IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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The brown egg frog, Ctenophryne geayi, is one of the few South American representatives of the small mouthed frog family (Microhylidae).  It is widely distributed east of the Andes in low altitude old growth Amazonian Basin forests (up to 600m asl) in Venezuela, the Guianas, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.  As it is nocturnal and lives secretively, burrowing in leaf litter, it is rarely found and not much is known about this species, however its large range and occurrence in multiple protected environments ensure it a least concern rating by the IUCN.  The brown egg frog breeds in seasonally flooded pools in slow-draining regions, over the course of about four months during the rainy season.  Males call from under the leaf litter, a prolonged trill that possibly shows regionally different pulse rates (Zweifel and Meyers, 1989; La Marca et al. 2010).

Brown egg frogs are uniformly medium brown, with a scattering of little white flecks on their dorsum.  They have darker brown sides, legs, and ventral coloring.  There is geographical variation of spotting on the underside of the abdomen with southern populations (south of the Amazon River, in north-central Brazil and east-central Peru) having larger spots than the pale and small flecking pattern in northern and western populations (Guiana through Ecuador to central Peru).  The chin on males is almost black in color in males, but paler and spotted in females.  Back feet are webbed, with males having significantly more webbing than females.  Females have a snout-vent length of 42 mm or greater at maturity, a feature distinguishing this species from the only other species in this genus, Ctenophyrne minor, a distinctly smaller species found west of the Andes in the Pacific lowlands of Columbia.  The two species were distinguished in 1989 (Zweifel and Myers, 1989).


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© Dana Campbell

Supplier: Dana Campbell

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