biome along with the advance of molecular techniques and availability of samples for DNA analysis.

Using a more extensive number of samples for molecular and morphological analysis, researchers from the University of Richmond and The George Washington University described a tiny new species of narrow-mouthed frog from the Microhylidae family in the open access journal ZooKeys.

Chiasmocleis quilombola occurs in the Atlantic Forest of the Espírito Santo State, southeastern Brazil. Despite its modest size, adults reach only about 14 mm, the new species bears a heroic name inspired by the quilombos communities typical of the Espírito Santo State in Brazil, where the frogs were collected…

(read more: Science Daily)

Credit: João F. R. Tonini; CC-BY 4.0

CURRENT WORK IN HERPETOLOGY:
How amphibians crossed continents: DNA helps piece together 300-million-year journey
Source: George Washington University
A professor at GWU has succeeded in constructing a first-of-its-kind comprehensive diagram of the geographic distribution of amphibians, showing the movement of 3,309 species between 12 global ecoregions. Armed with DNA sequence data, he sought to accurately piece together the 300-million-year storyline of their journey…
(read more: Science Daily)
photo: Pseudophilautus poppiae, a microendemic shrub frog from Southern Sri Lanka that only occurs in a few hectares of cloud forest. (Credit: Alex Pyron)

CURRENT WORK IN HERPETOLOGY:

How amphibians crossed continents: DNA helps piece together 300-million-year journey

Source: George Washington University

A professor at GWU has succeeded in constructing a first-of-its-kind comprehensive diagram of the geographic distribution of amphibians, showing the movement of 3,309 species between 12 global ecoregions. Armed with DNA sequence data, he sought to accurately piece together the 300-million-year storyline of their journey…

(read more: Science Daily)

photo: Pseudophilautus poppiae, a microendemic shrub frog from Southern Sri Lanka that only occurs in a few hectares of cloud forest. (Credit: Alex Pyron)