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| Regions > Indomalaya > Chinese gliding frog

Chinese gliding frog

Location at the Zoo: Indomalaya



Region:

Southeast Asia

Class:

Amphibia

Order:

Anura

Family:

Rhacophoridae

Genus:

Polypedates

Scientific Name:

Polypedates dennysi

Description

: These tree frogs range from bright green to blue-green in colour. Immature frogs have white lines on their sides; older frogs have more broken up and irregular white spots and markings and white bellies. They are large frogs, females measuring about 10 cm, males about a half centimetre smaller. Since they are nocturnal, they have large black eyes. These are gliding frogs, so they have a webbed membrane between their toes and fingers, as well as large sticky toe pads that allow them to hang onto the trees where they live.

Distribution

: They are found in southeastern China, Myanmar and Vietnam.

Habitat

: P. dennysi lives in the montane forests of southern China. Elsewhere it inhabits forests and riparian forests in hilly areas. It breeds in still waters such as paddy fields, pools, ditches, marshes, and ponds. It is mostly restricted to primary forest.

Food

: These are carnivorous frogs; they eat the insects that inhabit their forest.

Reproduction and Development

: The call of this species is exceptionally loud. Males use a melodious call to attract the larger females. A rise in humidity can stimulate breeding. These frogs are foam nesters - the female lays her eggs in a nest of foam that the frogs create by beating with their legs a fluid that is secreted by the female. This secretion turns into a meringue-like substance that will hold the eggs until they hatch, or until the foam finally dissolves. The nest is built on plants or grasses overhanging water, and as they hatch, the eggs fall into the water where they tadpoles swim free. The eggs hatch in about a week and metamorphosis from tadpole to frog takes place over a couple of months. P. dennysi has a life span of about six years.

Adaptations

: Tree frogs can jump farther than any other frog. To escape predators these frogs are extremely good gliders, due to the ample strong webbing between their toes and fingers. As their toes spread on take-off, the webbing expands like a wing. The frogs are able to steer and change direction in the air. Suction pads on their toes allow them to land safely. They are also easily able to climb on vertical, smooth surfaces (like glass). They stay stuck to their branches throughout the daytime, and are active at night when it is safer. Camouflage is a primary means of defense. They will estivate (bury themselves underground) to get through seasons of drought or extreme temperatures.

Threats to Survival

: Numbers are declining from forest loss, non-timber forest products collection, plantations, wildfires, and changes to hydrology. Small numbers are also exported for the international pet trade.

Status

: IUCN: Not Listed; CITES: Not Listed

Zoo Diet

: Crickets, mealworms, Toronto Zoo reptile and amphibian supplement.


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