Friday, April 1, 2016

Suriname Toad, Pipa pipa (Family Pipidae)

Rana Pipa Linnaeus, 1758: 210.
Pipa americana Laurenti, 1768: 25.

Ranges throughout South America from Ecuador to Guianas and southward to Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. It is also present on Trinidad (absent from Tobago). Pipa pipa is aquatic inhabiting the muddy bottoms of tropical rivers. The fingers end in star-shaped, filamentous tactile organs to detect food. Pipa pipa uses vacuum feeding similar to that of the mata mata turtle. It feeds on aquatic invertebrates and fish. During courtship the male fertilizes the eggs and then positions them so they attach to the female's back. The skin of the female grows around the fertilized eggs and the embryos develop with the females skin. They hatch after 90-120 days of incubation as miniature adults, about 20 mm in length. On Trinidad all of the records are from the southern portion of the island.

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