Darwin’s Frog

January 5, 2022

Rhinoderma Darwinii, commonly called Darwin’s Frog, is named, unsurprisingly, after Charles Darwin. The great naturalist discovered it on his famous voyage on the HMS Beagle, which lasted from 1832 until 1835.

Range

Darwin’s Frog can be found in Chile from Concepción Province to Palena Province and in Argentina from Neuquén Province to Río Negro Province. As well as being located in bogs and slow-moving streams, it can be observed in forested areas up to 3,600ft (1100m) above sea level.

Unfortunately, the Darwin Frog’s range has been reduced in recent decades due to habitat loss, and it is now classed as endangered on the IUCN Red List. In response to this, two zoos in Chile have established breeding programs.

Behavior

Although it is a carnivore, Darwin’s Frog is also susceptible to larger predators, such as rodents, birds and snakes. Therefore, it relies on its skin texture and color to camouflage itself and plays dead to avoid being eaten.

It is a diurnal creature, active by day and sleeping at night.

Physical Characteristics

  • Length – 2.5cm – 3.5cm (0.9in – 1.4in)
  • Weight – 2g – 5g (0.07oz – 0.17oz)
  • Top Speed – 5mph
  • Diet – Insects, worms and snails
  • Color – brown, gray, black, tan, green

Fun Facts

  • Darwin’s Frog can camouflage itself as a dead leaf.
  • Hatchling tadpoles are carried in the male Darwin’s Frog’s vocal sac for about 50 to 70 days.
  • Their scientific name (rhinoderma) means rhinoceros-nosed.

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