Leptodactylid Frogs: Leptodactylidae - Gray Four-eyed Frog (pleurodema Bufonina): Species Accounts
Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansLeptodactylid Frogs: Leptodactylidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Leptodactylid Frogs And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE
Physical characteristics: The gray four-eyed frog gets its name from the two, large, dark-colored glands on its hips. When looking at the frog from the back end, the glands look somewhat like oval-shaped eyes. This species has a short, rounded snout, small eardrums, short and chubby front legs that have unwebbed toes, and longer hind legs with slightly webbed toes. Its upper body is brown, sometimes with darker brown spots and often with a thin, light stripe down the middle of the back. Its underside is light tan. Males and females look alike, but females are a bit larger. Females grow to 2.2 inches (5.6 centimeters) from snout to rump, while males can reach 1.8 inches (4.5 centimeters) in length.
Geographic range: This frog lives farther south than any other frog in the world. It makes its home in Chile and nearby parts of western Argentina, including the area around the Straits of Magellan near the southern tip of South America.
Habitat: Gray four-eyed frogs may live anywhere from the lowlands to mountain sites as high as 7,500 feet (2,300 meters) above sea level. Its home is in grasslands and scrubby areas, often alongside lakes.
Diet: Although they do not know for sure, scientists think these frogs eat small arthropods.
Behavior and reproduction: Unlike many other frogs in this family, which are active mainly at night, adult gray four-eyed frogs may hop about on land both during the day and at night. They are especially active during wet weather and tend to move under stones or into cracks in or between rocks during drier spells. During the spring breeding season, males and females meet in shallow water along lakeshores. The males do not call. To mate, a male climbs onto a female's back and holds on near her hind legs. In the water, she lays a string of eggs, which hatch into grayish brown tadpoles. The tadpoles grow to as much as 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters) long before changing into froglets.
Gray four-eyed frogs and people: People do not hunt this frog. It is not popular in the pet trade.
Conservation status: The IUCN does not consider this very common species to be endangered or threatened. ∎
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