Amazon Milk Frog

STATUSLeast Concern

COMMON NAME (SCIENTIFIC NAME)Trachycephalus resinifictrix

DIETInsects, other invertebrates, and small amphibians

RANGESouth America - Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela

HABITATTropical rainforest canopy

Amazon Milk Frog

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Program and General Information

The name “milk frog” does not refer to their coloration; it refers to the poisonous secretions this frog may secrete when threatened. This secretion is not only used to deter predators but it is used to also keep the frog hydrated.

Other Common Names: Mission Golden-eyed Tree Frog, Blue Milk Frog, Boatman Frog

Common Physical Features

Amazon milk frogs are a light gray color with patterns of brown or black banding. Juveniles show stronger contrast which fades as they age. Their skin may become bumpy with age. They range from 2.5 – 4 inches in length and are one of the largest frogs in South America. They are sexually dimorphic in size; the males are smaller than the females. Amazon milk frogs have large toe pads that allow for excellent climbing. The name “milk frog” does not refer to their coloration; it refers to the poisonous secretions this frog may secrete when threatened. This secretion is not only used to deter predators but it is used to also keep the frog hydrated.

Habitat and Global Range

Amazon milk frogs are found in Northern South America. They are commonly found in the countries of Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. These frogs will spend their entire lives in the tropical rainforest canopy. They will rarely, if ever, descend to the ground. This frog prefers to live close to slow moving waterways.

Diet

Insects, other invertebrates, and other small amphibians

Behavior and Life Cycle

Breeding takes place between November and May. The male frog externally fertilizes a clutch of about 2,000 eggs in a gelatinous mass floating in water. The egg mass may also be deposited in water trapped in a tree cavity. Eggs will hatch within one day, and metamorphosis from a tadpole to juvenile adult takes about three weeks.

Primarily nocturnal, this frog spends his days hiding from predators in the leafy canopy of the rainforest. They emerge at night to hunt nocturnal insects

Fun Facts

  • Their Latin name, Trachycephalus, refers to their long snouts which are used for pushing aside leaves and branches and allowing this nocturnal frog to tuck itself into tight hiding places during the day.
  • Milky Tree frogs are arboreal and spend their lives in trees and other plants. Milky tree frogs have special toe-pads on their feet to help them climb plants. They can hold up to 14 times the animal’s body weight.

Conservation Messaging

Amazon milk frogs are not a significantly threatened species at this time, but current loss of habitat due to agriculture and logging could lead to future endangerment.