Scientific name: Cruziohyla calcarifer
Distribution: Guatemala to Ecuador
Habitats: Primary rainforest
Similar species: Fringed Leaf Frog – Cruziohyla craspedopus
Description: This stunningly beautiful large leaf frog can reach a length of 11cm and has black and orange flanks along the body and brilliant yellow eyes. It has a small 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. Males are known to use their back legs to signal to each other and when breeding the males give a soft call to attract females.
The females lay their eggs on vines, roots over water in tree holes and water-filled hollows of fallen trees. The tadpoles are black and large. The young are grey when they first leave the water (pictured) 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 was bred in captivity for the first time in the world at the Manchester Museum and has been distributed to zoos in an effort to help in its conservation. It is no longer considered to be threatened with extinction for the foreseeable future: