Sunday Species Snapshot: Panamanian Golden Frog
by John R. Platt
These tiny, brightly colored amphibians pack a potent neurotoxin on their skin. That toxin protected them from predators, but it won’t save them from extinction. They haven’t been seen in the wild in seven years.
Species name: Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki). This is actually a misnomer. These “frogs” are actually toads!
Where found: The mountain ranges and streams of central Panama. Well, that’s where they used to be found…
IUCN Red List status: Officially they are still listed as critically endangered, but populations of this species have crashed so dramatically that they may actually be functionally extinct, if not already extinct, in the wild. The last documented frog in the wild was seen in 2007.
Major threat: Long protected under Panamanian law, the golden frogs have faced numerous threats ranging from deforestation to water pollution to the pet trade. But it was the arrival of the amphibian-killing disease chytridiomycosis in 2004 which effectively (and quite quickly) wiped out this species…
(read more: Scientific American)
image by Heather Paul via Flickr.

Sunday Species Snapshot: Panamanian Golden Frog

by John R. Platt

These tiny, brightly colored amphibians pack a potent neurotoxin on their skin. That toxin protected them from predators, but it won’t save them from extinction. They haven’t been seen in the wild in seven years.

Species name: Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki). This is actually a misnomer. These “frogs” are actually toads!

Where found: The mountain ranges and streams of central Panama. Well, that’s where they used to be found…

IUCN Red List status: Officially they are still listed as critically endangered, but populations of this species have crashed so dramatically that they may actually be functionally extinct, if not already extinct, in the wild. The last documented frog in the wild was seen in 2007.

Major threat: Long protected under Panamanian law, the golden frogs have faced numerous threats ranging from deforestation to water pollution to the pet trade. But it was the arrival of the amphibian-killing disease chytridiomycosis in 2004 which effectively (and quite quickly) wiped out this species…

(read more: Scientific American)

image by Heather Paul via Flickr.

Rediscovery of a “Lost” Andean Toad after 43 year disappearance

Scientists discover a relict population of bizarre toads in rapidly disappearing cloud forests of northwest Ecuador

A team of U.S. and Ecuadorian scientists working in the remote cloud forests of northwest Ecuador with the international non-profit The Biodiversity Group have rediscovered a population of the once thought extinct Tandayapa Andean Toad (Andinophryne olallai). The rediscovery, reported in an article published in the open-access journal Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, marks the first time the species has been seen in 43 years and sheds light on the species natural history and conservation status for the first time. The study is authored by scientists from The Biodiversity Group, Museo de Zoología of Catholic University of Ecuador and the local community organization Manduriacu Cooperative.

The toad genus Andinophryne is made up of three barely-studied and endangered species restricted to Andean cloud forests of western Ecuador and Colombia. Of the three species, the Tandayapa Andean Toad is the least known, with the only previous observation being the individual from the original species description from Tandayapa, Ecuador in 1970. Its scarcity earned the species a spot on the World’s “Lost Frogs” List by Conservation International…

(read more: http://www.amphibians.org/news/andinophryne-discovery)

photos by Santiago R. Ron; adult - top and juvenile - bttm

libutron
shychemist:

Rhinela yunga: New Poisonous Toad Species Found in Peru

The new species, named Rhinella yunga, belongs to Bufonidae – a large toad family composed of more than 30 genera.
These toads have a warty, robust body and a pair of large poison parotoid glands on the back of their heads.
The poison is excreted by the toads when stressed as a protective mechanism. Some toads are more toxic than others.
Males also possess a special organ, which after removing of testes becomes an active ovary and the toad, in effect, becomes female.
Like many other Bufonidae toads, Rhinella yunga has a cryptic body coloration resembling the decaying leaves in the forest floor, which is in combination with expanded cranial crests and bony protrusions cleverly securing perfect camouflage…
(read more)

shychemist:

Rhinela yunga: New Poisonous Toad Species Found in Peru

The new species, named Rhinella yunga, belongs to Bufonidae – a large toad family composed of more than 30 genera.

These toads have a warty, robust body and a pair of large poison parotoid glands on the back of their heads.

The poison is excreted by the toads when stressed as a protective mechanism. Some toads are more toxic than others.

Males also possess a special organ, which after removing of testes becomes an active ovary and the toad, in effect, becomes female.

