Gray Wood Frog (Batrachyla leptopus)

The gray wood frog (Batrachylaleptopus) was discovered by Charles Darwin in the dense forests of Valdivia, Chile. It has brown upper body and limbs, with brown and darker brownish-yellow bands that are more visible on the limbs and legs. On the contrary, the belly is pale with brown spots.

Sizes : 39mm length

biology. It is an inconspicuous species and the presence of the gray wood frog is discovered by the mating calls of adult males that are made from inside a moss-covered cave or crevice or under fallen logs. During mating, (called the frog and toad amplexus), the male climbs on the back of the female and grabs her body just in front of the hind legs. The female then produces a gelatin-like cluster with about 90 eggs that are fertilized by the male. The eggs are deposited in humid places under logs or stones near a body of water where they will remain until the appearance of the rain that will flood the area and that will be the moment in which the eggs hatch and the tadpoles develop in the flood water. . While this breeding strategy prevents the eggs from being exposed to aquatic predators, it depends on the occurrence of the rains. In the absence of rain, embryos can stop development and survive up to 40 days in their abundant yolk reserves.

Range . The gray wood frog inhabits the temperate forests of Chile and Argentina, from Concepción in south-central Chile to Coihaique. It is found between altitudes of 50 and 1,000 meters above sea level. Although this species is mainly distributed on the mainland, small isolated populations also persist on the island of Chiloé.

Habitat . Although mainly found in temperate southern beech (Nothofagus) forests, the gray wood frog also lives in swamps , marshes and swamps surrounded by forests, pond banks and lakes in swampy areas.

State . The gray wood frog is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

Threats . Due to the wide distribution of the gray wood frog and the presumed large population, it is not currently considered globally threatened. Despite this, the habitat of this species has been degraded or cleared for exotic tree plantations and human settlements, especially in the northern part of its range.

Conservation . The gray wood frog inhabits many protected areas and even in areas where it does not receive protection, it is tolerant of a degree of deforestation. However, it is but one of a number of notable frog species found in the temperate Notophagous forests of southern Chile, a habitat that needs to be protected by legislation in order to preserve the unique wildlife it contains.

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