Anura (frogs & toads)
Bufonidae (true toads)
Habitat & Range
Panamanian Golden Frogs live in the tropical forests located in southern Mexico, Central America, and northern South America.
In dry locales, males measure approximately 1.5 inches long, and females measure larger at 2 inches. In larger, moist forests, males can grow as large as 1.75 inches and females 2.5 inches. The frogs are distinguished by their bright yellow skin and black spots.
Panamanian golden frogs communicate with rivals and prospective mates by hand waving. This unique attribute is thought to have evolved as a result of their throat calls being drowned out by the noise of the fast moving streams located in their natural habitats.
The panamanian golden frog is an insectivore, meaning it eats insects.
Reproduction & Lifespan
Panamanian Golden Frogs mate during the rainy season. Eggs are laid in groups called “clutches”, with 200 to 600 eggs per clutch. Males guard clutches until they hatch, and will transport newborn tadpoles to a new water source if the one they are hatched in becomes inhospitable. The frog is known to live up to 12 years in the wild.
A National Icon
Panamanians look to the golden frog as a symbol of good luck. Their legend says that the frogs turn to gold after they die, and anyone who happens upon the frogs in the wild will be blessed with prosperity.
|The Panamanian golden frog is listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but it may be in fact extinct in the wild. The Elmwood Park Zoo is one of a small number of institutions located in both the Republic of Panama and the United States that are committed to preserving these frogs through education, study, fundraising, and breeding captive specimens.