Amazon Milk Frog: Description, Habitat, Reproduction and Fun Facts

Phrynohyas resinifictrix in Warsaw zoo

The Mission golden-eyed tree frog or Amazon milk frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix) is a large species of arboreal frog native to the Amazon Rainforest in South America. It is sometimes referred to as the blue milk frog. It was first discovered along the Maracanã River in Brazil. This species was previously within the genus Phrynohyas, which was recently synonymized with Trachycephalus.

Description

These frogs are fairly large, reaching sizes of 2.5 to 4.0 in (6.4 to 10.2 cm) in length. Adult frogs are light grey in colour with brown or black banding, while juveniles will exhibit stronger contrasts. As they age, their skin develops a slightly bumpy texture.Amazon milk frog – Trachycephalus resinifictrix

The “milk” in the common name comes from the milky fluid these frogs excrete when stressed.

Habitat

Mission golden-eyed tree frogs inhabit humid rainforest regions. They often inhabit vegetation which extends over permanent, slow-moving water sources.

Reproduction and Offspring

The frogs mate during the rainy season, which may occur anywhere between May and November. Males call loudly to attract mates. The males wrestle for breeding rights, with the victor piggy-back riding (amplexus) the female to water collected in a depression in a tree. The female lays up to 2,500 eggs, which the male then fertilizes. The eggs hatch within 24 hours. Initially, the gray tadpoles feed on detritus in the water. While the female plays no further parenting role after laying eggs, males may bring another female back to the initial nest site to lay eggs. He does not fertilize these eggs. The tadpoles live on unhatched eggs until they can leave the water and hunt on their own. The metamorphosis from tadpoles into coin-sized froglets takes about two months. The life expectancy of wild Amazon milk frogs is unknown, but they typically live around eight years in captivity.

Amazon Milk Frog Fun Facts:

  1. Amazon milk frogs are found in the tropical rainforests of South America. Populations are widespread in Guyana, Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador and Peru.
  2. Milk frogs are arboreal, and spend their lives in trees and other plants. Milk frogs have special toe-pads on their feet to help them climb plants. They can hold up to 14 times the animal’s body weight!
  3. In the wild, the milk frog’s diet consists of insects and other small invertebrates. At the Zoo, they feast on crickets.
  4. These amphibians received the name “milk frog” from the sticky white substance they secrete through their skin when threatened. This substance is poisonous to potential predators.

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