Phylum: Chordata

Class: Lissamphibia

Order: Anura

Family: Hylida  

Genus/species:  Phyllomedusa sauvagii

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS:  Females grow larger, 3.24 in. (8.2 cm); Males – 2.8 in. (7.1 cm).  They have white spots and markings on their bellies and a white line that runs laterally around their bodies. P. sauvagii are bright lime green in color, though they can change color (becoming dark/olive) quite rapidly when stressed.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT:  Southeast Bolivia, northwest Argentina and Paraguay where hot, dry, windy, desert-like conditions are common. Inhabits dry prairie on savanna, shrub land and forested areas.  Also found in  trees and vegetation near temporary freshwater ponds and lagoons.

DIET:  Small insects such as flies and ants. 

REPRODUCTION: P. sauvagii make a coarse, leaf nest in which they lay their eggs. The nest hangs over water and when the eggs hatch, the tadpoles drop into the water where they develop into frogs.

MORTALITY: Can live for up to 8 years.

Waxy monkey FrogIMG_8772

REMARKS: Their feet are more like “hands” with opposable thumbs that allow them to grasp branches. They rarely jump (unless frightened) but prefer to climb/walk hand over hand, much like a monkey, with slow, methodical movements.

They secrete a waxy substance that they spread over their bodies to “seal in” moisture and prevent water loss. They also excrete semi-solid urates, which further allows them to minimize water loss.

LOCATION: Water Planet  WP45