IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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The Amazon Milk frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix) is a large hylid tree frog (males 65-77 mm, females 86-100 mm snout-vent length) that inhabits primary forests in eastern Suriname, central Guyana, French Guiana and Amazonian Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil at altitudes up to 450 m asl.  The nocturnal T. reinifictrix is rarely seen because it lives entirely arborally, in rain water-filled tree holes (phytotelmata) in the forest canopy at heights between 2-32 m (6-100 feet) and seldom comes to ground level. The genus so named because of a milky white secretion it makes when threatened.  This species is also sometimes called the mission golden eyed-tree frog for its golden iris, with a black Maltese cross centered on the pupil; and the boatman frog, "sapo canoeiro", because its croaks sound like oars against the side of a canoe (Lima et al. 2005).  Their call can be heard at Fonozoo (http://www.fonozoo.com/fnz_detalles_registro_amphibia.php?id=76136&tipo_registro=1)

From their water-filled tree cavities males make loud, broadly-broadcasting calls from their large vocal sacs on cloudless nights, to attract females.  Breeding occurs mostly in the rainy season, August-September and April-June.  During breeding males have nuptial pads on the insides of their thumbs.  Females lay up to 2500 small black eggs in a jelly mass on the top of the water or on the walls of the cavity.  Dark brown on top with light-colored bellies, the tadpoles eat algae and plant detritus and conspecific eggs (opportunistic oophagy) as they develop in the tree cavity.  In captivity, the tadpoles finished metamorphosis about 10 weeks after eggs were laid.  Adults are insectivores (Mignet 2015; Lima et al. 2007; La Marca et al. 2010). 

Recent work revealed that T. resinifictrix included a cryptic new species, T. tschudi, also a canopy dweller and morphologically very similar, but recognizable by its distinct call frequency (Gordo et al. 2013)

Amazon milk frogs are commonly seen in zoological institutions and have been bred in captivity for decades.  Mignet (2015) gives detailed description of breeding fundamentals and life stages, geared especially for zoos, aquariums and captive breeding programs.

Note: This species was previously placed within the genus Phrynohyas.  Phrynohyas was recently synonymized with Trachycephalus (Faivovich, et al., 2005).


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© Dana Campbell

Supplier: Dana Campbell

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