Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Amphibians » Seychelles Frogs: Sooglossidae - Physical Characteristics, Geographic Range, Behavior And Reproduction, Conservation Status, Seychelles Frog (sooglossus Sechellensis): Species Account - HABITAT, DIET, SEYCHELLES FROGS AND PEOPLE

Seychelles Frogs: Sooglossidae - Seychelles Frog (sooglossus Sechellensis): Species Account

silhouette islands legs usually

Physical characteristics: The Seychelles frog is yellowish-brown with black spots and blotches on its head, legs, and back. The blotches on its back legs may look like bands. It usually has a triangular-shaped, dark spot that runs from one of its rather large eyes across its forehead to the other eye. Its snout is somewhat pointed. The toes on its long hind legs and shorter, thinner front legs have no webbing between them. The females usually grow to about 0.8 inch (2 cen-timeters) long from the tip of the snout to the end of the rump, while the typical size of the males is about 0.6 inch (1.5 centimeters).


Geographic range: Seychelles frogs live on Mahé and Silhouette Islands in Seychelles, a country in the Indian Ocean.

Seychelles frogs live on Mahé and Silhouette Islands in Seychelles, a country in the Indian Ocean. (Illustration by Bruce Worden. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: They make their homes in the rainforests of the island mountains at least 660 feet (200 meters) above sea level. They usually hide in leaf piles on the ground, often in areas where cinnamon grows.


Diet: Seychelles frogs' diet includes small insects and other invertebrates that the frogs find on the forest floor.


Behavior and reproduction: They usually remain hidden, except on wet days and nights. During these rainy periods, they hop out of their hiding spots to search for food. To mate, the males begin calling from under the leaves at any hour of the day or night. A male climbs onto the back of a female and mates with her while hanging onto her body just above her hind limbs. She lays her eggs on land, and her six to 15 eggs hatch into tadpoles, which scramble onto her back. The tadpoles stay on her back and soon turn into froglets. The froglets leave her back to grow up on their own. At one time, scientists thought that the tadpoles rode on the back of an adult male. A closer look, however, showed that it was the female who was the caretaker of her young.


Seychelles frogs and people: People rarely see these frogs.


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. The frog lives in a small area on only two islands, but it is quite common there. Some of the frogs live in Morne Seychellois National Park and others within the boundaries of a conservation project on Silhouette Island. While it is doing quite well, a change to its habitat could possibly hurt some populations or the entire species. As people move closer to its habitat, conservationists are keeping a watchful eye on this species. ∎


FOR MORE INFORMATION

Books:

Halliday, Tim, and Kraig Adler, eds. The Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians (Smithsonian Handbooks). New York: Facts on File, 1991.

Noble, Gladwyn K. The Biology of the Amphibia. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1931.

Nussbaum, R. A. "Amphibians of the Seychelles." In Biogeography and Ecology of the Seychelles Islands, edited by D. R. Stoddart. Hague: Dr. W. Junk, 1984.


Periodicals:

"'Weird stuff' found in India." Current Science January 16, 2004 (89): 12.


Web sites:

"Amphibians." Silhouette Island. http://www.silhouette-island.com/public/amphibians.htm (accessed on February 22, 2005).

"The Animal Life." Virtual Seychelles, Republic of Seychelles. http://www.virtualseychelles.sc/envi/envi_nathis_frm.htm?nathis_body=envi_nathis_amph.htm (accessed on February 22, 2005).

"Pictures of Seychellfrogs (Sooglossidae)." Swiss Herp. http://www.swissherp.org/Amphibians/Sooglossidae/Sooglossidae.html (accessed on February 22, 2005).

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