Ornate Burrowing Frog

Photographed after pursuit [3]; cowering under red leaves after hopping away

A red-orange ornate burrowing frog (Platypectrum ornatum) emerges from the sandy soils after a brief thunderstorm. This species is small (generally 4.5-5mm in length), plump with short limbs, and variable in color, most brown with elaborate splotches and pale yellow markings resembling a decorative cobblestone. Ornate burrowing frogs have metatarsal tubercles on their hind legs to burrow backwards into the substrate and remain dormant during the dry season. They emerge from their burrows after heavy rains to forage on small invertebrates in the leaf litter and to breed. Males float in small bodies of water, even puddles, and call to attract a mate. Once in amplexus, females will lay over a thousand eggs in a single foam nest that they create by rapidly hitting the water’s surface with their feet to trap air bubbles.

Photographed in situ [1]

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