Featured Frog Species
The 2013-2014 exhibition Frogs: A Chorus of Colors includes more than 20 species from around the world. Find out more about individual species below, and use the navigation on the left of this page to learn about green invaders, toothless predators, and more.
- African bullfrogs (Pyxicephalus adspersus) are native to sub-Saharan Africa and can grow to 8 inches in length. During times of drought, they are able to live without food or water for months by burrowing underground and hibernating; when it rains, they re-emerge to eat and mate.
- African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are almost completely aquatic and are found in stagnant pools, puddles, and streams. They originated in sub-Saharan Africa, but can now be found in freshwater habitats worldwide.
- American bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) are found in ponds, lakes, and slow-moving streams throughout the U.S. The females lay 20,000 eggs at one time, and the tadpoles take up to two years to metamorphose. The bullfrog has a diverse diet, from crayfish and other frogs to small mammals and birds.
- Borneo eared frogs (Polypedates otilophus) are indigenous to Borneo, Sumatra, and other Indonesian islands. Females lay eggs in foam nests attached to branches overhanging the water. They create the nests by beating a frothy secretion into foam with their hind legs.
- Brazilian milk frogs (Trachycephalus resinifictrix), named for the poisonous, white secretion that this frog may produce when threatened, breed in water-filled holes high in trees. The male cares for the eggs after he fertilizes them. After the eggs hatch, he will lure another female to the same hole to lay a second batch of eggs, which become food for the tadpoles.
- Dart-poison frogs are found in Central and South America. Nearly 100 individual dart-poison frogs representing 10 species are housed in two separate enclosures in the exhibition.
- Giant monkey frogs (Phyllomedusa bicolor)are found in the Peruvian and Brazilian Amazon. Males call from high above the ground and descend to branches just above ponds to mate. The call is a loud “cluck” followed by several short, lower-pitched notes.
- Long-nosed horned frogs (Megophrys nasuta), indigenous to the rainforests of Sumatra, Borneo, Indonesia, and Malaysia, are leaf mimics. Their pointed snouts, projections over their eyes, and ridged “veins” running down their backs help them disappear among the leaf litter on the forest floor.
- Oriental fire-bellied toads (Bombina orientalis) are found in ponds, lakes, and rice paddies in Korea, northeastern China, and southeastern Russia. Their green and black backs serve as protective camouflage, while their bright orange bellies warn potential predators of toxic skin secretions.
- Mexican dumpy frogs (Pachymedusa dacnicolor) are from the semi-arid subtropical lowland forests of Mexico. They spend almost their entire lives off the ground, living in tree canopies on branches and leaves, and are excellent climbers.
- Ornate horned frogs (Ceratophrys ornata) live in grasslands and prairies in Uruguay, Brazil, and northern Argentina. They have voracious appetites but are not built to chase prey. Instead, they bury themselves in loose soil and pounce on small animals that pass by.
- Smokey jungle frogs (Leptodactylus pentadactylus) are semiaquatic frogs with powerful thigh muscles. These frogs, found in Central and South America, are often used in gourmet cuisine.
- Smooth-sided toads (Rhaebo guttatus) native to northern South America, are one of the few toads (a subset of frogs) with smooth skin. They are active both day and night hunting for prey that includes mice, birds, snakes, and other frogs.
- Tomato frogs (Dyscophus antongilii) are native to the lowlands of Madagascar. Because of their bright colors, these frogs are popular with pet owners and collectors. Though many frogs are bred in captivity, over-collection of wild frogs could still be a major problem. Frogs that live on islands or in small populations are most at risk. Tomato frogs have been given priority protection by international law.
- White-lipped bright-eyed frogs (Boophis albilabris) are found in the trees of rainforests of eastern Madagascar. Males develop dark, callus-like bumps on the head, chest, and forelimbs during mating season.