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The Splendid Leaf Frog

Scientific name: Cruziohyla calcarifer 

Splendid leaf frog (Cruziohyla calcarifer) wild Ecuadorian male (c) Andrew Gray 

Distribution: Ecuador to Costa Rica

Habitats: Primary rainforest

Similar species:  Fringed Leaf Frog – Cruziohyla craspedopus

Description: This stunningly beautiful leaf frog has black and orange flanks along the body, grey eyes with a brilliant yellow surround, and has an outward facing flap of skin on its heel, a ‘calcar’ from which it gets its Latin name.

Habits and ecology: In the wild, this frog can only be found in untouched primary rainforest, where it spends much of its time in the tree canopy.

The females lay their eggs over water in tree holes and water-filled hollows of fallen trees and around open ponds. The tadpoles are chocolate brown and large. The young are have yellow marking above the mouth when they first leave the water and change green as they grow.


Conservation: The Splendid Leaf Frog is a rare species that is extremely difficult to observe in the wild. This species is not to be confused with Sylvia’s Tree Frog, which occurs from Costa Rica to Honduras and lacks the triangular dark markings found on the undersides of all C. calcarifer.

Manchester C. sylviae to the USA

leg-waving behaviour

Splendid Leaf Frog in the wild

Finding eggs of the closely related Fringed Leaf Frog


3 Responses

  1. This is the best place ever lol

  2. I like the planets better than the frogs

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