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Harlequin Frogs True Toads and Relatives: Bufonidae - Long-fingered Slender Toad (ansonia Longidigita): Species Accounts

Animal Life ResourceAmphibiansHarlequin Frogs True Toads and Relatives: Bufonidae - Physical Characteristics, Habitat, Behavior And Reproduction, True Toads, Harlequin Frogs, Their Relatives, And People - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, DIET


Physical characteristics: Also known as the long-fingered stream toad, the long-fingered slender toad has very long and thin front and back legs. Its front legs are about as long as its body. The front legs and back legs also have very long, thin toes. The toad's body is rather slender, and its back is covered with small warts. It has a small head, but it has large, brown eyes and a large mouth. The snout hangs a bit beyond the lower jaw, making the frog look as if it has a slight overbite.

Unlike many other toads, it does not have the large poison "warts," called paratoid glands, behind its head. The frog is dark brown to reddish brown, sometimes with faded black bands noticeable on its hind legs. Males and females look similar, but the females are a bit bigger. Males typically grow to 1.4 to 2 inches (3.5 to 5 centimeters) long from snout to rump, while females usually reach about 1.8 to 2.8 inches (4.5 to 7 centimeters) in length.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has listed this toad as Near Threatened, because of destruction to its habitat. (Illustration by Brian Cressman. Reproduced by permission.)

Geographic range: The long-fingered slender toad is native to Borneo.

Habitat: The long-fingered slender toad lives among forests from the bottoms of mountains up to about 7,220 feet (2,200 meters). It breeds near fast-flowing streams and in steep places.

Diet: Adults eat small insects, especially ants, of the rainforest. Tadpoles eat plants that they find growing on rocks in the streams where they live.

Behavior and reproduction: Scientists know little about the behavior of these toads outside of their mating time. To breed, males group together next to rocky streams and call females with high-pitched trills. Eggs hatch into tadpoles, which have a sucking mouth on the underside. This helps the tadpole hang onto plants or rocks in the fast water of the stream in which they live until they change into toadlets.

Long-fingered slender toads and people: People very rarely see this toad in the wild, and scientists know little about it.

Conservation status: The World Conservation Union (IUCN) has listed this toad as Near Threatened, which means that it is at risk of becoming threatened with extinction in the future. It lives in areas around streams, and these areas are changing as the forests are cut. Logging not only removes trees, but allows soil to flow into the streams, muddying them and making them unsuitable for the tadpoles. Scientists fear that the number of frogs will soon drop as their habitat is destroyed. Fortunately, some populations of this species live in areas where logging is not allowed. ∎

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