Have You Seen This Milk Frog?

milk-frog

Unless you are lactose intolerant, you will love this croaker. Read on to know the milky story this jumping jack has to tell.

No it’s not just the color which gives them their name, but it’s the milk-like poisonous fluid excretion released from them when they are stressed or threatened. They are native to Amazon rainforest and were first discovered in Brazil’s Maracana River. They are famously known as Amazon milk frog.

They are fairly large frogs, reaching up to 2.5- 4 inches. Females are startlingly larger than males. They are greyish in color blended with black banding. During their early stage of life, they have soft and supple skin, but with age they start developing bumpy texture and the grey color slowly metamorphoses to silvery white. Their mouths are tinted with blue, as if it’s chewing a mint; therefore they are also known as blue milk frogs. The milk excretion helps them deter predators and also help them to be hydrated.

They enjoy dwelling in slow moving waters and in vegetation high above streams. They love moisture and humid environment so much that their feet never touch solid ground; so, they are not so down-to-earth animal as they spend all their lives on trees.

They are insectivorous and can swallow any small arthropod that comes in their way. Their lifespan is for about 25 years. They are a nocturnal animal, which means they are mostly active at night. They are known for their loud vocalization. With their long snouts, they push leaves and branches aside. During the day, they hide in confined places. The metamorphosis from tadpoles to juvenile takes 3 weeks’ time.

The Mating Story-

When they are in breeding conditions, the males develop nuptial pads underneath their thumbs. During the breeding season, they stick out from their water-filled tree holes and start calling for mates.

It all starts after sunset. This Amazonian tree frog begins to call until a female appears. He keeps calling, by giving over 4,000 calling notes in just a night.  And, as soon a female gets attracted, they start their mating session. She deposits 3,000 eggs or more into his water-filled tree hole and the male then fertilizes the eggs. The eggs hatch in less than 24 hours. He needs to feed its hungry children, and there is very less feast for them around to eat other than detritus. What will the Milk frog do? He has more mouths to feed now. But, don’t pity him as the male frog has a great strategy for this.

He begins to call another female frog. But, with this female, he will not fertilize the eggs as soon as she deposits them, but instead it becomes food for his former mate’s tadpoles to feast upon.

3 comments… add one

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  • Dorine April 3, 2013, 8:27 pm

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