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Amazon Amphibians

By Rhett Butler [citation]

Frogs are overwhelmingly the most abundant amphibians in the rainforest.
  • More than 1000 species of frogs are found in the Amazon Basin.
  • Unlike temperate frogs which are mostly limited to habitats near water, tropical frogs are most abundant in the trees and relatively few are found near bodies of water on the forest floor. The reason for this occurrence is quite simple: frogs must always keep their skin moist since almost half of their respiration in carried out through their skin. The high humidity of the rainforest and frequent rainstorms gives tropical frogs infinitely more freedom to move into the trees and escape the many predators of rainforest waters. The differences between temperate and tropical frogs extend beyond their habitat. Whereas nearly all temperate frogs lay their eggs in water, the majority of rainforest species place eggs in vegetation or lay them in the ground. By leaving the water, frogs avoid egg-predators like fish, shrimp, aquatic insects, and insect larvae.
  • Among the best known of rainforest amphibians are the tiny, but brilliantly colored poison dart (arrow) frogs [members of the Dendrobatidae family]. These striking but slow-moving frogs secrete powerful toxins from glands on their backs and use their color to advertise their toxic composition to potential predators. Their toxins are derived from the invertebrates they eat.
  • The Amazon is home to the world's largest caecilian, a limbless amphibian that resembles an earthworm. The species, Atretochoana eiselti, has been playfully dubbed "the penis snake" for its resemblance to part of the male anatomy.
Pictures of Amazonian Amphibians:



Dendrobates ventrimaculatus dart poison frog



Yellow and black dart frog



Matecho Dendrobates tinctorius poison dart frog



Giant monkey frog


Hyla tree frog species
Hyla tree frog species


Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)
Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)


Hyla rhodopepla tree frog on leaf
Hyla rhodopepla tree frog on leaf


Three-striped Poison dart frog (Epipedobates trivittatus)
Three-striped Poison dart frog (Epipedobates trivittatus)


Hyla tree frog species
Hyla tree frog species


Cane toad (Bufo marinus) in the Amazon rainforest of Peru
Cane toad (Bufo marinus) in the Amazon rainforest of Peru


Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) in the Amazon rain forest
Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) in the Amazon rain forest


Bolvian bleating frog (Hamptophyne boliviana)
Bolvian bleating frog (Hamptophyne boliviana)


Cat-eyed frog (Phyllomedusea vaillanti)
Cat-eyed frog (Phyllomedusea vaillanti)


Cane toad (Bufo marinus) next to human hand for scale
Cane toad (Bufo marinus) next to human hand for scale



Leaf toad in the Colombian Amazon

Yellow and blue poison arrow frog climbing a tree trunk
Yellow and blue poison arrow frog climbing a tree trunk


Yellow and blue poison arrow frog climbing a tree trunk
Yellow and blue poison arrow frog climbing a tree trunk


Yellow and blue poison arrow frog
Yellow and blue poison arrow frog



Blue poison frog



Ranitomeya lamasi poison dart frog



Pasco arrow poison frog (Ranitomeya lamasi)



Dendrobates tinctorius poison dart frog



Ranitomeya ventrimaculata poison dart frog



Ranitomeya benedicta dart frog from Peru



Yellow and blue tinct dart frog



Tigerleg monkey tree frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna)



Giant leaf frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)



Blue poison dart frog (Dendrobates azureus)


Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)
Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)


Cane toad (Bufo marinus) in the wild
Cane toad (Bufo marinus) in the wild


Hyla tree frog close up
Hyla tree frog close up


Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)
Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)


Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) on forest floor
Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) on forest floor


Large toad
Large toad


Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) being handled by researcher
Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) being handled by researcher


Unknown frog
Unknown frog


Three-striped posion dart frog (Epipedobates trivittatus)
Three-striped poison dart frog (Epipedobates trivittatus)


Posion dart frog
Poison dart frog


Smooth-sided toad (Bufo guttatus)
Smooth-sided toad (Bufo guttatus)


Smooth-sided toad (Bufo guttatus)
Smooth-sided toad (Bufo guttatus)


Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) being handled by researcher
Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor) being handled by researcher



Rainforest toad


Leaf toad among leaf litter


Red ceacilian (an amphibian) on the floor of the Amazon rainforest



Varadero morph of Ranitomeya imitator



Blue azureus dart frog



Ranitomeya imitator poison dart frog



Clown tree frog (Dendropsophus leucophyllatus)



Yellow-Banded Poison Frog (Dendrobates leucomelas)



Leaf toad in the Amazon


Brown tree frog near Puerto Nariņo


Dendrobates auratus poison-dart frog


White lined leaf frog (Phyllomedusea vaillanti)
White lined leaf frog (Phyllomedusea vaillanti)


Hyla rhodopepla tree frog on forest floor
Hyla rhodopepla tree frog on forest floor


Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)
Monkey frog (Phyllomedusa bicolor)


Three-striped posion arrow frog (Epipedobates trivittatus) with tadpoles on its back
Three-striped poison arrow frog (Epipedobates trivittatus) with tadpoles on its back


Pebas stubfoot toad
Pebas stubfoot toad


Leaf toad (Bufo margaritifer)
Leaf toad (Bufo margaritifer)


Leaf toad (Bufo margaritifer)
Leaf toad (Bufo margaritifer)



Golden-eyed tree frog near Puerto Nariņo


Tree frog


Tree frog

Hyla tree frog
Hyla tree frog


Hyla tree frog in Peru
Hyla tree frog in Peru




other rainforest amphibians


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