Saddleback toad

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Saddleback toads
Brachycephalus ephippium01.jpg
Spix’s saddleback toad, Brachycephalus ephippium
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Suborder: Neobatrachia
Family: Brachycephalidae
Günther, 1858
Genus: Brachycephalus

The saddleback toads are the family Brachycephalidae in the order Anura. The family has just one genus, Brachycephalus. It has 28 species.[1]

These tiny, often yellow frogs live in the cool cloud Atlantic forests of south-eastern Brazil. These mountainous areas have even more species (per square km) than the Amazon basin. Each small mountain has its own species.[1]

"For animals like the Bracycephalus frogs that are particularly sensitive to their environment, even the temperature change from mountain to valley forms a barrier. That leaves the population on each mountain top to slowly develop into a separate species".[1]

The saddleback toads are very small frogs. They are mostly about 1 centimetre (0.39 in) in length. They include the smallest frog in the southern hemisphere, the Brazilian golden frog (Brachycephalus didactylus).[2] They have only three toes on each foot, and two fingers on each hand. This is different than the usual five toes and four fingers of most frogs.

The saddleback toads are active during the day. They live in the leaf litter on forest floors. The eggs hatch into miniature frogs. There is no tadpole stage.[2] The eggs are laid on the ground. They are covered in soil to protect from the heat and predators.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Webb, Jonathan 2015. Seven tiny frog species found on seven mountains. BBC News Science & Environment. [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 Zweifel, Richard G. (1998). Cogger, H.G. & Zweifel, R.G., ed. Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians. San Diego: Academic Press. p. 103. ISBN 0-12-178560-2.