Amazon Rainforest Amphibians
The wet, warm and humid environment of the Amazon Rainforest creates a fantastic environment for a variety of Amazon Rainforest amphibians. Unfortunately, the world’s amphibians are under threat from a variety of factors and amphibian populations are declining worldwide. The Amazon still contains the highest diversity of different amphibians and many animals could be going extinct before we even know they exist.
Similarly to many animals in the Amazon, the Amazon Rainforest amphibians are less diverse in the eastern Amazon compared to the west. The western Amazon Rainforest has been found to support a much higher diversity of different animals, which could be linked to proximity to the Andes mountain range. Amphibian communities differ for each area within the Amazon Rainforest, which intensifies the need for research on these animals.
- Harlequin Frog
- True Toads
- Defense Behavior
Harlequin frogs are really true toads in the genus Atelopus, but as they have a smooth skin and lack the toad-like warty appearance they’re more similar to frogs. Usually there is no scientific difference between what we know as frogs and toads. The pictured frog (Atelopus pulcher) is active during the day hunting the forest floor for small insects and other invertebrates. They have a funny behavior when disturbed by a predator and rock on their bellies holding their arms and legs out in a sky diving pose. While they rock, they show off their bright orange colored palms.
This strange looking creature is an Amazon climbing salamander (Bolitoglossa altamazonica). There are over 70 different species of tropical salamander in the genus Bolitoglossa and they usually like living high in the trees. Here they prey on a range of prey like ants and other manageable invertebrates. What defends these apparently defenseless animals? Some can secrete toxins through their skin, which paralyses and often kills snakes (a major predator).
Short Nosed Tree Frog
- Short Nosed Tree Frog
The following photographs illustrate different stages in an amphibian life cycle. Here are two mating Short Nosed Tree Frogs (Dendropsophus brevifrons). These frogs live in the trees and similarly to many frogs likes to come out at night. After mating, the female lays eggs on leaves above water. The tadpoles then simply fall off the leaf into the water when they emerge.
Poison Dart Frog with Tadpole
- Poison Dart Frog
- Parental Care
A different strategy of rearing offspring, these poison dart frogs don’t just let their tadpoles drop into water, but instead show a bit of parental care. They carry each tadpole individually up trees and let them go in epiphytic plants that collect water, often bromeliads, which contain pools of water home to different invertebrates the tadpole eats.
Tadpole at Land Stage
- Absorbs Tail
This strange looking amphibian is an intermediate stage between a tadpole and frog. The tadpole has grown legs and left the water adapting to life on land, but it still has a large tail remnant. The tail is slowly absorbed back into the body and the tadpole gets wider and more frog-like.
- Final Stage
This is the final stage of a tadpole becoming a frog. The tadpole now has color and resembles a frog in all aspects apart from a small tail stub that hasn’t been completely absorbed. The frog blends in well with the leaf it’s sitting on as a way of avoiding predators.
To see rainforest frogs in the Amazon Rainforest, the above photos were taken at the Tahuayo Lodge in the Tamshiyacu Tahuayo Reserve by Tahuayo Lodge guide Alfredo Dosantos Santillán. The last photo was from the Tambopata National Reserve at the Refugio Amazonas Lodge, a perfect choice for an Amazon family vacation.
Tahuayo Lodge Iquitos, PeruAt the Tahuayo Lodge you receive a private guide as standard & have access to the associated Tahuayo River Amazon Research Center where you can observe abundant monkeys and Amazon animals. Enjoy the most activities available in the rainforest as you whiz along the canopy zipline, visit Frog Belly, canoe the rivers & customise your tour to your liking. If you have specific interests, we will assign you a guide with this specialty.Private Guide, Zipline, Primate Research Grid
Refugio Amazonas Lodge Puerto Maldonado, PeruIf you’re looking for child friendly Amazon tours, this lodge has the only children’s trail in the entire Amazon Rainforest making it ideal for a family adventure. We will tour Lake Condenado and climb the Canopy Tower to view animals of the vast Tambopata National Reserve, and after jungle walks, you can relax in the wellness center with aromatherapy treatments or a massage.Children’s Trail, Wellness Center