Scientific identify: Dendrobates pumilio
What does it appear like? This is a tiny, jewel-like frog measuring solely 25 mm from the tip of its snout to its rear finish. The physique of this minute amphibian is a wonderful crimson, whereas its limbs and small marks on it again are a shimmering blue. The eyes are massive and darkish, and beneath the top there may be an inflatable throat sac.
Where does it stay? This species of poison-arrow frog inhabits the perpetually moist rain forests of Costa Rica in Central America. It will be discovered on the forest flooring and additionally up within the bushes, the place it breeds.
A red-and-blue poison-arrow frog hops and scrambles alongside the rain forest flooring, offering a energetic splash of coloration within the brown carpet of decaying vegetation. It reaches the bottom of a tree and surmounts a small mound of moss. Here, it perches for just a few moments and emits a shrill name by inflating its throat sac. Another flash of coloration within the undergrowth close by reveals this frog’s amorous intentions. He is a male, and he has noticed a feminine that he’s attempting to impress together with his calling. His voice is not going to be sufficient to impress the feminine, and he provides chase with the hope of catching her and partaking in some romantic wrestling. Impressed by the calling, chasing, and wrestling talents of this suitor, she lays 2–16 eggs on the bottom in a secluded spot. The male, taking his cue, fertilizes all of the eggs together with his sp erm and moistens them with fluids from his pores and skin. The frogs are mannequin mother and father, and they guard their eggs religiously till they hatch. Soon, the ready is over and younger tadpoles break away from their eggs and instinctively wriggle upon to the again of their mother and father, who should now take them to water. The journey might take a number of hours, so the tadpoles are securely glued to the mother and father with sticky mucus that additionally retains them moist. Ponds and streams within the rain forest are crawling with all types of animals that may make brief work of a tiny tadpole; subsequently, the devoted mother and father head for the tree tops. Small pads on their toes aff ord them a superb grip, and earlier than lengthy, they’re in amongst the branches. Trees will not be the form of locations you’ll anticipate to discover good amphibian breeding spots, however lo and behold, rising on the branches are epiphytic vegetation, like bromeliads (associated to pineapples), which, at their heart have a bowl that collects condensation and rainwater. The mother and father deposit up to three of their younger in each appropriate pool they discover. In the pool, there will likely be numerous insect larvae and different invertebrates that the tadpoles will feed on. To complement the eating regimen of her younger, the feminine frog will even deposit unfertilized eggs within the bromeliad bowls, which will likely be greedily eaten by the tadpoles. In this sheltered microhabitat, the younger develop quickly and finally metamorphose into grownup frogs. After the cautious nurturing supplied by their mother and father, the froglets should fend for themselves. They descend to the forest flooring and selectively hunt ants and different small animals among the many leaf litter. Trace portions of poisons within the frog’s eating regimen are assimilated by the frog into its personal defensive methods. The chemical compounds are saved in pores and skin glands, and ought to any animal eat and even lick one in every of these frogs, will probably be lifeless very quickly in any respect. The wonderful colours of the frog will not be to brighten up the drab forest flooring, however are a warning for different animals to give it a large berth.