1. Red Eyed Tree Frogs turn Purple at NightEveryone knows what a red eyed tree frog looks like! The ever popular 'rainforest frog', this bright green frog with blue sides, orange feet, and brilliant red eyes is quite the looker. Unknown to most people red eyed tree frogs change colors at night to better blend in with the jungle when they move around in the darkness. Barney would be proud!
2. The Terrible Dart Frog could Kill 10 Men Phyllobates terribilis, aka the Terrible Dart Frog, has the distinction of being the most poisonous vertebrate on the planet. It's been suggested that the toxins this frog produces could kill 10 adult men. The Terrible Dart Frogs gets its poisons from what it eats in in the wild - tiny bugs! Fortunately, their diet in captivity (mainly crickets and flightless fruit flies) renders them harmless and safe to keep as pets, just like all dart frogs!
3. There are Tree Frogs that look like Bird PoopNature can be pretty strange and animals looking like poop to avoid being eaten certainly fits the bill. We've had the good fortune to work with 2 such species at Josh's Frogs - Theloderma asperum and Hyla marmorata. Both frogs come from tropical rainforest ( T. asperum from Vietnam, H. marmorata from South America) and have the color and texture of bird poop! The fact that both animals, from opposite sides of the globe, protect themselves from predators by the same means is pretty incredible!
4. Some Frogs are Really, Really TinyThere are some frogs out there that are crazy small! One of my favorites is Ranitomeya reticulata, a tiny red jewel of a frog from Peru. This little guy, belonging to a group of poison dart frogs known as Thumbnail Dart Frogs, is only as big as a dime! What this frog lacks in size it makes up for with bright colors and a bad attitude. Even though the Red Backed Poison Frog is the size of a pinkie nail it's very aggressive towards other frogs.
5. Monkey Tree Frogs produce their own Sun ScreenMany species of Phyllomedusa (Monkey Tree Frogs) live in areas of bright sun and dry conditions - places that would typically cook your average amphibian! These frogs have evolved special glands on their elbows. After the waxy substance is secreted the frogs cover their entire body with it, literally sealing in moisture and staving off dehydration.
6. Bumble Bee Toads Show Off their Butts when Threatened This tiny toad has a red butt, and knows how to use it! Like many frogs, toads, and salamanders, this spunky amphibian will stick it's feet and rump in the air like it just don't care when threatened to expose brightly colored patches of skin. This move, called the Unken Reflex, shows potential predators that the animal is toxic and not worth bothering.
7. Some Frogs Skip the Tadpole StageAdult frogs typically come from free swimming larvae we call tadpoles. Amphibian comes from the Greek amphibios, which means ""both kinds of lives"", in reference to the larval aquatic stage and land dwelling adult stage. Some frogs, however, decide to throw tradition on its head and complete their tadpole stage right in the egg! Solomon Island Leaf Frogs, so named because of their native range and their ability to mimic leaves, bury their eggs a couple inches below the surface. The larvae develop right in the egg, and fully formed baby frogs hatch out a couple months later! It's believed this is an adaptation to a lack of suitable sites for tadpoles in their natural environment.
8. Endangered Frogs can be Easy to BreedEndangered animals are endangered because There's not many of them left in the wild. That means they must be very difficult to breed in captivity, right? WRONG! Surprisingly enough, we've had a fair amount of success breeding some endangered amphibians here at Josh's Frogs. In particular, we've been very successful breeding Green Mantellas, so much so that we've been able to help them in the wild! In 2015, we produced about 600 of these rare frogs.
9. Some Toads Live in TreesThe toads we're all familiar with are bumbling, warty things that hobble around on the ground at night, right? Well, every now and then a species jumps out to surprise us. The Borneo Yellow Spotted Climbing Toad, a large species from the tropical rainforests of Borneo and Indonesia, is the largest species of arboreal toad in the world. Large females can be bigger than your hand! These toads lack the sticky toepads that treefrogs do. Instead, they have long, gripping toes! Once quite rare, we produced over 1,000 in 2015 - read about it here!
10. Some Frogs are Good ParentsWe've all seen frogs lay thousands of eggs in a pond, only to abandon their kids before they even hatch! This is the rule when it comes to frog parenting, but there are some notable exceptions. One big one is Ranitomeya imitator - the Mimic Dart Frog. This small frog (about the size of a dime when mature) lays 2-4 eggs on a leaf. After 2 weeks of guarding by the male, they hatch into tadpoles. The proud daddy then scoops the tadpoles back one at a time and gives them a piggy back ride to a small body of water, such as a bromeliad plant. After the tadpole approves of it's new digs, it'll let go of dad and plop into the water. These small volumes of water are a great place for tadpoles to live - no predators - but do have one major drawback. No food! Fortunately for baby, nature has devised a clever way to get around this. Every so often, dad frog will make a particular call to attract mom. Mom will stick her butt into the water. If the tadpole is hungry, it will wiggle against her backside until she lays an unfertilized egg! This nutrient rich food source will be used until the tadpole morphs out into a miniature version of it's parents!
It's no wonder why the folks at Josh's Frogs are fascinated by these amazing anurans. We've grown our business around a love for frogs, both in the wild and in captivity. We're dedicated to making a difference. Check out JoshsFrogs.com today! We're helping to bring the outdoors in - it's only natural.