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Tan-ridged Monkey Frog

Tan-ridged Monkey Frog, Phyllomedusa Vailanti

Description: This medium sized monkey frog may attain a size of 83 mm, with females being much larger than males. In fact males of this species are dwarfed in comparison to females: a large male may only measure 63 mm. This is a nocturnal species which rests by day perched on branches within vegetation. It is unique amongst Monkey frogs by having a very angular parotid gland giving the sides of the body a much ridged appearance, this feature makes them easy to identify when compared to other species of monkey frog which may be found within the same tropical habitat.

Reproduction: Breeding most often occurs during the rainy seasons when the temporary ponds, swamps and streams in which the species uses to breed are full of water and are least likely to dry up. Groups of males compete with one another by calling around the breeding site from the surrounding vegetation. Once a pair is joined in amplexus they lay their eggs within the overhanging vegetation within a leaf nest that they construct themselves. The pair may produce as many as 600 eggs in a single spawning. The eggs take 10 – 14 days to develop, when the tadpoles fall into the water below to continue their development. The bright neon-green coloured tadpoles of this species exhibit particularly interesting social behaviour – by day tadpole school like fish in groups arranged by size, and by night tadpoles spread out and swim independently. This behaviour is most likely an anti-predator behaviour as the tadpoles thrive in streams populated by many other aquatic predators, such as fish.

Diet: Invertebrates.

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

Conservation status: Least concern.


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