P is for…Pipa pipa

Today is the sixteenth day of the April A to Z Challenge.  I will be writing about different frog species based on their latin species names!

 

Pipa pipa – Surinam Toad

Today’s “toad” is a very special creature.  The P. pipa is a highly aquatic toad and lives in murky ponds and swamps.

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The first thing that is easily noticed about this frog is its rather odd appearance.  It looks like roadkill, but it is indeed supposed to look that way.  It has a flattened body and a triangular shaped head.

close-up-of-a-suriname-toad

The eyes are very tiny and lidless.  The Suriname toad does not have a tongue either.  Instead, the odd shaped front toes help to sweep in the prey into their mouth.

suriname-toad

 As if that wasn’t odd enough for a frog species, this frog also has a very weird reproductive method.  The P. pipa will amplexus but they will do a dance similar to somersaults in the water.  The male then pushes the eggs into the back of the female to get them to stick to her skin.         

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After a couple of days her skin will grow over the eggs to enclose them in her body.  After 3-4 months, fully formed toadlets will push and squirm out of the females skin and they are on their own.

 

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The P. Pipa toad is native to tropical South America where it is found from Suriname and Guyana south through a wide area of the Amazon basin, including Brazil, Bolivia and Peru.  It can also be found in the Carribean near the island of Trinidad.

surinam_02

This toad is listed by the IUCN red list as of least concern, however they are very vulnerable to fertilizers and run-off into the streams and rivers where it lives.  The increase in pollutants can cause genetic mutations of many river inhabitants including these water sensitive amphibians.

 

Here is a video that shows the toads emerging from their mothers back:

 

Check out my previous A to Z posts:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O

Sources:

(1) Rainforest Alliance(2) Arkive(3) Ask Nature (4) San Diego Zoo (5) ADW

Image Sources:

(1) Wikipedia (2&3) Arkive(4) Ask Nature (5) Pinterest (6) San Diego Zoo

 

 

 

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thefroglady

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20 thoughts on “P is for…Pipa pipa

  1. Hole-y toad! Great post, very informative.And unsettling, though I suppose it’s perfectly natural for them to look like road kill, lack eyelids, drill holes in their mother and then pop out again when the time is right.

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