8 smallest frogs

Review of the best according to the editors. About the selection criteria. The the material is subjective, is not advertising and is not serves as a guide to the purchase. Before purchase is needed consultation with a specialist.

Frogs are one of the most ancient amphibians of the planet. Places where their you can’t meet, you can count on the fingers: the Arctic, Antarctica, Sahara, as well as remote islands in the ocean. Exist more than 500 species of these creatures. Differ not only in size and appearance, but also behavior.

Their smallest representatives mainly live in warm and humid tropical climate, hiding from predators among the fallen foliage, grass and trees. They can be found in the forests of Papua New Guinea, in Madagascar and in the jungle of Brazil. Usually set aside several eggs, from which then completely appear Shaped Tiny Frogs. The following is a description. some of the smallest members of the family.

The smallest frogs

Nomination a place name Length
The smallest frogs 8 Saddle Toad (Brachycephalus ephippium) 19.7 MM
7 Noblella pygmy (Noblella pygmaea) 12.4 MM
6 Cuban Dwarf (Whistler) (Eleutherodactylus limbatus) 11.8 MM
5 Rhombophryne proportionalis 11.3 MM
4 Gardiner Frog (Sechellophryne gardineri) 11.3 MM
3 Iberia Eleutherodactylus 10 MM
2 Isexon’s Toad, Brazilian Golden Frog (Brachycephalus didactylus) 10 MM
1 Paedophryne amanuensis 8 mm

8th place: Saddle-toad (Brachycephalus ephippium) – no more 19.7 mm

Rating: 4.3

Brachycephalus ephippium

Small frog with adults from 12.5 to 19.7 in length mm, with a bright color, living in the mountain Atlantic coastal forest southeast Brazil. Prefers rainforests, and more often total found in piles of fallen leaves.

Frogs have a bright yellow or orange color. Full iris black. The toad has a strong body with short legs.

They were nicknamed saddle because of the presence of a bone plate on back, which fuses with the processes of the vertebrae. Toad is poisonous leads a daily lifestyle, feeds on small insects: mosquitoes, aphids and ticks.

Usually they walk on the litter, clean themselves, wiping their heads and body with its limbs. In the dry season, they remain under the logs. or fallen leaves.

Males are very territorial in the rainy season. When approaching another frog, the male signals with both croaking and movement paws up and down in front of your eyes. If the offender is a male, who is not going to leave, then the “landlord” hugs him and fights, pushing aside.

Reproduction occurs in the rainy season. Sound calls of males consist of a continuous series of beeps lasting from two to six minutes. Males raise their body, demonstrating “high posture. “The male grabs the female and goes after her, choosing a place for laying eggs in fallen leaves or under a log. Females lay up to five large yellowish-white eggs for about half an hour. When males leave the mating site, females turn the eggs over with their hind legs. Females leave eggs without supervision. Development is direct (without the tadpole stage), with hatching of miniature toads occurring after about two months. Recently hatched toads still have a rudimentary tail. Pumpkin toads are active foragers. Diet for adults consists of small arthropods, primarily columbolans, but also includes ticks and insect larvae

Scientists have discovered fluorescence from these toads. In addition, they found that the brightness of the glow depends on age. The older frog – the stronger it fluoresces, especially under ultraviolet radiation. Scientists suggest that fluorescence can be used to improve intraspecific visual communications.

7th place: Noblella dwarf (Noblella pygmaea) – no more than 12.4 mm

Rating: 4.4

Noblella dwarf (Noblella pygmaea)

This species is a member of the craugastoridae family and is endemic to the Cuzco region, in the Peruvian Andes at an altitude of over 3,000 meters. It was there that the joint German-American expedition found these individuals whose sizes do not exceed 11.1 mm in males and 12.4 mm in females.

The color of the dwarf frog is adapted to life on earth in the fallen leaves. Its main color is light brown with dark spots. The frog’s back and sides are decorated with dark brown, broken lines. The eyes are also dark brown with an orange ring.

Noblella dwarf has another great feature, not surprisingly long for the rest of Peru’s dwarf frogs forefinger.

To discover the tiny amphibian hiding in the foliage trees, you need to carefully check every centimeter of the surrounding terrain. It is mainly found on the edges of a forest overgrown shrubs and herbaceous plants, or in the so-called “elven forests” with gnarled, dwarf trees and grassy layer with a high proportion of mosses. Thanks to color adjustment and stealth behavior among foliage, it is largely protected from predators.

