AmphibiansBiodiversity

Surinam Toad (Pipa) Facts And Their Biology With Habitat

We explain the Surinam toad facts, their sizes, biology, range, habitat,states,threats conservation and scientific name

  • The Suriname toad is a strange-looking amphibian with a very flattened body and a triangular head.
  • Unlike many other amphibian species, the Suriname toad does not sit on its forelimbs, instead adopting a constant extended position.
  • The breeding behavior of the Suriname toad is remarkable, males and females perform incredible pirouettes during mating.
  • The eggs of the Suriname toad are incubated in the skin of the female’s back where they transform into little toads that “hatch” by eruption through the female’s skin.

This distinctive South American amphibian is one of seven very unusual species in the genus Pipa. The intriguing members of this group are almost unmistakable as they have a very flattened body. Unlike many other species of amphibians, members of the genus Pipa do not sit on their forelimbs and instead are characterized by an extended position with the limbs pointing outward.

The Suriname toad is quite drab in color, the head and back range from blackish brown to muddy brown. This allows the amphibian to camouflage itself and hide from predators in the dark mud of its aquatic habitat. The underside of the Suriname toad is generally a paler brown, spotted with white and occasionally whitish with a dark brown streak on the belly.

The head of the Suriname toad is small and triangular. This species has been described as having a stargazing appearance as its tiny, lidless eyes are located on the upper surface of the head and are directed upward. Skin flaps, short tentacles can be seen at the corners of the jaw, on the upper lip, near the eyes, and on the chin. Although the skin of the Suriname toad is covered in small wart-like projections, it has a slippery texture.

All Pipa species have large, muscular hind legs, which make them great swimmers, and the Suriname toad is no exception. Only the hind limbs of this species are webbed and it has long, fleshy lobed fingers on its front legs that it uses to clean food from its wide mouth. This feeding method is necessary in this species; Like other members of the genus Pipa, the Suriname toad does not have a tongue. The Suriname toad is considered to be a kind of sexual dimorphism as there are subtle differences between the sexes, the male is generally smaller than the female.

Other names : Aparo, Common Cell Frog, Plank Frog, Chinelo Toad, Chola Toad, Cell Toad.

Sizes : muzzle-cloaca length: from 10 to 17 cm

Biology . It has an almost completely aquatic lifestyle. The Suriname toad is able to stay underwater for up to an hour without coming to the surface in search of air. As this species camouflages itself against the dark mud of its watery home, its small upward-looking eyes are capable of seeing in all directions, allowing it to detect and avoid predators.

The Suriname toad uses the sensory organs that it has on the ends of its fingers to detect the food that it then takes into its mouth, either with the help of its front legs or by sucking in the prey. The diet of this species is composed mainly of small fish and invertebrates.

One of the most notable characteristics of the Suriname toad is its unusual and quite elaborate breeding system. Mating for this species begins shortly after the start of the rainy season, with the male making a series of loud calls before grabbing onto the female in a position known as amplexus. If the female is not ready to mate, she will indicate it by a shudder.

The amplexus can last 12 hours or more, during which time the two toads perform a fascinating series of somersaults in the water. At the moment of the somersault when both toads are on their backs, the female lays between three and ten eggs that then fall on the male’s belly. As the male slightly loosens his grip, the eggs roll gently to the fluffy rear of the female to which they attach. At the same time, the male Surinam toad fertilizes the eggs. This process is repeated up to 18 times, laying between 60 and 100 eggs in total.

After the last egg laid, the male swims, leaving the female immobile. The skin of the female begins to swell little by little and to grow around each egg until it completely envelops them. Each egg is in its own bag, known as a brood bag, where they are covered by a hot lid, this process gives the female a honeycomb appearance. The larval development of the young, which metamorphose from tadpoles to toads, occurs entirely within the pouch. After incubating inside the pouches for three to four months, the young toads emerge from the skin on the back of the female. The Surinam toad is believed to live for seven to ten years, possibly longer.

Range . The Suriname toad is native to tropical areas of South America, where it is found from southern Suriname and Guyana through a wide area of ​​the Amazon basin, including Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru. It has the largest range of any species in its genus. This species is also found in the Caribbean, in the south and east of the island of Trinidad.

Habitat . The Suriname toad is an inhabitant of tropical humid forests where it can be found in the mud of slow-flowing waters such as streams, rivers, and lagoons. Within these aquatic environments, the Suriname toad frequently hides under submerged litter and rarely goes ashore, despite being found in flooded forests. This intriguing amphibian is a lowland species found at altitudes below 400 meters.

State . The Suriname toad is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List.

Threats . Although the Suriname toad is not considered endangered , it is believed that habitat loss and degradation as a result of logging and other human activities can affect and endanger local populations of this species. In addition, it is known that it is captured to be sold in the pet trade .

Conservation . There are no specific conservation measures for the Suriname toad. Despite this, the species is found in many protected areas that may allow it some protection.

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