Tiger-striped Monkey Frog, Phyllomedusa tomopterna
Description: A medium-sized species of monkey frog attaining a maximum size of 60 mm, with males being slightly smaller. This is a lowland species which occurs up to 500m asl. It is strictly nocturnal and by day rests within vegetation lying flat on a leaf asleep, more similar to the resting behaviour of a leaf frog than a monkey frog. As it rests it completely conceals its bright orange and black tiger-striped flank coloration that is only revealed when the frog is awake. This brought colouration is most likely used as a warning or flash marking to scare any animal that wishes to predate on it, allowing the frog time to escape after startling the predator.
Reproduction: This species has been observed breeding mostly between the months of December and May. During this time, groups of males congregate on low vegetation surrounding water, most often ponds or swampy areas, and call to compete with one another. Once a male has been selected by a female the pair produces a small nest of eggs hanging above the water. The nest is made by folding a leaf as the eggs are laid within it; this leaf is sealed shut by a substance produced by the female which acts like a glue. These nests containing up to 70 eggs take 10 – 14 days to hatch, at this time the tadpoles fall into the water below to continue their development. Metamorphosis is accomplished after approximately 2 months depending on water temperature.
Distribution: Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela.
Conservation status: Least Concern.