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Amero-Australian Treefrogs: Hylidae - Amazonian Skittering Frog (scarthyla Goinorum): Species Accounts

water inches leaves ponds

Physical characteristics: The Amazonian skittering frog is a small and slender frog. Its head, back, and legs are light green and grainy-looking. Its head has a small, somewhat pointed snout and two large eyes, one on each side. The legs are thin, and the hind legs are long. All of its toes are webbed and have small rounded pads at the tips. Brown and white stripes run from the chin down the sides of its body. Its underside is white. Males, which grow to 0.6 to 0.8 inches (1.5 to 2.0 centimeters) long, are slightly smaller than females. Females reach 0.7 to 0.9 inches (1.8 to 2.3 centimeters) in length.

This small frog lives among the leaves of plants that stretch along and over ponds in warm and humid lowland rainforests. (Illustration by Brian Cressman. Reproduced by permission.)

Geographic range: It lives in western South America, including far western Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru.


Habitat: This small frog lives among the leaves of plants that stretch along and over ponds in warm and humid lowland rainforests.


Diet: It mainly eats spiders, but also eats other small arthropods.


Behavior and reproduction: Active at night, it either sits among leaves that hang low over ponds or skitters across the water. When it skitters, it scoots across the surface of the water without sinking. To attract females for mating, the male makes his whistling calls with a pattern of eight to ten notes in a row. Each female lays 130 to 202 small eggs, which she drops in the pond water. The eggs hatch into tadpoles, each of which is able to flip its strong tail and soar free of the water and through the air, sometimes eight to twelve inches at a time. Usually, however, the tadpoles stay in the water, swimming just below the surface.


Amazonian skittering frogs and people: Although it is quite common, people rarely see this frog.


Conservation status: The Amazonian skittering frog is not considered endangered or threatened. ∎

Amero-Australian Treefrogs: Hylidae - Yucatecan Shovel-headed Treefrog (triprion Petasatus): Species Accounts [next] [back] Amero-Australian Treefrogs: Hylidae - Hourglass Treefrog (hyla Leucophyllata): Species Accounts

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