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Raining sheep frogs


Sheep frog, Gastrophryne pictiventris (c) Andrew Gray

In many parts of the world there are some frogs that are typically named ‘Rain Frogs’. Several live in arid regions and only emerge when it rains, but in Costa Rica other frogs, those belonging to the genus ‘Eleutherodactylus’, also carry the same common name. Eleutherodactylid species are actually very common to find here, even when it’s not raining.

However, one species from another group of frogs found here, the Microhylids, I personally class as a real ‘rain frog’ – gastrophryne pictiventris. This species actually carries the unusual common name of ‘Sheep Frog’ – because the frog’s call sounds remarkably like a bleating sheep!


Spot the sheep frog? (c) Andrew Gray

Unlike others, these frogs can only be found in the rainforest when it pours, emerging from the leaf litter where they spend most of their lives. As you might expect, they are extremely well-camoufaged and so are very difficult to find at any other time. For much of our time in Costa Rica its poured down with rain, but just before leaving and when we thought it was raining too hard for any frogs to show themselves:


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