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'With a pointed nose, lively gaze, smooth and moist skin, the male Darwin's frog – similar to a seahorse – protects its young infants in a sack inside its mouth. From this paternal womb, the tadpoles will feed to become
into small frogs, very similar to the father, which will emerge to repopulate those magical places again. From time to time it is possible to hear a small but vigorous whistle, as if it were a bird, it is the song of the little frog that fills every corner where flying deer prowl –which are actually giant beetles– and pudúes –which do not they are not only real deer, but also some of the smallest in the world–'

Andrés Valenzuela Sánchez – excerpt from the book “Discovering Darwin's Frog”.

Darwin's frog is an inhabitant of the southern temperate forest of South of Chile and Argentina:

distribucion ranita de darwin

IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group Chile (2018)

The body is little and seldom exceeds 3 centimeters of length:

diego peñaloza mirando a ranita de darwin en su mano

Its color varies from Intense green until the darker coffee, along with its shape resembles a leaf, allows it to perfectly camouflage itself in the environments it inhabits:

African Frog - Photography by Claudio Azat

colores ranitas de darwin (dorso amarillo de contulmo, cafe de neltume, lineas rojizas de chiloe, verde de melimoyu

Within its habitat it can be found coigues,cinnamon,bayberry,lumas,tepes,olivillos,handy, and many others that form the surrounding flora:

It is common to find the frog active during the day in small clearings in the middle of mature native forests,inhabiting the substrate made up of the most diverse mosses and ferns, as well as ofleaf litter,branches and other elements of the undergrowth.

ranita de darwin verde

The diet of the little frog is made up of a great variety of invertebrates that inhabit the forest, such as crickets,grasshopper,ants,myriapods,spiders little ones beetles, and some flying insects.

rana come 68 porciento invertebrados herbivoros y 32 porciento detritivoros e invertebrados carnivoros

Molina-Burgos et al. (2018)

Contrary to what was observed in other amphibians, the Darwin's Frog does not depend on bodies of water(rivers,rivulets,pools,wetlands either lakes) for survive, but if of a high environmental humidity.

Darwin's Frog is 100% terrestrial.

ranita de darwin terrestre

The natural predators of the Darwin's Frog must be mainly snakes and rhinocryptid birds (birds from Latin America also known as tapaculos and that are poor flyers), such as the chucao and the hued hued.

Hence his particular form of defense: when the frog is chased, taking a small jump, it remains lying on your back and it remains there, still, as if it were dead.
East standing reflex, added to contrasting color of its belly, you must confuse the predator and make it lose sight:

The chytridiomycosis, Besides the habitat loss (mainly, loss of the southern temperate native forest) and, together with other factors, have led to the Darwin's Frog being currently classified in the category In danger of extinction by the Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and by the Species Classification Regulation of the Chilean Ministry of the Environment (RCE) .

The disappearance of a sister

The Northern Darwin's Frog either Cowboy Toad inhabits the native forests of the Cordillera de la Costa in central-southern Chile, since Zapallar to Concepcion.
This species was first described in 1902, as a different genus from the Southern Darwin's Frog. Only in 1975, this species was scientifically re-confirmed and classified within the Rhinoderma genus.

mapa rhinoderma rufum (distribucion desde zapallar a concepcion)

IUCN Amphibian Specialist Group Chile (2018)

Unlike the Southern Darwin's Frog, the males of this northern congener would keep the tadpoles inside their vocal sac for a short period of time, after which they are expelled into the Andean streams so that they complete their larval development and metamorphosis (transformation from tadpole to little frog). Other characteristics of this species is that it has interdigital membranes well developed in their hind legs, an adaptation that would serve him for swimming.

Unfortunately, the Northern Darwin's frog it has not been observed since 1981, and is currently classified as a species Critically Endangered (Probably Extinct).If this is true, it would be the first Chilean animal to meet the sad fate of extinction in modern times.