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Sunday, November 6, 2016

Species Fact Profile: Puerto Rican Crested Toad (Peltophryne lemur)

Puerto Rican Crested Toad
Peltophryne lemur (Cope, 1869)

Range: Puerto Rico
Habitat: Limestone Karst (Pools in Rock Formations)
Diet: Snails, Beetles, Ants
Social Grouping: Seasonal Breeding Congregations
Reproduction: Breed during rains in temporary pools.  Females lay up to 15,000 eggs in long, black strings.  Eggs hatch within 24 hours and complete metamorphosis from tadpole to toadlet in 18-25 days.
Lifespan: 10 Years (Captivity)
Conservation Status: IUCN Critically Endangered

  • Body length 6-12 centimeters, 50-150 grams.  Females larger than males
  • Textured, pebbled skin is olive-green in males, duller brown in females.   Creamy stomach.  Eyes are striking, marbled gold.  Snout is slightly upturned; crest above eyes
  • Nocturnal, spend their days in fissures of the limestone, seldom seen out and about outside of the breeding season
  • Thought to be extinct until 1967, when a small population was rediscovered in Isabella in northern Puerto Rico; later rediscovered in a second site
  • Toads are coaxed out of hiding places by rainfall, with the heavier the rains, the more toads emerging; heavy rains can attract toads from up to 3 kilometers away to breeding pools
  • Only toad species native to Puerto Rico; endangered by habitat loss due to agriculture and development, as well as predation/competition from invasive species, such as cane toads, mongooses, dogs, and cats
  • Captive breeding and reintroduction program began in 1982, now taking place at three sites around the island
  • First amphibian species managed as a Species Survival Plan by the AZA

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