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The Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis

October 13th, 2006

Phylomedusa3.jpgIt looks like our phyllomedusa hypochondrialis is doing quite well in our renovated greenhouse. Just after it gets dark, they wake up first, before our agalychnis callidryas. As soon as they are awake, they go to their favourite spots. Our female is mostly sitting at a branch just above the ground and is always peering if no crickets or moths are passing by. It is great to watch her when she sees a cricket and is sneaking very slowly towards it. Her long legs are moving one by one and this goes so slowly that the cricket does not notice it and all of a sudden she pushes off so rapidly and dives to the cricket which disappears into her big mouth. With a lot of chewing the cricket is been eaten. Sometimes, if some legs of the cricket will not cooperate and stick out of her mouth, she is massaging her mouth with her front legs so she can consume it more easily, also great tPhylomedusaKoppel.jpgo watch. Our male we see seldom eat. As soon as he is awake, he goes to one of his favourite plants high above the largest pond and stays there for hours calling the female, who is just sitting a few meters away, just out of sight.
Some time ago our female seemed to think, let us take a look if this male is attractive enough to mate. For several months, since we got this couple, she showed no interest in him at all. After a short inspection, our male saw his chance and jumped above her. All night long the female crawled through the whole greenhouse looking for a good deposit place for her clutch of eggs. She is a little squeamish. The deposit place has to fulfil to certain conditions. It has to be out of sight from eventually ‘robbers’. The leafs have to hang above water and the leafs have to be fresh and not too stiff. This is necessary because they deposit their eggs at a leaf that has to be fold up and sticked together afterwards.PhylomedusaEieren1.jpg SPhylomedusaEieren2.jpgo the eggs will be protected. Some of the eggs just contains water, so the other eggs will not dry out.
The following night they deposited the eggs, afterwards the female went straight away to her favourite spot and also the male, he started directly calling again. Unfortunately for the male, there is only one female in the greenhouse, so he has to wait for some time, before the female is willing to mate again.
After a week the clutch came out and the larvas swum immediately around into the pond. Here they had to compete with other larvas and tadpoles. About hundred others tadpoles were swimming around in the pond, from our red-eyed treefrogs and tricolors. So probably not all the tadpoles will survive, but the ones which will come ashore, will be strong frogs. Now, after about 2 months, we have found our first young one who came ashore, still with tail, but a real beauty, already beautifully coloured. His parents already had again eggs and the larvas are already swimming around since a couple of days. 

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