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Harlequin Toad Update

Atelopus 7Regular readers of our blog may remember that earlier in the year we acquired a group of Harlequin toads, Atelopus sp., which have since been housed within our public viewing area opposite our Lemur Leaf Frogs. It has been a while since our post about how the new arrivals were settling in, and we thought we would post a short update about how they have been doing.

After a long period of providing the toads with a simulated dry season, the time has now come to begin the wet season cycle, which may (if we are lucky!) lead to a successful spawning.


HarlequAtelopus 3in toads are some of the most endangered amphibians on the planet, they occur from Costa Rica in Central America and down throughout the Amazon region of South America where they live along the banks of streams, and when the time is right they deposit strings of eggs within the streams flowing water.

During this time, male toads become very territorial and spend a large portion of their day calling to defend their chosen area. In order to accommodate the habits of these small toads, we have constructed a large breeding enclosure in The Vivarium containing a flowing stream, and plenty of space for the males to set up their territories and compete for the attention of our female.

We have selected some of our most dominant male toads which have now been introduced into this breeding enclosure, we can keep track of individuals as they are all uniquely patterned and also vary in colour, as can be seen in the images, which has allowed us to give each toad an ID number and closely monitor the progress of each individual. Shortly, the female will be introduced to the males and time will tell if we achieve a successful spawning!

Atelopus breeding tank

A large stream enclosure for breeding attempts of Atelopus Harlequin toads (c) Adam Bland.

                        Harlequin Heaven                  The Toad That Broke The Mould

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