Monday, January 2, 2017

Map Treefrog, Hypsiboas geographicus

Map Treefrog, Hypsiboas geographicus

Present on Trinidad (unknown from Tobago. Also found in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. Maximum length of 55 mm for males and 75 mm for females. It varies greatly in color and patterning. The gold reticulated palpebral (eyelid) is highly distinctive. This is undoubtedly a complex of cryptic species. Skin is smooth; fingers are webbed for about half the length of the digits; toes are webbed for about three-quarters of the length of the digits. A triangular flap of tissue, the calcar or heel spur, is a distinguishing characteristic. Nuptial pads present in breeding males. Vocal sac is single and medial. Tadpoles are black, recently metamorphosed frogs are cream-tan with black flecks on the dorsal surfaces. Froglets also have gray venters and black flanks. Adult pigmentation of tan or brown replaces most of the juvenile coloration and the dorsum may have black spots, including an X-shaped scapular marking. Nocturnal and arboreal. Males call from branches or vegetation near or above water. Breeding occurs at the edge of streams and quiet pools. Females can lay up to 2000 eggs at a time. The tadpoles are unpalatable to fish and are therefore able to survive in ponds where other types of tadpoles cannot. Tadpole schools may be stationary for thermoregulatory or continuous motion while they are grazing. Adult Hypsiboas geographicus use death-feigning behavior to escape predation, the limbs are tightly folded, eyes closed, and the frog remains immobilized. The lungs may also be inflated and its legs extend to make it difficult to swallow.

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