Strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio) of Costa Rica give their newborn tadpoles a built-in weapon against predators: alkaloids.
Various animals and plants use alkaloids—naturally occurring, bitter-tasting chemical compounds—as a first line of defense.
But “prior to this study, most of what we knew about alkaloids in these frogs came from adults. So, we decided to fill this void by looking at alkaloids in all life stages of the strawberry poison frog,” Saporito said.
The team already knew that strawberry poison frog mothers feed their babies unfertilized eggs. But their new research revealed the eggs are also spiked with alkaloids—the first time an animal has been found to pass on such chemical defenses to its offspring.
For their study, the researchers measured alkaloid content in strawberry poison frogs during different stages of development.
In one group, tadpoles were reared and fed by their mothers, and a second group was reared by the researchers and fed with eggs from another species of frog not known to harbor alkaloids…
Strange mouth-brooding frog driven to extinction by disease
by MongaBay staff
An unusual species of mouth-brooding frog was likely driven to extinction by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), making an unusual example of ‘extinction by infection’, argue scientists writing in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.
A team of researchers led by Claudio Soto-Azat of the Universidad Andres Bello in Santiago and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) took samples from hundreds of preserved specimens of Darwin’s frogs (the northern Darwin’s frogRhinoderma rufum and the southern Darwin’s frogRhinoderma darwinii) that were collected from the wild between 1835 and 1989 and looked for the presence of Bd, a fungus that causes the disease chytridiomycosis. They also collected samples from surviving wild populations of Rhinoderma darwinii from Chile and Argentina.
The researchers found high prevalence of Bd at sites that had experienced Rhinoderma extinction or severe population declines, indicating a likely link between the disease and population collapse…
Taxonomic Status and Distribution of Leptobrachium smithi Matsui, Nabhitabhata & Panha, 1999 (Anura: Megophryidae) in India with New Locality Records 
The Megophrid genus Leptobrachium Tschudi, 1838 represents a group of megophryid frogs characterized by a stocky body with wide head, slender, long forelimbs, and short hindlimbs. Currently the genus is represented by 32 species, of which two have been reported from India. Recently, in describing L. rakhinensis from Rakhini State of Myanmar, Wogan (2012) suggested the presence of the species also in India because the Rakhini Hills are biogeographically contiguous to Assam Hills of Northeast India.
Comparing the detailed morphometry and colour pattern of L. rakhinensis and L. smithi with the Northeast India populations of Leptobrachium, we conclude that the Northeast Indian populations closely resemble L. smithi in all aspects, and we recommend to apply the nomen L. smithi for those populations.
reference: Dipankar Dutta, Abhijit Das, Amalesh Dutta, Jayanta Gogoi and Saibal Sengupta. 2013. Tropical Natural History. 13(2): 87-95
One of the many species of amphibians endemic to the tepuis (high flat plateaus in venezuela), the Roraima black frog (Oreophrynella quelchii) is restricted to the summit of two tepuis, Mount Roraima and Wei-Assipo-Tepui
The Ecuador Poison Frog (Ameerega bilinguis) is a species of frog in the Dendrobatidae family.
It is found in Colombia, Ecuador, and possibly Peru. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, rivers, intermittent rivers, freshwater marshes, and intermittent freshwater marshes. It is threatened by habitat loss. The flashy and brilliant colors of this species constitutes a warning for its potential predators that its skin produces poison, a feature that makes it an undesirable food source.
It is very common to hear the male singing from slightly elevates areas in search of a female. After copulating they are the ones in charge of transporting the tadpoles on their backs towards ponds, where the tadpoles complete their development.
Starrett’s Glass Frog, Hyalinobatrachium vireovittatum, is a very rare frog known only from a few specimens. It inhabits humid montane forest in Costa Rica, and is seen in bushes and trees along forest streams, where larvae develop.
Females deposit clutches of green eggs on the undersides of leaves. Males guard the eggs at night and perform “ventral hydric brooding” by bringing their posterior and thighs into contact with the eggs and emptying their bladder over them. Thanks, Dad!
This video shows how small frogs and other animals use the FrogLog to escape from swimming pools. The FrogLog provides an escape ramp for lizards, chipmunks, squirrels, mice, birds, bats, ducklings, and other small animals.
5 Costa Rican frogs that came back from suspected extinction and 1 that didn’t
by Lindsay Fendt
After mass declines in populations in Costa Rica, scientists now have some hope for many of these tiny amphibians.
Climate change, habitat destruction, the illegal pet trade and the spread of a severe and incurable fungus have been killing off amphibian species in droves in Costa Rica since the late 1980s. Many once-abundant species are now extinct, but according to a study released this month in the journal Amphibia-Reptilia, there may be hope.
The study discusses the rediscovery of the orange or yellow and black harlequin frog species, known as the clown frog or Halloween frog, which was declared extinct – then rediscovered – in Costa Rica twice, most recently in 2008.
The species is among several types of harlequin frogs that have re-emerged in Costa Rica since 2005 and scientists believe this could be the beginning of a slew of amphibian rediscoveries following massive population declines…
(read more: Tico Times)
photos: Matt McGee; Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Robert Pushendorf; University of Kansas;
…is a species of hemiphractid frog that occurs in Colombia, Ecuador, Panama and possible Costa Rica. H. fasciatus typically inhabits humid lowland, montane and cloud forests. Individuals are active at night and will prey on other frogs and obsessionally small invertebrates.
Currently Hemiphractus fasciatus is listed as near threatened and faces threats from deforestation and pollution.