Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia (Amphibians)
Order: Anura
Family: Pipadae

Genus/species: Pipa pipa

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The stout body has a triangular head, small black beadlike eyes and nostrils at the end of two narrow tubes on its snout. Huge, webbed rear feet are used for propulsion. It is dark gray to brown color, along with flaps and projections of skin on the jaw and around the body, helping it blend into the surroundings.

Length up to 20 cm (8 in). Weight: 3.5 to 5.6 ounces.

DIET IN THE WILD: Juveniles are cannibals and predators. Adults  lye patiently in wait locating food with long fingers with star-shaped tactile organs on its fingertips in murky water P. pipa does not have teeth or a tongue, so its large mouth helps it swallow food whole eating  fish, worms, insects, and crustaceans.


REPRODUCTION/DEVELOPMENT: Males utilize a rapidly repeated clicking sound to attract mates. Grasping the female from above, the male fertilizes the eggs as they are extruded. The male and female somersault together through the water, as fertilized eggs are released. Given the female’s swimming dexterity and an assist by the male, the eggs are placed on her back where they embed in the skin, which has become soft during mating season. Within 24 hours the female’s skin begins to swell around her eggs forming skin-covered pockets. Larvae mature through the tadpole stage within these pockets for 12–20 weeks, and eventually emerge as fully formed toads, though they are less than 2 cm (0.8 in) long. Surinam toads have reproduced successfully at the Steinhart for many years.

Mortality/Longevity: Though they often seem all skin and no flesh, these toads are eaten by some indigenous Amazonian peoples and other aquatic predators.Lives up to 8 years.


REMARKS: Like all Pipidae, it lacks a tongue. The clicking sound they make is produced by snapping the hyroid bone in their throats.
Pipid frogs seem more specialized for an aquatic life style than any other group of frogs as suggested by their flat bodies, dorsal eyes, the lateral line system of the adult, extensive webbing, powerful hind limbs that cannot be folded under the body, and elaborate aquatic courtship behaviors.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium animal attractions 2017

Ron’s flickr

Animal Diversity Web


Ron’s WordPress Shortlink