The new genus was named by American zoologist Thomas Barbour in 1930 in honor of his friend and colleague Gladwin Kingsley Noble Noblella. Dwarf nobleles live constantly in one place, not moving anywhere even during courtship games. Females lay just two eggs at a time in moist leaves or under moss and protect them from insects until frogs hatch from eggs. That the fact that the species is not forced to leave its habitat – even for egg-laying – helps protect it from natural enemies.

6th place: Cuban dwarf (whistler) (Eleutherodactylus limbatus) – no more than 11.8 mm

Rating: 4.5

Cuban dwarf (whistler) (Eleutherodactylus limbatus)

The Cuban dwarf, as the name implies, is found on the territory of Cuba and some other South American countries. Is an one of the smallest frogs of the territory – males reach 11.7 mm in size, and slightly larger females grow only to 11.8 mm.

This frog is dark brown to purplish brown colors, with two straight side stripes, from white to yellow on body and from yellow to orange on the head. Muzzle and front limbs are yellow. Flanges are black. Hidden thigh surfaces have a slightly yellowish line along the entire length of the thigh. Belly from white to cream colored, and throat bright yellow, sometimes with faint dark dots.

This species is endemic to Cuba and is found throughout the island on low, medium and high altitudes (up to 1200 m). The frog is behaving active in the daytime, making sounds from the surface of the earth. This is a view direct development, laying one large egg under the fallen foliage. Food includes ants and small bugs. Moves around in small leaps or, more often, slow walking.

5th place: Rhombophryne proportionalis – no more than 11.3 mm

Rating: 4.6

Rhombophryne proportionalis

Madagascar, an island slightly larger than mainland France, totals more than 350 species of frogs. Moreover, this number is constant growing – due to research on tropical forests. And representatives many of the recently discovered frog species are very different small sizes.

For example, Rhombophryne proportionalis (“proportional”), from Tsaratanna, in the north of Madagascar, grows only to 11.3 mm. At this female is much larger than males, which, in principle, and common to many species of amphibians. “Men” Rhombophryne proportionalis reach a body size of 9.7 mm.

Rhombophryne proportionalis is rather difficult to find and describe. Not only is it one of the smallest frogs in the world, so her body is also painted brownish brown. Because of this the animal literally “merges” with fallen leaves and bark of trees, and finding it becomes very difficult – and how researchers and predators alike.

But Rhombophryne proportionalis publish quite loud sounds due to which females find males. Frog “Men” very shy, so that at the slightest alarm they stop croaking. AND due to the fact that they hide under fallen leaves, find them It gets a lot harder. By the way, frog croaks are pretty complex, the sound series includes 9-17 notes, “pronounced” with noticeable intervals.

4th place: Gardiner Frog (Sechellophryne gardineri) – not more than 11.3 mm

Rating: 4.7

The Gardiner Frog (Sechellophryne gardineri)

Sechellophryne gardineri – another of the smallest frogs of the world. Adult individuals have a length from muzzle to cesspools in males 10.1 mm and for females 11.5 mm. S. gardineri are common across a range of forest habitats in Seychelles, especially in Mahe and Silhouette.

The head is flat and wide, the eyes are large, the muzzle is pointed, extends beyond the lower jaw. The nostrils are closer to the tip snouts than to the orbit, and the frog has no skin folds between eyes. The forearm is thin. Fingers have membranes that don’t cover the tips completely, reaching about one third of the total finger lengths. Shin is thin and short. Shins and muscular thighs and about the same length. Hips and underside are smooth. The tips of the toes are widened and pointed, but have no straps. Cesspool directed to the rear. In life, the backs of an instance consist of seven rows of tubercles. The first row has four tubercles, of which two located between the eyes and one for each eyelid, and the rows from two to seven have two tubercles evenly spaced along backs.

The frog is softly colored. Hips are brown with black spots. The back is brown with bronze spots. Belly black with gray stained. His arms and legs are black. Iris gold.

Sounds of S. gardineri are usually heard from fallen leaves and consist of a piercing single squeak or whistle, very similar to the sounds of crickets. It has no repetitions or secondary notes and lasts for 0.09 – 0.2 seconds.