Like many other Bufonidae toads, Rhinella yunga has a cryptic body coloration resembling the decaying leaves in the forest floor, which is in combination with expanded cranial crests and bony protrusions cleverly securing perfect camouflage…

(read more)

palaeopedia
palaeopedia:

The southern frog, Notosuchus (1956)
Phylum : ChordataClass : AmphibiaOrder : AnuraSuborder : ArchaeobatrachiaFamily : AscaphidaeGenus : NotosuchusSpecies : N. degiustoi, N. reigi
Middle Jurassic (170 - 155 Ma)
15 cm long (size)
Argentina (map)
Notobatrachus degiustoi is the most completely known Jurassic frog and has been recorded in many outcrops of the La Matilde Formation of the Deseado Massif area in southern Patagonia. Herein, we erect a new species of the genus based on partially articulated remains collected from the Callovian Las Chacritas Member of the Cañadón Asfalto Formation, about 500 km northwest of the northern limit of the known geographical distribution of N. degiustoi. The new species differs from the latter in having a maxilla with a distinct pterygoid process and lacking teeth at least along the posterior two-thirds of its length, and a complete maxillary arch. We also provide an expanded diagnosis of Notobatrachus. This finding adds to our understanding of the early diversification of frogs.

palaeopedia:

The southern frog, Notosuchus (1956)

Phylum : Chordata
Class : Amphibia
Order : Anura
Suborder : Archaeobatrachia
Family : Ascaphidae
Genus : Notosuchus
Species : N. degiustoi, N. reigi

  • Middle Jurassic (170 - 155 Ma)
  • 15 cm long (size)
  • Argentina (map)

Notobatrachus degiustoi is the most completely known Jurassic frog and has been recorded in many outcrops of the La Matilde Formation of the Deseado Massif area in southern Patagonia. Herein, we erect a new species of the genus based on partially articulated remains collected from the Callovian Las Chacritas Member of the Cañadón Asfalto Formation, about 500 km northwest of the northern limit of the known geographical distribution of N. degiustoi. The new species differs from the latter in having a maxilla with a distinct pterygoid process and lacking teeth at least along the posterior two-thirds of its length, and a complete maxillary arch. We also provide an expanded diagnosis of Notobatrachus. This finding adds to our understanding of the early diversification of frogs.

Project NOAH Spotting of the Day: 
Fire Toad (Leptophryne cruentata)
photograph by Dan Doucette
Also known as the Bleeding Toad, this amphibian is critically endangered (IUCN list) and is endemic to West Java. I spotted this toad on a tree just off the walkway in Gunung Gede national park. The same toad is featured on the pamphlet for the park. Thanks to Jason Alexander for help in finding the latin name.
(via: Dan Doucette @ Project NOAH)

Project NOAH Spotting of the Day:

Fire Toad (Leptophryne cruentata)

photograph by Dan Doucette

Also known as the Bleeding Toad, this amphibian is critically endangered (IUCN list) and is endemic to West Java. I spotted this toad on a tree just off the walkway in Gunung Gede national park. The same toad is featured on the pamphlet for the park. Thanks to Jason Alexander for help in finding the latin name.

(via: Dan Doucette @ Project NOAH)

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;

Thought-to-be-extinct ‘halloween’ frog rediscovered in Costa Rica
by Rhett A. Butler
A breeding population of a critically endangered harlequin toad thought to be extinct in Costa Rica has been discovered in a tract of highland forest in the Central American country, reports a paper published in Amphibia-Reptilia.
Atelopus varius, an orange-and-black harlequin toad, was once relatively common from central Costa Rica to western Panama. But beginning in the 1980’s the species experienced a rapid population collapse across most of its range likely due to the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus that has been wiping out amphibian populations around the globe…
(read more: MongaBay)
photo: González-Maya et al 2013.

Thought-to-be-extinct ‘halloween’ frog rediscovered in Costa Rica

by Rhett A. Butler

A breeding population of a critically endangered harlequin toad thought to be extinct in Costa Rica has been discovered in a tract of highland forest in the Central American country, reports a paper published in Amphibia-Reptilia.

Atelopus varius, an orange-and-black harlequin toad, was once relatively common from central Costa Rica to western Panama. But beginning in the 1980’s the species experienced a rapid population collapse across most of its range likely due to the spread of the deadly chytrid fungus that has been wiping out amphibian populations around the globe…

(read more: MongaBay)

photo: González-Maya et al 2013.

astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

Carvalho’s Surinam Toad (Pipa carvalhoi)
…a species of star-fingered toad that is endemic to Brazil. P. carvalhoi typically inhabits both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Ranging from forests, savannas, shrublands, marshes and ponds. Like other frogs P. carvalhoi likely feeds mostly on aquatic invertebrates and small fish.
Although Pipa carvalhoi is listed as least concern it is currently threatened by habitat loss.
Classification
Animalia-Chordata-Amphibia-Anura-Pipidae-Pipa-P. carvalhoi
Image: Lucas Grandinetti

astronomy-to-zoology:

Carvalho’s Surinam Toad (Pipa carvalhoi)

…a species of star-fingered toad that is endemic to Brazil. P. carvalhoi typically inhabits both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. Ranging from forests, savannas, shrublands, marshes and ponds. Like other frogs P. carvalhoi likely feeds mostly on aquatic invertebrates and small fish.

Although Pipa carvalhoi is listed as least concern it is currently threatened by habitat loss.

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Amphibia-Anura-Pipidae-Pipa-P. carvalhoi

Image: Lucas Grandinetti