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Giant Monkey Frog

Giant Monkey Frog, Phyllomedusa bicolor

Giant Monkey Frog, Phyllomedusa bicolor 1Description: The giant monkey frog is the largest member of the genus, and one of the largest species of tree frog in the world. Females are particularly large – they may attain a total size of up to 119 mm. This species spends much of its time in the canopy, descending in the wet season to breed. It is a strictly nocturnal species which spends the daytime perched on branches amongst the trees basking in sunlight. Sitting in strong sunlight is not something all amphibians are capable of, but the Giant monkey frog has special glands under the skin which produce a substance it uses. This secretion protects the skin from drying out in the sun and is also used to keep the skin clean. It also has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. The frog can spread the secretion all over its body using its hands and feet. As with all phyllomedusine frogs, the frog also has pigments in its skin that enable it to reflect infra-red light.

Reproduction: This species is known to breed throughout the year. Males call from high up in the trees to attract a mate. Once as female has chosen a male the pair descends to a body of water, usually a pond, to spawn. As with all monkey frogs the eggs are deposited above the water and are laid within a leaf nest produced by the parents whilst spawning. As this species is so large it most often joins two large leaves together to construct its nest and may lay as many as 600 eggs within it. These eggs hatch after approximately 10 days, when the tadpoles fall into the water below to continue their development.

Diet: Invertebrates.

Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela.

Conservation status: Least concern.

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