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Astonishing new amphibian predator!

Image of Balatro spp. Copywrite: Universidad de zoologia

I just felt I should write a short note regarding the amazing discovery highlighted in the recent press about the tiny venomous Cephalapod, (Balatro mensis mensis) that has been found predating on treefrogs. It is increadible that no-one has ever filmed or photographed this creature before. As people will know, many frogs are threatened by a variety of factors, including climate change, pesticides and de-forestation. Surely this tiny, tree-dwelling, killer octopus is the last thing they need. Since the findings were published there have been several new reports from the small area it is known to populate.

Apparently, these tiny chocolate-brown predators have evolved a waxy secretion to enable them to spend some of their time out of water and can climb really well. They have good eyesight and are very cunning in how they catch their food, which consists mainly of tree frogs. They sit in wait and then when an ususpecting frog lands nearby they let out a blood-curdling scream and jump on the poor frog’s back. They then invenomate the frog through the skin, turn the frog over so as to get to the soft underside and then devour it. It can kill frogs 5 or 6 times its own size and can increase the scream it lets out depending on the frog’s size. Amazing! Above is the famous spanish picture of the small brown Balatro spp (a male specimen) feeding on a treefrog. Why anyone would want to save these or similar species is beyond me, but for further information on other unusual tree dwelling Octopus species please see: http://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

Below is a video clip of me with a related species off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica:


5 Responses

  1. Haha! Brilliant, do you think I will get away with putting this in my dissertation was literally writing the amphibian threats section as I read this!!!

  2. I would personally like to thank Andrew and Adam for the time they took today to talk about their work. It was fascinating and I could have asked questions all day!

  3. Wow, they sound awesome (obviously not for the poor amphibs though!)
    Andrew and Adam a massive thanks for your talk last Tuesday, you were both so inspiring and it was amazing to find out about all the research and conservation efforts you do with the museum!! Thanks!!

  4. Thanks for your comment Charlie and Siuna, so pleased you enjoyed the visit! This was actually a April 1st joke post… 🙂 However, any more such great comments about the visit would be most welcome!: https://frogblogmanchester.com/2013/02/24/meeting-at-myerscough/#respond

  5. oh well that’s just mean!!!
    I got really excited about it then – and they look so cute!!

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