libutron

libutron:

The voracious Labyrinth Frog - Leptodactylus labyrinthicus

Leptodactylus labyrinthicus (Leptodactylidae) is a large frog from the L. pentadactylus group (sensu Heyer, 1979; 2005). The species is widely distributed in open areas, forest enclaves and semi-deciduous forests of eastern South America. It occurs in central and southeastern Brazil, Bolivia, northern Argentina and eastern Paraguay.

It is a voracious generalist frog whose diet includes other amphibians, amphisbaenians, lizards, snakes and a small rodent species of the Family Muridae. It seems that probably swallows every moving prey within its range.

Other common names: South American Pepper Frog, Pepper Frog, Pepper Foam Frog, Rana Pimienta, Sapo-toro Laberíntico.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Pedro H. Martins | Locality: Ibiá, Minas Gerais, Brazil (2011) | [Top] - [Bottom]

libutron
libutron:

The rare Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad - Ansonia latiffi
Described in 2008, the Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad, Ansonia latiffi (Bufonidae), is known to occur in Sungai Lembing, Gunug Benom, Ulu Tahan and Gunung Lawit, central and east Peninsular Malaysia.
Females are larger than males (females reaching 51 mm SVL, and males reaching 39.3 mm). The fingers are long, slender, lack webbing, and with tips rounded. The dorsal surface is granulous, nearly uniform brownish-red, with orangish-yellow spots on arms and legs.
Ansonia latiffi inhabits hilly, closed canopy forests, and is considered to be a rare species.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©M.A. Muin | Locality: Terengganu, Malaysia (2011)

libutron:

The rare Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad - Ansonia latiffi

Described in 2008, the Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad, Ansonia latiffi (Bufonidae), is known to occur in Sungai Lembing, Gunug Benom, Ulu Tahan and Gunung Lawit, central and east Peninsular Malaysia.

Females are larger than males (females reaching 51 mm SVL, and males reaching 39.3 mm). The fingers are long, slender, lack webbing, and with tips rounded. The dorsal surface is granulous, nearly uniform brownish-red, with orangish-yellow spots on arms and legs.

Ansonia latiffi inhabits hilly, closed canopy forests, and is considered to be a rare species.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©M.A. Muin | Locality: Terengganu, Malaysia (2011)

Wood Frogs and Other Animals That Can Take Extreme Temperature

by Gloria Dickie

It’s the ultimate deep freeze: Wood frogs in Alaska have set a record for cold endurance, staying as frozen as your microwave dinner for nearly seven months, a new study says.

Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks discovered that the amphibians survived all those months being chilled to an average temperature of 6°F (-14.6°C), including temperatures as low as 0°F (-18°C).

“No other vertebrate has ever shown this duration of freeze tolerance,” said biologist Don Larson, lead author on a study published recently in the Journal of Experimental Biology

(read more: National Geographic)

photos: Carl Battreall, Bill Beatty, and Steve Gschmeissner

Removing Just a Few Trees Can Lower Tropical Animal Biodiversity
Selective logging can halve the number of species of mammals and amphibians in a forest
by Sarah Zielinski

It’s easy to understand how the clear-cutting of vast tracts of tropical forest might be bad. After all, the loss of all those trees is bound to also take out many of the animals that made that forest their home. So selective logging—in which just at most 20 trees are removed from a single hectare of land (10,000 square meters, about the size of two football fields)—would seem to be a no-brainer improvement.
But a new study published today in Current Biology is adding to evidence that this type of timber removal can still be destructive. Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich and colleagues found that taking out just three or four trees in a hectare of tropical forest can halve the number of mammal species present. Logging six or seven trees can do the same to amphibians…
(read more: Smithsonian Magazine)
photo:This toad, Dendrophryniscus sp., lives in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. (© TIAGO QUEIROZ/dpa/Corbis)

Removing Just a Few Trees Can Lower Tropical Animal Biodiversity

Selective logging can halve the number of species of mammals and amphibians in a forest

by Sarah Zielinski

It’s easy to understand how the clear-cutting of vast tracts of tropical forest might be bad. After all, the loss of all those trees is bound to also take out many of the animals that made that forest their home. So selective logging—in which just at most 20 trees are removed from a single hectare of land (10,000 square meters, about the size of two football fields)—would seem to be a no-brainer improvement.

