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Love on Top…of the Tree (The Sex Life of Polypedates leucomystax, a Tree Frog )






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.



16 comments :

  1. Rochkirstin SantosMarch 20, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    Parang kadiri naman yang frog eeeek! :)) I tried to have a closer look... is that big something really attached to its lower body? Amazing!

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  2. So the male is the smaller of the two. Great capture. Have to agree with Jeffrey, this is Nat Geo worthy.

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  3. I hate toad but not a frog. This one is great to look at. It looks like a view from the Animal Planet. I didn't know that the smaller one was the male and the larger one was female until I read your post. Size doesn't really matter isn't it.....hehehe.

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  4. wow! this is really amazing. These are creatures we sometimes just neglect but looks at how they endure life just to go on and live.

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  5. Very interesting creatures. Not really familiar with tree frog as compared to regular frogs out there. You are privileged to have witnessed its love making...

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  6. oh em geee I thought they are just on top of a fruit, how nice of you to capture this great moment

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  7. Thanks , there so many amazing creatures out there that have been no longer our reach due to the destruction of their habitat... sad that the next generation might only see these wonderful member of the community on glossy pages of books and magazines

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  8. You just captured "sex in the animal kingdom"... it's a fascinating shot! This must be a gem of a photo. Try sending it to Nat Geo.

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  9. wonders of nature. It is good to learn something like this so if I have a chance to be with my child and asked about this, I can answer.

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  10. Very odd way of reproduction.
    But it's nice to know these things.

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  11. hmm, interesting, ganun pala ginagawa nila. Great post

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  12. Kakalerkei.
    I thought they are just resting on the petal of a flower.

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  13. The fact that you caught this photo is an amazing feat in itself, buddy. Good for you; this will really help those studying nature and/or hobbyists.

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  14. wow... those were sacs! great shot! :)

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  15. ka loka tlga ng mindanao! :)i thought they are just another image ...hmp

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