Blue Milk Frog
The Mission golden-eyed tree frog or Amazon milk frog (Trachycephalus resinifictrix) is a large tree frog native to the Amaz on rainforest in South America. It is sometimes called the green milk frog. It was first discovered along the Maracanã River in Brazil. This species was formerly in the genus Phrynohyas, more recently synonymous with Trachycephalus.
Amazon milk frogs are just one of the many amazing residents of the Sacramento Zoo’s Reptile House. These green-and-brown frogs delight and mystify visitors of all ages. Following are some of the most frequently asked questions about Amazon milk frogs.
Blue Milk Frog Appearance
These frogs are quite large, reaching lengths of 2.5 to 4.0 in (6.4 to 10.2 cm). Adult frogs are light gray with brown or black bands, while juveniles have stronger contrasting colors. As they age, their skin develops a slightly rough texture. Their blood tends to have a blue color visible through the skin, most prominently on the mouth and toes.
The common name “milk” comes from the milky liquid these frogs secrete when stressed.
Amazon Milk Frogs Habitat
Amazon milk frogs live in tropical rainforest canopies of Northern South America including Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, Southern Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. These frogs live in the rainforest canopy, usually near slow-moving water. Milk frogs stay in the trees, rarely descending to the forest floor. Amazon milk frogs have specialized toe pads that allow them to climb plants. These toe pads are so strong that they can hold up to 14 times the frog’s weight.
Are amazon milk frogs poisonous?
When threatened, Amazon milk frogs secrete a white substance that sticks through their skin. Although not as toxic as other frog poisons, it can still make predators sick. Coating its body in an opaque white substance also helps keep the frogs hydrated. This white secretion is the source of the name of the Amazon milk frog.
How long do amazon milk frogs live?
It is estimated that wild Amazon milk frogs live 15+ years. In human care, they can live up to 25 years.
Behavior and Life Cycle
It is rare to see a milk frog on the forest floor. In fact, the only time milk frogs descend a tree is during the breeding season. The breeding season takes place during the rainy season from November to May. The male is responsible for finding a suitable place to lay eggs, in a hollow filled with water or another source of water. The male will call the females to come and lay their eggs in the water. The female lays about 2000 eggs in a viscous mass, which the male then fertilizes. After the eggs are fertilized, a male may ask another female to lay a mass of eggs next to the fertilized eggs. He will leave these eggs unfertilized so that they do not hatch and can provide food for the newly born tadpoles. This is the final step of parental care, although both parents may be close to the hatchery.
Eggs will hatch within one day, and once the tadpoles hatch they must find their own food source and are left to fend for themselves. It takes about 3-5 weeks for tadpoles to metamorphose into froglets. At this point, the frogs will leave their natal area to find a territory of their own. They reach sexual maturity at 1 year.