Amazon Milk Frog

(Trachycephalus resinifictrix)

Habitat and Distribution: Found in the canopies of tropical rainforests in parts of South America, including Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, Amazonian Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil.

Size: 2-4 inches long. Females are larger than males.

Wild Diet: Insects and other small invertebrates

Predators: Snakes, lizards, birds, and some mammals

Reproduction: Amazon milk frogs usually breed during the rainy season (November-May). The male stakes out a body of water (often inside a tree hollow or bromeliad) and uses his large vocal sacs to produce loud calls, attracting a female who lays up to 2000 eggs for him to fertilize. He then calls for a second female who lays eggs that will become food for the developing tadpoles. Tadpoles hatch after only one day and go through metamorphosis over the next three weeks.

Behavior: Amazon milk frogs are nocturnal and arboreal. They get their Latin name “trachycephalus” from their elongated snout. They use their snout to push leaves and branches out of the way, so they can crawl into hiding places during the day.

Conservation

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Amazon milk frogs are widely distributed and exist in large populations. However, like all amphibians, they are highly vulnerable to pollution because of their porous skin. They also need trees to survive, so deforestation may eventually pose a threat to their populations. They are popular in the pet trade, but typically are bred rather than removed from the wild.

Did you know?

  • Amazon milk frogs are named for a poisonous, milky-white fluid secreted in response to threats.
  • They are some of the best climbing frogs in the Amazon, using their specially adapted toe pads to cling to branches.