Archive for December, 2018

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura (Frogs, Toads)
Family: Rhacophoridae

Genus/species: Theloderma corticale

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The Vietnamese Mossy Frog are a marvel of camouflage coloration and texture. Tubercles and spines on the skin and mottled colors of green, black, and purple make the animals blend perfectly into their mossy, wooded background. They have large sticky pads on their toes and a soft underbelly.

Length 7- 8 cm (3 inches)



DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: T. corticale are found in North Vietnam in subtropical and tropical moist lowland forests, freshwater marshes. A semi-aquatic species that spends much time in the water, hiding under rocks and floating plants. Also spends time above the water, attached to crevice or rock where it blends perfectly with its background.

Count the eyes below

DIET IN THE WILD: Nocturnal, they have a long, sticky tongue attached to the front of their mouth that they use to catch insects. Frogs has no hard palate. To swallow it pulls its eyes down into the roof of its mouth helping to push food down its throat.

ACADEMY DIET: Crickets primarily three times per week.

CONSERVATION: The World Conservation Union (IUCN) states that clear cutting forests and demand from the pet trade can potentially impact numbers.

REPRODUCTION: Eggs are laid on rocks or vegetation just above the water. After hatching, the larvae fall into the water below and metamorphose from a tadpole to a frog in about a year.

CONSERVATION:IUCN Red List: Least Concern

REMARKS: Like all tree frogs, they have adhesive toe pads that allow it to grip the undersides of slick leaves or rocks. Recent studies have shown these pads to be a sophisticated combination of mucous covered areas that provide wet adhesion and raised dry areas that provide a grip on dry surfaces. These findings have stimulated exploration into improved tire design.

They can absorb oxygen through their skin. (M Avila Academy Biologist)

Curls into a ball and “plays dead” when frightened.

Vietnamese Mossy Frog Theloderma corticale (Rhacophoridae)

Water planet, Water Dependence 


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Water Dependance 2018

Ron’s Flickr

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink


IUCN Red list


American Museum of Natural History.…


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Scorpaeniformes (Scorpionfishes and flatheads)
Family: Cyclopteridae (Lumpfishes)

Genus/species: Eumicrotremus orbis

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The globular shaped body is covered in cone-shaped plates, called tubercles. Females are dull green in color, while males are dull orange to reddish-brown.

Typically measures 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.6 cm) in length, with a maximum length of  7 inches.

The Pacific Spiny Lumpsucker’s anal fin has evolved into a large suction cup, allowing it to attach to surfaces. They are most commonly found attached to solid objects and are ineffective swimmers.


Distribution: North Pacific: From Japan to Alaska south to Puget Sound, Washington.
Habitats, include eelgrass beds, rocky reefs, kelp patches, shallow bays, and docks. They can be found in near shore waters to a depth of 500 feet (150 m).

DIET: Crustaceans and mollusks.

REPRODUCTION and DEVELOPMENT: Males guard eggs following spawning.


REMARKS: The large adhesive sucking disc with thickened fringed margin is composed of modified and ossified pelvic rays. When disturbed, the fish hovers about, changing directions aimlessly like a tiny helicopter.

The family name Cyclopteridae translates from Greek as “circle wing,” a reference to their circle-shaped pectoral fins. Their roe is used as a substitute for expensive and/or unavailable caviar.


California Academy of Sciences, Steinhart Aquarium, locomotion, 2018

Ron’s flickr site

Ron’s WordPress short link


Eschmeyer, W.N., E.S. Herald and H. Hammann, 1983. A field guide to Pacific coast fishes of North America. Boston (MA, USA): Houghton Mifflin Company. xii+336 p. (Ref. 2850)
(formerly on Academy staff)

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