Friday 30 March 2018

Blunt-headed Burrowing Frog

Image: Khunpolrattachana
Glyphoglossus molossus
Now that is a face.

Or... most of one, at least.

Image: Khunpolrattachana
Is it just me or is there something strangely cat-like about that profile? An excessively fat cat, granted, but still.

Image: Thomas Brown
The Blunt-headed Burrowing Frog, or Truncate-snouted Burrowing Frog, or Balloon Frog, belongs to the family Microhylidae, the Narrow-mouthed Frogs. Certainly, some of their relatives look pretty strange with their pointy heads and tiny mouths but they're no Blunt-headed Burrowing Frog. This guy is one of a kind! No, really, it's the only species in their genus.

They come from Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, where they spend almost all their time burrowing through the soil. They might feed on ants and the like. By the looks of things, they may also repeatedly bump into rocks.

Video: praseodymi

They only emerge in the rainy season, which is when males show off their impressive ballooning skills as they call out to the females.

Image: Thomas Brown
Females lay several hundred eggs in ephemeral water bodies. Once they hatch, those tadpoles had better get eating! There's not a minute to lose as the ponds and ditches begin to dry out as the rainy season ends.

Image: Khunpolrattachana
Apparently, the tadpoles look much like those of any other Narrow-mouthed Frog.

The adults? Not so much.


Unknown said...

The first pictured frog looks like an over ripe avocado gained sentience and isn't happy about it.

Maple--wolf said...

That's an impressive chin for an amphibian.

Joseph JG said...

@Kheiran K: I'm not surprised, overripe avocado is the worst!

@Maple--wolf: Yes! It's a good reminder of how impeccably chinless amphibians usually are!