They live in warm and humid areas within the Andes. They begin their egg stage in the water, where they will remain until they become terrestrial adults. As the tadpoles grow, the gills disappear, the posterior and anterior legs develop and the tail contracts. Over time, the tadpole becomes a frog. The female of the Andean frog has a dorsal bag where the eggs are incubated until birth, which occurs in the advanced tadpole stage. During embryonic incubation, females become very large. They can incubate up to 250 embryos. At birth, tadpoles are just two centimeters long and are released into the water. Three weeks later, their hind legs will be developed, and they reach the size of an adult after a year of metamorphosis.
Although not abundant, these frog populations are not threatened with extinction. However, other Andean frogs are considered in a vulnerable situation: the Mantaro frog (Batrachophrynus barchydactylus) and the Junin frog (Batrachophrynus macrostomus), are two similar species that are at risk, both of which are protected in the Junin National Reserve. In general, the frogs of the Andes are considered in a rare situation due to the constant alteration of their living space and the contamination of the waters where they live.
You can find these frogs in the Andean region, from Colombia to Chile and Argentina, through Peru.
Cover photo: Flickr
Source: Guia de Identificaciond e Especies de la Fora y la Fauna del Peru
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