Friday, April 1, 2016

Leaf-nesting Frog, Phyllomedusa trinitatis (Family Hylidae)

Phyllomedusa trinitatis Mertens, 1926: 145. Holotype: SMF 2633. Type locality: Port of Spain, Trinidad.

Phyllomedusa burmeisteri trinitatis — Rivero, 1961, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 126: 148.

Phyllomedusa trinitatis — Rivero, 1961, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 126: 148.

Pithecopus trinitatis — Lutz, 1966, Copeia, 1966: 236.

This species is widespread on Trinidad, it is unknown from Tobago. It has also been reported from the Paria Peninsula, but the exact identity of the Venezuelan populations remains to be determined. In elevation it ranges from about sea level to more than 950 m. It is a forest and savanna species that uses the understory trees and bushes often near ponds. It is also found by ditches in secondary forests and urbanized habitats with standing water and adjacent vegetation. The female folds a leaf or leaves into a nest which are held together by the adhesive properties of the gelatinous covering of the eggs. When the eggs hatch the tadpoles drop into the water below. We have found the cat-eyed snake (Leptodeira annulata ashmeadi) very close to the nests of this frog.

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