Monday, January 2, 2017

Pepper Treefrog, Trachycephalus typhonius (Family Hylidae)

Size males 70 - 101 mm; adult females 93- 114 mm. Head wider than long, a round, blunt snout and medium-sized eyes. Tympanum distinct and about half the diameter of the eye, larger in females than males. The dorsal skin thick and glandular. Digits short, large expanded discs, fingers moderately webbed; toes heavily webbed. Males have paired, lateral, expandable vocal sacs behind the angles of the jaw when not inflated. Nuptial pad, lacking spines, on the base of the thumb in males. Bones are green, as in other frogs of the genus Trachycephalus.

Distribution and Habitat Widespread, ranging from Mexico to Argentina, present on Trinidad and Tobago. A forest and forest-edge frog that will traverse long distances to meet at breeding sites. Males call while floating on the water, often engaging each other in agonistic behavior. This is an explosive breeder, with many dozens of males and females breeding in one pond at one time. Breeding is triggered by heavy rains. Eggs form a raft on the water surface. These frogs readily parachute from trees. One was observed gliding for 27 m, after being dropped from a height of 43 m. They may land on car windshields.

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