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Madagascan Tomato Frog

Dennis Stewart

Keller, United States

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Artist's Description

The Tomato frog is any one of the three species of genus Dyscophus (family Microhylidae): D. antongilii, D. insularis, or D. guineti.The tomato frog originally came from Madagascar.

The common name comes from the frog’s bright red color. When threatened, a tomato frog puffs up its body. If a predator grabs a tomato frog in its mouth, the frog’s skin secretes a thick substance that gums up the predator’s eyes and mouth, causing the predator to release the frog to free up its eyes. The gummy substance contains a toxin that occasionally causes allergic reactions in humans. The allergic reaction will not kill a human and the frog secretes it only when frightened. The lifespan of the Tomato Frog can be from 6 to 8 years. When adult, the colors may vary from yellowish orange to deep red. Tomato Frogs will reach sexual maturity in 9 – 14 months. Females are larger than males and can reach 4 inches in length. Males can reach 2 to 3 inches in length.Most females range from reddish-orange bright dark red. The bellies are usually more yellowish, and sometimes there are black spots on the throat. But males are not as brightly colored but more of a duller orange or brownish-orange. Juveniles are also dull in color and develop brighter coloration as they mature. They are also on the endangered species list.

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Artwork Comments

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