Horned marsupial frog

Gastrotheca cornuta

The horned marsupial frog , is a species of frog in the family Hemiphractidae. It is an arboreal species found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Panama. Its natural habitats are tropical moist lowland forests and montane cloud forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.
A female Eyelash Marsupial Frog (Gastrotheca cornuta) brooding eggs in her dorsal pouch The Eyelash Marsupial Frog, Gastrotheca cornuta, is a canopy dwelling frog.  Females have a pouch in their backs where they store fertilized and developing eggs.  The eggs go through development completely within this pouch and fully formed frogs emerge from the special structure.  This female is carrying a clutch of developing eggs.  This species is declining across its range in the mountain forests of Central America.  The image was taken at the Atlanta Botanical Garden (2007) in a conservation breeding program where this species was bred in captivity for the first time. Eyelash Marsupial Frog,Gastrotheca cornuta,Horned marsupial frog,Panama,declining species,direct development,endangered species,hylidae,marsupial frog,parental care,tree frog

Appearance

An adult ''Gastrotheca cornuta'' grows to about 7 to 8 centimetres long. The head is broad and the snout is rounded when viewed from above. The iris of the eye is bronze with a greenish center and the upper eyelid has a triangular peak. The skin on the back is smooth and has a number of transverse ridges. The fingers are unwebbed but have circular pads on their tips. The hind legs are long and the toes are partially webbed. The female has a pouch on her lower back in which she broods her eggs. The body color is pale brown at night but dark brown by day and there are pale markings between the mouth and eyes during the day. Permanent color features include narrow dark transverse stripes on the body, a dark line running from near the eye to the groin and a pinkish or light brown belly.
The Eyelash Marsupial Frog (Gastrotheca cornuta) - Panama The Eyelash Marsupial Frog (Gastrotheca cornuta) is a canopy dwelling frog. Females have a pouch in their backs where they store fertilized and developing eggs. The eggs go through development completely within this pouch and fully formed frogs emerge from it. This species is declining across its range in the mountain forests of Central America. The image was taken in Panama, 2006. Eyelash Marsupial Frog,Gastrotheca cornuta,Horned marsupial frog,Panama,amphibian decline,canopy inhabiting amphibians,direct development,parental care

Distribution

''Gastrotheca cornuta'' is a nocturnal species and is found in tropical forests and lower montane cloud forests in Limón Province, Costa Rica, and in adjoining areas of Panama on the Atlantic slope at altitudes between 300 and 700 metres . In Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama it occurs on the Pacific side of the divide at altitudes between 90 and 1,000 metres above sea level. It lives high in the forest canopy.

Status

''Gastrotheca cornuta'' is listed as "Endangered" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Numbers of individuals across its range have been decreasing and it is no longer present in Costa Rica and Panama on the Atlantic slope. It has also decreased in numbers in Colombia and in Ecuador where it never was common. Its status in eastern Panama is unknown. The reasons for its decline include the disease chytridiomycosis, deforestation, and human activities.

Behavior

The male ''Gastrotheca cornuta'' calls from high in the canopy to attract a mate. His call sounds like a champagne cork being drawn. The eggs of ''Gastrotheca cornuta'' are the largest known amphibian eggs. They are carried in individual chambers in the female's brood pouch. The developing embryos have umbrella-like external gills that spread out against the pouch wall, which is highly vascular. Gas exchange takes place through the wall of the pouch. There is no free-living tadpole stage for this species and when their development is complete, tiny froglets make their way out of the brood pouch.

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Status: Endangered
EX EW CR EN VU NT LC
Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAmphibia
OrderAnura
FamilyHemiphractidae
GenusGastrotheca
SpeciesG. cornuta