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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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