Blue-jeans frog

The local population of Oophaga pumilio are called ‘rana blue-jeans’ for obvious reasons. We hear them often, and occasionally spot one just before it ducks under a leaf. I was lucky to find an angle where I could see this one while it still felt like it was safely sheltered.

Here’s the story as I understand it:

If these two get together, the pair will lay an egg on a leaf someplace, and then the male will carry water to it several times a day to keep it hydrated.

After a week or so the egg will hatch and the female will pick up the tadpole (teamwork!) and carry it to a little puddle in a leaf or a bromeliad. Then she’ll lay an infertile egg concentrated with toxins that she’s collected from her ant-and-mite diet which the tadpole will eat, thus becoming pre-toxified.

The female will then visit the tadpole every day for a month, laying more infertile eggs for it to eat until it’s ready to climb out of the puddle and venture forth.

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