Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Amphibians » Fire-Bellied Toads and Barbourulas: Bombinatoridae - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Fire-bellied Toads, Barbourulas, And People - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT

Fire-Bellied Toads and Barbourulas: Bombinatoridae - Philippine Barbourula (barbourula Busuangensis): Species Accounts

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Physical characteristics: The Philippine barbourula is also known as the Busuanga jungle toad, the Philippine discoglossid frog, and the Philippine flat-headed frog. It is larger than any of the fire-bellied toads and typically can grow to about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) long from its rounded snout to its rump. Like the other barbourula species, the Philippine barbourula has camouflage colors and patterns. Its back is drab brown or greenish brown with dark markings, a combination that hides the frog against the background of its water habitat. It has large eyes and a rounded snout. Both its front and back toes are webbed, which allows its feet to work like paddles as it swims through the water. Its hind legs, which are much larger and more powerful than its front legs, also give it swimming power.

Geographic range: Three western Philippine islands, called Busuanga, Culion, and Palawan, are home to this species.

Habitat: A fast-flowing, clean and clear, rocky or stony mountain stream or river is the best place to find one of these frogs. Within the Philippine barbourulas spend much of their time floating at the top of the water, but people rarely see them because the frogs frighten easily and quickly dive out of sight to hide underneath stones or inside cracks in rocks, especially near the shoreline. (Photograph © Rafe M. Brown. Reproduced by permission.) three Philippine islands where this species lives, it is split into small populations that are often separated quite a distance from one another.

Diet: Scientists suspect that these frogs mainly eat insects that they find in the water, although they may sometimes venture onto land to find a meal. More studies are needed to learn about their diet.

Behavior and reproduction: Philippine barbourulas spend much of their time floating at the top of the water, but people rarely see them because the frogs frighten easily and quickly dive out of sight to hide underneath stones or inside cracks in rocks, especially near the shoreline. The females even lay their large eggs beneath underwater stones. They may lay as many as 80 eggs, which possibly skip the tadpole stage and develop right into froglets. Additional studies are needed to provide more information about this secretive species.

Philippine barbourulas and people: People rarely see this species.

Conservation status: According to the World Conservation Union (IUCN), this species is Vulnerable, which means that it faces a high risk of extinction in the wild. Part of the reason the species are at risk is that people continue to damage the frogs' habitat by cutting down trees and/or by polluting the streams and rivers through such activities as mining and farming. Some people also collect these rare frogs to sell as pets. Many of the frogs on Palawan are safe from these dangers, because they live in rainforest that has been set aside as protected land. ∎



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Web sites:

"Fire-Bellied Toad." The Sacramento Zoological Society. www.saczoo.com/1_about/_animals/fact_sheets/firebellied_toad2.pdf (accessed on February 6, 2005).

"The Oriental Fire-Bellied Toad." Utah's Hogle Zoo. http://hoglezoo.org/animals/view.php?id=201 (accessed on February 6, 2005).

"Frogs: A Chorus of Colors." American Museum of Natural History. http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/frogs/featured/flashers.php (accessed on February 6, 2005).

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over 10 years ago

My fire bellied toad which I've had for 3 years is VERY bloated and not going in his pond that much. Can you help?