Trachycephalus resinifictrix

Mission Golden-eyed Tree Frog
Amazon Milk Frog
Blue Milk Frog

Goeldi, 1907

Family:  Hylidae
Genus:  Trachycephalus
Species: resinifictrix

As tree frogs go these are relatively large, with adults ranging in size between 3 – 4” (or approximately 7.62 – 11.43 cm) snout to vent. Young frogs are smooth-skinned and boldly banded in shades of grayish-beige, white, and dark brown to brownish-black. As they mature the colors become more muted, and the skin becomes heavily textured with small nodules. The name “Amazon Milk Frog” was so given because of the milky toxin excreted through the frog’s skin if sufficiently agitated.

I was given a few Amazon Milk Frog tadpoles some years ago before I knew anything about them.  Rearing the tadpoles was simple enough, and it gave me time to learn what they would require in order to thrive by the time they became metamorphs.  During my research I was excited to find pictures of boldly patterned froglets with giant golden eyes sectioned with black crosses.  This just may be my favorite tree frog!

Etymology
Various references site that Trachycephalus is a reference to a modified snout; however, “Trache” indicates windpipe, trachea or matters thereof, and “cephalus” pertains to the head, so I’m not sure what to make of this.  The “resin” in resinifictrix is Latin, referential of the resin-like viscosity of the toxin.  

Distribution/Habitat
T. resinifictrix ranges extensively throughout the Amazon Basin from sea-level to around 1,500 ft (or about 450 m)ASL.  It is a primary rainforest canopy-dweller, observed favoring branches hanging above streams, rarely if ever descending to the forest floor. An environment filled with mature trees is required  because it breeds in water-filled cavities in tree trunks.

During the rainy season T. resinifictrix deposits as many as 3,000 eggs which will hatch in less than 24 hours!   The tadpoles, being opportunistic omnivores and detritus feeders will scour their surroundings for food; however, it is the nutritive eggs deposited by an unrelated female (at the male’s coaxing, as is the case with various Dendrobatid Ranatomeya species) that will nourish the tadpoles into metamorphs.

Although currently listed under “Lease Concern”(LC) by they IUCN due no doubt to their extensive range, certain populations are surely affected by the continued deforestation throughout various regions of the Amazon.

References:
The Beardsley Zoo: Beardsleyzoo.org
Encyclopedia of Life: eol.org
IUCN Red List of Endangered Species: www.iucnredlist.org