PHYLLOMEDUSA

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So, as promised, here is something to counter all of last week’s eight-legged offerings (not that spiders can’t be adorable in their own right). There are lots of different species belonging to Phyllomedusa, but they all look like they have been plucked straight from the pages of a children’s book and deposited into the jungle by the magic pencil. The first time I saw one was on a field course a couple of years ago and it was as if someone had animated a cartoon- the thick black outline of its eyes, the spindly legs and the bright green of its skin… I watched it as it moved with a steady, exaggerated walk across the table and was immediately in love.

These photos are all Phyllomedusa vaillantii, or white-lined leaf frogs. There are other species (one of which I saw in Payamino, on a night without my camera) that have bright orange tiger stripes down their legs, and others that have deep red eyes that rival those of the hypnotoad.

One of those stand-out animals that simply has to be marvelled at, again and again.

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NB. Like most frogs Phyllomedusa are of course nocturnal, but these individuals were taken back to the research station by some colleagues working on herps. I took these few photos after they had been weighed and measured, and the following night they were returned to the exact spot where they were found unharmed 🙂

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