Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Amphibians » Madagascaran Toadlets: Scaphiophrynidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Mocquard's Rain Frog (scaphiophryne Calcarata): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET, MADAGASCARAN TOADLETS AND PEOPLE

Madagascaran Toadlets: Scaphiophrynidae - Mocquard's Rain Frog (scaphiophryne Calcarata): Species Account

brown males season accessed

Physical characteristics: Mocquard's rain frog is a tiny species with small legs, a slightly pointy snout, and smooth to slightly warty skin on its back. Its back and head may be brown, gray, or green, often with a dark brown and symmetrical pattern on its back. Many also have a light-colored stripe running from head to rump down the middle of the back. Their legs are brown, usually with noticeable dark brown bands. Their sides are dark brown, the belly is white, and the undersides of the thighs are red or purple. The back toes have very little webbing between them, and the front toes have none at all. Males have a black throat, while females' throats are white with brown markings. Males and females are also a bit different in size. Males grow to Mocquard's rain frog is active at night during the rainy season and likely spends the dry season buried underground. (Illustration by Bruce Worden. Reproduced by permission.) 00.8 to 1.1 inches (2 to 2.7 centimeters) long from snout to rump, and females reach 1.1 to 1.3 inches (2.8 to 3.3 centimeters) in length. This species, along with the web-foot frog at 0.8 to 1.0 inches (2 to 2.4 centimeters) long, are the smallest Madagascaran toadlets.

Geographic range: They live in western and southern Madagascar.

Habitat: Mocquard's rain frogs live in dry areas up to 1,000 feet (300 meters) above sea level. They can survive in forests, shrubby or grassy spots, and even farmland.

Diet: Scientists know little about the frog's diet, but the stomach of one captured frog was filled with large ants.

Behavior and reproduction: Like other Madagascaran toadlets, Mocquard's rain frog is active at night during the rainy season and likely spends the dry season buried underground. Heavy rains soak the earth during the summer in Madagascar, and males of this species group together at newly water-filled pools and swamps. The males begin calling in choruses for females and create quite a racket. When a female approaches a male, he calls even faster before climbing onto her back to mate. He holds on near her front legs as she lays several hundred small eggs. The eggs hatch into tadpoles. The tadpoles, which are almost completely see-through, sift food out of the water or pick small particles out of the water to eat. The tadpoles change into froglets in a few weeks, not long before their watering hole dries up for another year. The tiny newborn froglets are just 0.2 to 0.3 inches (5.5 to 7.5 millimeters) long from snout to rump.

Mocquard's rain frogs and people: This frog disappears underground in all but the rainy season, when some may hop into people's homes.

Conservation status: The World Conservation Union (IUCN) does not consider this species to be at risk. Mocquard's rain frog is quite common in its habitat, some of which is located in protected areas. ∎



Glaw, Frank, and Miguel Vences. A Fieldguide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. 2nd ed. Köln: Vences & Glaw Verlag, 1994.

Web sites:

"How Animal Camouflage Works." How Stuff Works. http://science.howstuffworks.com/animal-camouflage.htm (accessed on April 15, 2005).

"Narrow-headed frog." Madagascar Biodiversity and Conservation. http://www.mobot.org/mobot/madagascar/image.asp?relation=A56 (accessed on April 15, 2005).

"Paradoxophyla palmata." AmphibiaWeb. http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/amphib_query?query_src=aw_lists_alpha_&where-genus=Paradoxophyla&where-species=palmata (accessed on April 15, 2005).

"Species: Scaphiophryne marmorata." Naturalia. http://www.naturalia.org/ZOO/ANFIBI/e_39.html (accessed on April 15, 2005).

Staniszewski, Marc. "Madagascan Burrowing Frogs FAQ." Marc Staniszewski's Amphibian Information Centre. http://www.amphibian.co.uk/scaphiophryne.html (accessed on April 15, 2005).

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