IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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The pointedbelly frog, Leptodactylus podicipinus, is a medium-sized South American leptodactylid frog, brownish in color dorsally, with a darker underside speckled with white spots. Females range in snout-vent length between 30-54 mm whereas males are smaller, 24-43 mm.  Tadpoles grow to 28 mm long, and have dark brown coloration, sometimes with white tail flecks (Heyer et al. 2004; Heyer 1994).

Part of the 13-species L. podicipinus-wagneri species complex in the L. melanotus group, L. podicipinus is widely distributed with the most southern distribution of the species in this group.  L. podicipinus is known from open formations of Paraguay, Northern Uruguay, Northern Argentina and Bolivia.  It also inhabits the Amazon basin of central Brazil, but only along the river Madiera to the river Amazonas, and east along the river Amazonas; Heyer suggests that this distribution indicates a recent invasion of the species to Amazonia.  Heyer (1994) also reported a distinct isolated population in Igarapé Belém, Amazonas, Brazil (although his map indicates that perhaps this population is in western Brazil, on the Amazonas river near the border of Columbia and Peru), but he rejects this as a true locality for this species, suggesting instead that the frogs collected here were confused with collections from another site (Heyer et al. 2004; Heyer 1994). 

Pointedbelly frogs live only in open habitats - grasslands and disturbed areas at altitudes up to 550 m (3800 feet) asl and are adaptable to urban areas.  Adult frogs are nocturnal, sit and wait generalist predators that eat a wide range of prey (Rodrigues et al. 2004).  Males create small protective basins on the edge of temporary or permanent ponds, a strategy thought effective against aquatic predators.  These basins fill with water from the adjacent water source and protected by a roof of leaves and brush above their hole, the males then call from within.  Females then lay pink eggs into a foam nest in the depression, and attend the eggs and tadpoles until metamorphosis.    In later stages tadpoles migrate out into the quiet pond waters (Prado et al. 2002).


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© Dana Campbell

Supplier: Dana Campbell

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