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News Briefs

Romance is Ribbiting for Romeo and Juliet - Thursday, Feb 14, 2019

Meet Juliet, a Sehuencas water frog recently collected from the Bolivian cloud forest. (Robin Moore, Global Wildlife Conservation)

A year ago, Romeo was trolling looking for another just like him. The staff at Bolivia’s Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Cochabamba put an ad up on the dating site to help bring awareness and funding to help locate another Sehuencas water frog. They didn't find him a "date" on the site, but they gained the funding needed to locate 5 frogs, including an adult female who has been named Juliet.

Close to a waterfall, however, expedition leader Teresa Camacho Badani saw a frog jump.

“When I pulled it out, I saw an orange belly and suddenly realized I had in my hands the long-awaited Sehuencas water frog,” Badani, who works for the Museo de Historia Natural Alcide d’Orbigny in Cochabamba, tells Carrington. “My first reaction was to yell ‘I found one!’ and the team came running over to help me and pull the frog to safety. It was an incredible feeling.”

Researchers are still looking for more of the cricitcally endangered frogs to build an assurance population. Read more about this awesome expedition at

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Featured Contributors

Come and Meet Bob.
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Apr 22, 2019

Newly metamorphosed "Bobs",
Phyllomedusa bicolor

Meet Bob. Bob, you ask? Who’s Bob. Just wait a few minutes and you’ll see. Well, at least we call him Bob. In fact, we call them all Bob. There ya go! Hear that? That’s Bob. Yep. He croaks his name. Time and again, from dusk til about midnight, Bob—in fact all the Bobs, let us know that all is well.

Let’s track him down so you can really meet him. We’ll start by walking out in back to the banks of the reservoir. OK. Now let’s just stand in the dark for a few minutes. He’ll call again. “Bobbb!” That’s him. Shine your light into the tops of the banana trees and look carefuilly. Ah ha. Right next to us, seemingly undisturbed by the flashlight, is a Bob—a Bob still silent. But next tree down is another—right there—top leaf about a foot from the apex. And he’s a big one.

We watch quietly, our light on low beam, and Bob straightens a little, his throat puffs up just a bit, and “Bobbbbbbb.” Well, it was either a Bob or a burp that time, but I’ll go for the former.

So what are Bob and his brethren? They’re big, beautiful, green hylids, the largest of the phyllomedusine treefrogs. Bob is Phyllomeduas bicolor, a giant monkey frog. We were on the banks of our little man-made reservoir, an area of perpetual moisture. Over the years we had searched various areas of the Peruvian rainforest for these frogs and were delighted when we were lucky enough to find one or 2. Then came Santa Cruz Forest Preserve, the reservoir, and rather than us looking for them, the monkey frogs, at least 3 species of them, came to us.

That night was nearly the beginning of the monkey frog breeding season. The seasonal rains had ushered in the Amazonian summer and bicolors were moving in in numbers. Within a day or so, or perhaps even within the hour, the females would be moving our way and within a week bicolor tadpoles would be schooling in the shallows of the reservoir. Another couple of weeks and the first of the tads, little blue-gray metamorphs, would be emerging.

Mother Nature at her best!

Continue reading "Come and Meet Bob."

To Cuba, Again
Richard Bartlett - Monday, Apr 15, 2019

A Cuban racer, Caraiba andreae

Three months to go. In late June Jake and I will be airborne—on the short flight from Central Florida to Havana. As quickly as we can rent a car and rendezvous with our guide, Tomas, we’ll be headed to who knows where for a week of herping and birding with various friends on this wonderful island.

So far I have been to Cuba twice, both times basically for birding. However on the last occasion Lloyd and I managed to sneak away while everyone else was searching for owls and do a little nighttime herping. We walked a long way, but for our efforts saw several Cuban giant toads, Bufo peltocephalus, several species of tropical eleutherodactyline frogs, all of confusingly similar appearance, and distressingly, a few American bullfrogs, Rana catesbeiana. On shorter jaunts we crossed paths with 2 examples of the island’s largest dwarf boa (aka “wood snake”), Tropidophis melanurus, and several pygmy racers, Caraiba andreae.

When I returned from that trip I began to think about making a herping trip a priority and mentioned it to Jake. His answer was “let’s go.”

So I contacted Tomas, a herper, birder, and all around biologist, and plans were made. We’re hoping for photos of several species each of dwarf boas, a Cuban water snake or two, more racer taxa, anoles, curly tails, and anurans. Not to mention the big Cuban boa. Oh yes—and a stygian owl! Please wish us luck.
Continue reading "To Cuba, Again"
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  - To Cuba, Again
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