Maybe hoppin’ and glidin’.

Fringe-limbed tree frog (Ecnomiohyla fimbrimembra)

Fringe-limbed tree frog (Ecnomiohyla fimbrimembra)

Cute Frog of the Week: April 2, 2012

The fringe-limbed tree frog is an extremely rare find, and therefore not much is known about this elusive species. These frogs live high in the canopy and are often overlooked. For this reason, it is difficult to conduct proper population counts, though they are considered endangered.

The prominent feature of these frogs is the dermal fringes between their fingers and toes. Scientists believe that this webbing can act like a parachute or glider wings when the frogs extend their fingers and toes outward, which would allow them to do just that— hop and glide from tree limb to tree limb. However, though this behavior has been observed in other related species, these particular guys have never been seen doing so. The frogs also have sticky disks at the tips of their fingers.

Based on individuals that have been found, this species’ coloration can range from lavender-brown, yellowish-white, brownish-tan, to green.

Native to Costa Rica and Panama, these frogs are nocturnal and from what researchers currently know, prefer living in humid premontane and lower montane forests. Being that these frogs spend most of their lives in the upper canopy, breeding, egg-laying and juvenile development occurs in tree-holes.

The main threats to these frogs are general habitat loss due to deforestation primarily for development and livestock ranching.

Photo by Andreas Hertz via ARKive.

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