It feeds on small invertebrates, including ticks, larvae mosquitoes, ants and amphipods. Eggs are laid in small clusters on moist ground, within 8 – 16 pcs. at a time. Larvae hatched as fully formed small adult frogs only 3 mm long. Although the Gardiner frog is safe in the regions in which it is found, it is classified as endangered.

3rd place: Iberia Eleutherodactylus – no more than 10 mm

Rating: 4.8

Iberia Eleutherodactylus

Eleutherodactylus iberia is the smallest frog in northern hemisphere. In adulthood, it reaches a length of only about 10 mm.

Dorsal skin slightly wrinkled, without folds. The head is the same as wide as the body, and as long as wide. Muzzle pointed when viewed from above and from the side. There is a small comb it is rounded and slightly concave from the back.

This little frog has a dark brown back coloring. colors with a bright copper stripe in the eye area, which gradually changes to orange for centuries, becomes golden yellow and white behind the eyes, then continues behind and becomes intermittent dorsolateral stripe near the opening. Located on the sides broken white line. On the forelimbs there is an orange strip. The hips have diagonal white lines intersecting from holes to the knee. The abdominal color is dark purple.

Endemic to eastern Cuba. Known only in the province of Holguin, in including near Nibujon at sea level and in Arroyo Suchio (Anacleto) Arriba, on the western slope of Monte Iberia, at a height 600 m. Dwells under fallen leaves and among the roots of ferns in secondary deciduous forest on the western slope of Mount Iberia. Eats mostly ticks. This species has skin toxins.

2nd place: Ixexon Toad, Brazilian Golden Frog (Brachycephalus didactylus) – no more than 10 mm

Rating: 4.9

Isexon's Toad, Brazilian Golden Frog (Brachycephalus didactylus)

Brazilian Golden Frog (Brachycephalus didactylus), also known as Isexon’s toad or a flea frog, is endemic to southeast Brazil and is found in central state Rio de Janeiro and also in Serra das Torres in the far south Espiritu Santo.

With a length of 8.6-10 mm from the muzzle to the cloaca, B. didactylus is one of the smallest species of frogs in the world.

Amphibian got its name “Brazilian Golden Frog” in primarily due to color. Almost her whole body is bright orange color. Only black eyes stand out, large and covered with translucent skin. Like many other tropical frogs, Isexon’s toad can “boast” of two crests at once lateral back.

Just a few names Brazilian Golden Frog “required” confusion during classification. So, her toxon toad named after the herpetologist Eugenio Isexon, one of the first scientists describing the species. And here is the nickname “flea frog” or “frog-flea” she received among the locals because of the small size.

Despite the bright color, the frog is quite difficult to catch, to study and describe. Not only is this species endemic to just one Brazilian region, so also, in principle, is infrequent.

1st place: Paedophryne amanuensis – not more than 8 mm

Rating: 5.0

Paedophryne amanuensis

Paedophryne amanuensis is the smallest frog in the world. Males grow only up to 7-8 mm! But the sizes of the females are unknown, since “women” have not yet come across scientists. Paedophryneamanuensis is found only in Papua New Guinea.

The frog is painted in dark brown color, which helps it hide in fallen leaves. There are also spots on the back. rusty color. But the belly is lighter – it can even be colored in slate gray tone. The frog has a short and wide muzzle, big eyes and tiny paws with even smaller ones rudimentary fingers.

Leads a nocturnal terrestrial lifestyle. Like most miniature frogs, lives in a moist forest litter. It is assumed that also propagated through direct development, skipping the stage tadpole. However, since only males were observed, their details reproductive behavior unknown.

The frog “singing” is also interesting. Paedophryne amanuensis publishes high notes, and very quickly – “pronounces” up to 1.5 tones in give me a sec.

They feed on small invertebrates such as acarias and columbolans. Due to its small size and relatively the widespread abundance of P. amanuensis is probably important member of tropical rainforest ecosystems. Being a shallow view probably more susceptible to invertebrate predation, which may explain its absence in aquatic habitats and its propensity to living in higher elevations where invertebrate diversity is less than in the lowlands.


Attention! This rating is subjective, not advertising and does not serve as a guide to the purchase. Before the purchase consultation with a specialist is necessary.

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