Tree frog comparables – divergent evolution?

In recent posts I forgot to mention in that the Cruziohyla leaf frogs can also be differentiated by the fact that they lack the gold reticulated membrane found in Agalychnis leaf frogs. A few other Latin American frogs also have this feature including one found in Ecuador: http://www.payaminoproject.org.uk/unreported.html and more interestingly, a single species found in Australia, the lace-lid treefrog Nyctimystes dayi. lacelid

This species also has a similar reticulated eye membrane to Agalychnis, but the frog is totally unrelated to the Central American Agalychnis or Cruziohyla leaf frogs. I spotted this lace-lid (pictured) perched on a large moss-covered boulder during a most amazing night hike up a mountain stream in Queensland some years ago whilst on holiday. I remember chasing after him, on my own, in the dark (apart from my head-torch beam), jumping from huge slippery boulder to higher slippery boulder over treacherously fast-flowing water that was at least one and a half metres deep. Man, it was one hell of a good frogging night!

Back to being sensible, it appears that several other Australian treefrogs also share interesting similarities with the Central American leaf frogs, including the fact that the unusual pigment Pterorhodin is found in the skin of both red-eyed treefrogs Agalychnis callidryas (Latino) and Litoria chloris (Oz). Is this really a good case of divergent evolution? I am not so sure..  I was just wondering of anyone might like to share a view on all this?

Australian red-eye

Australian red-eye

Whilst in Queensland I searched and searched for the afore mentioned Australian red-eyed tree frog. The weather was the driest in years. Night after night I looked and nearly gave up after not a single red-eyed frog could be found in the area where I was staying. It was time to move on, but on the last day the heavens opened. That night I couldn’t even drive down the road for fear of squashing them – they were everywhere!! I walked in front of the car clearing the frogs from the road, and cringed every time someone drove past in the opposite direction. Frog conservation… you bet! Above is a pic of one that wasn’t squished….

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5 Responses

  1. […] Tree Frog Comparables: Divergent Evolution? From Frog Blog Manchester! […]

  2. The Australian red eye is very captivating. Very nice shot against the dark surrounding.

    I thoroughly enjoy frog pictures. They must be the most colorful animal species on earth, after the birds. Let’s hope they last many generations to come so our children’s children can enjoy them, too.

    • Thanks very much – and the frogs are even more captiviating in real life! I agree with your sentiments about future generations and am happy to link to photo site.

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