But a new study published today in Current Biology is adding to evidence that this type of timber removal can still be destructive. Zuzana Burivalova of ETH Zurich and colleagues found that taking out just three or four trees in a hectare of tropical forest can halve the number of mammal species present. Logging six or seven trees can do the same to amphibians…

(read more: Smithsonian Magazine)

photo:This toad, Dendrophryniscus sp., lives in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil. (© TIAGO QUEIROZ/dpa/Corbis)

Explainer: What are endocrine disruptors?
Some chemicals can mimic hormones, and in doing so wrongly turn on or off important bodily processes
by Janet Raloff
Hormones are like the managers of the body’s organs and other tissues. These chemicals order cells — from your head to your toes — to switch on or off some particular activity. The brain usually coordinates the release of hormones, sending these managers to a particular job site when it’s time for work to begin. But sometimes industrial chemicals and pollutants can mimic these managers. When such imposters enter the body, they can alter when or how an organism develops, what it looks like — even whether it gets some disease.
Toxicologists — the scientists who study the action of poisons — have begun referring to these hormone mimics as endocrine disruptors. That’s because the endocrine system releases hormones. And these chemicals fake out the normal players in this system…
(read more: ScienceNews for Students)
*********************
photo: Scientists raised this species of frog in water tainted with what the U.S. government considers acceptable levels of the weed killer atrazine. Males sometimes underwent a dramatic change — into apparent females. The pollutant had acted on them like a hormone. (by Furryscaly/Flickr)

Explainer: What are endocrine disruptors?

Some chemicals can mimic hormones, and in doing so wrongly turn on or off important bodily processes

by Janet Raloff

Hormones are like the managers of the body’s organs and other tissues. These chemicals order cells — from your head to your toes — to switch on or off some particular activity. The brain usually coordinates the release of hormones, sending these managers to a particular job site when it’s time for work to begin. But sometimes industrial chemicals and pollutants can mimic these managers. When such imposters enter the body, they can alter when or how an organism develops, what it looks like — even whether it gets some disease.

Toxicologists — the scientists who study the action of poisons — have begun referring to these hormone mimics as endocrine disruptors. That’s because the endocrine system releases hormones. And these chemicals fake out the normal players in this system…

(read more: ScienceNews for Students)

*********************

photo: Scientists raised this species of frog in water tainted with what the U.S. government considers acceptable levels of the weed killer atrazine. Males sometimes underwent a dramatic change — into apparent females. The pollutant had acted on them like a hormone. (by Furryscaly/Flickr)

libutron

libutron:

Raorchestes ochlandrae

Just described to science in 2007, Raorchestes ochlandrae (Rhacophoridae) is a species of shrub frog only known from the Western Ghats (india).

As in other species within the genus, Raorchestes ochlandrae has amazing protruding eyes with striking golden-yellow marks in the pupil. 

Another characteristic of the species is the presence of two distinct golden yellow lateral bands bordered by dark brown from upper eyelid to the posterior part of flanks.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Sandeep Das | Locality: Malabar, Kerala, India (2011)] - [Middle: ©Sandeep Das | Locality: Malabar, Kerala, India (2010)] - [Bottom: Holotype | Locality: Kakkayam Reserve Forest, Calicut district, Kerala state, southern Western Ghats, India]

The search for the Great Basin spadefoot

by Richard Bartlett

How far would you drive to see and photograph a frog?

Well, a toad actually. Or to be absolutely accurate, a spadefoot, a little burrowing anuran of the family Pelobatidae. How far? Not too far, you say. But that statement really means nothing. It needs to be quantified. Would you go 100 miles? Maybe. 200 miles? Well, for a good reason, maybe. But the reason would have to be good. 500 miles? Nope. Never.

I needed a photo of a Great Basin spadefoot, Spea intermontana, and I had already failed on two attempts, each of which entailed a drive from Florida to southern California and back. On the second attempt I had met up with Gary Nafis, Pacific Coast herper par excellence. Together we had failed, and I was looking at another 2,500 mile drive back home with a big X rather than a photo next to the Great Basin spadefoot listing…

(read more: Kingsnake.com)

photographs by Richard Bartlett

Huge Congregation of River Frogs Documented in Georgia

by Dirk Stevenson

When the accomplished Albert Hazen Wright (1879-1970), Cornell University Professor and Herpetologist, first encountered the strange tadpoles of the River Frog (Lithobates heckscheri), he knew instantly he was looking at a new species. Wright, who described the new frog in 1924, wrote of the species’ habitat”…swampy edges of rivers and streams, a truly fluviatile species” and mentioned that the polliwogs “travel in big schools as no other big tadpoles do.”

John Jensen, herpetologist with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and Jim Wright (no relation to Albert) just published a fascinating paper in the current issue of Herpetological Review about the River Frog. Last May, along the shores of a tributary to Muckalee Creek, Jim snapped incredible photos of a mass metamorphosis event of River Frogs—an estimated 4,000 tadpoles transformed and became froglets, congregating on nearby sand-and-mud-bars.

An adult female River Frog can lay 5,000 to 14,000 eggs in a floating surface film. The tadpoles require one to two years to develop and sometimes reach phenomenal sizes (ca. 5 inches) prior to metamorphosis…

(read more: Orianne Society)

Photos by Jim Wright and Dirk Stevenson