Saturday, August 28, 2010

COSTA RICA - Golden toads mating

The golden toad (Bufo periglenes) was a small, shiny, bright true toad that was once abundant in a small region of high-altitude cloud-covered tropical forests, about 30 square kilometers in area, above the city of Monteverde, Costa Rica. For this reason, it is sometimes also called the Monteverde golden toad, or the Monte Verde toad. Other common English names include Alajuela toad and orange toad. They were first described in 1966 by the herpetologist Jay Savage. Since May 15, 1989, not a single B. periglenes is reported to have been seen anywhere in the world, and it is classified by the IUCN as an extinct species. Its sudden extinction is cited as part of the decline in amphibian populations, which may be attributable to a fungal epidemic specific to amphibians or other factors, combined or acting independently.

The golden toad was one of more than 500 species in the family Bufonidae — the "true toads". B. periglenes inhabited northern Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve, distributed over an area of roughly 10 square kilometres at an average elevation of 1.5 kilometres.

Adult males measured just barely 5 centimetres long. Males have been described as being "Day-Glo golden orange", and unlike most toads their skin was shiny and bright. Jay Savage was so surprised upon first seeing them that he did not believe they could be real ; he is quoted as saying : "I must confess that my initial response when I saw them was one of disbelief and suspicion that someone had dipped the examples in enamel paint." Exhibiting sexual dimorphism, female toads were slightly larger than the males, and looked very different. Instead of being bright orange, females were colored dark olive to black with scarlet spots encircled by yellow.

Scientific classification
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum : Chordata
Class : Amphibia
Order : Anura
Family : Bufonidae
Genus : Bufo
Species : B. periglenes
Binomial name
Bufo periglenes
Savage, 1966

Postcard sent by Laura, as "LauraCR"
Private swap - Reference CR005

Sapos dorados
Golden toads mating
Crapauds dorés
(Bufo periglenes)

Muchas gracias

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