|Actual amplexus and fertilization process of Polypedates leucomystax|
Mindanao is blessed with so much wonders and most of it is hidden in front of our plain sight. We are now much accustomed to the modern lifestyle that most of us have forgotten to rediscover the beauty of nature hidden in the dwindling forest of our country. Not much left forest in the Philippines, the island of Mindanao presents as last frontier being a natural refuge habitat for our declining wildlife.
In one of my ventures in the Municipality of Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur, I was so ecstatic to witness the actual reproduction of an amphibian that I suspected as Polypedates leucomystax or tree frog in the wild. Two sets of couple were attached conspicuously on a tree at the middle of a shallow pond inside the forest of Agusan del Sur.
That was the very first time I have seen this species that were currently discharging hundreds or thousands of eggs on the self produced foam nest that resemble like a membrane sack attached on both hind legs. The male firmly embrace on top of the female (amplexus) liberating its sperms simultaneously with the release of eggs for further fertilization.
This event is very seldom seen and encountered in the field and only few lucky individuals were able to observe the actual adaptive survival means of population expansion of wild tree frogs. I tried to search for a photo of the same actual case but no result have found in the net yet. It would be another self fulfillment discovery for me to be the first to witness and document the reproduction of P.leucomystax in action here in the Philippines.
P.leucomystax is a small to medium-sized common tree frog, with males averaging 50 mm in total length and females averaging 80 mm in total length (McKay 2006). P. leucomystax ground color is a variable shade of brown, ranging from pale brown to yellow-brown, reddish brown, gray-brown, or dark brown (McKay 2006). Throughout most of its range, patterning is prevalent, and the pattern varies from spotted to longitudinally striped. Plain forms are also seen but not as commonly. (Frith 1977; McKay 2006). However, on Bali, the most common form is plain, without pattern. (McKay 2006).
According to IUCN, this species is currently least concern due to its adaptability to various types of environment. This is native among Asian countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh,Thailand, Philippines, Nepal, Myanmar, Indonesia and Brunie.