Amazon Milk Frogs are a small frog species of about 4 in residing in the tree canopy of the Amazon Rainforest in South America. They are a highly-patterned, poisonous, and multi-colored frog that are extremely vocal when attracting a mate.
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|Common Name||Amazon Milk Frog|
|Other Name||Mission Golden-Eyed Tree Frog|
Blue Milk Frog
Amazonian Cave Frog
|Scientific Name||Trachycephalus resinifictrix|
|Locations||Amazon Rainforest, Guyana, Columbia|
Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil
|Characteristics||Ventral side is usually lighter|
Dorsum shows banding
|Color||Dark and light brown|
|Conservation Status||Least Concern|
|Max Length||Males 77mm (3 inches)|
Females 88mm (3.46 inches)
|Max Weight||5 grams|
|Lifespan||15 years + in the wild|
25 years in captivity
Amazon Milk Frogs Live in the Amazon Rainforest
These frogs live in tree canopies of the Amazon Rainforest in South America and rarely ever visit the forest floor.
Their range spans from Bolivia to Columbia, Brazil, Ecuador, to Venezuela, and can be found in rainforests of other South American countries.
They are arboreal, living in the canopies of trees, nocturnal, active only at night, and eat small insects and invertebrates such as spiders.
Their Coloration and Patterns Vary
Amazon Milk Frogs can look very different from one another.
They are very patterned, with bands and dots speckling their bodies.
They are always multi-colored and have a lighter ventral belly.
Amazon Milk Frogs most common colors are light or dark brown, cream, blue, and a sort of khaki-green color.
They Get Their Name From They Secretions
Many frogs secrete a toxin over their bodies to use as a defense mechanism against predators.
Amazon Milk Frogs do the same, but the look and color of their secretion is what gives them their name.
Their secretions are poisonous to predators, but not as potent as some other frogs’ poisons.
The secretion that Amazon Milk Frogs use to cover their bodies is a white, milk-like substance, hence the name, ‘Milk Frog.’ It defends against predators and helps keep their skin hydrated to aid in respiration.
They are amphibians, afterall!
Breeding Season and Behaviors
The breeding season for Amazon Milk Frogs is the same as the rainy season for South America.
Breeding happens November through May and it is the males responsibility to find a suitable habitat for eggs and attract a mate.
Males will find water-filled tree holes or depressions in vegetation to claim as their own.
Males are Highly Vocal to Attract a Mate
Male Amazon Milk Frogs are highly vocal during the breeding season.
They use their vocalizations to attract mates once they have claimed a suitable habitat for eggs and tadpoles, that is, a water-filled tree hole or plant depression.
Females can lay over 2000 eggs at a time!
Watch this YouTube video of a male Amazon Milk Frog calling in captivity.
It is a distinctive and loud call that can echo and amplify off the walls of the tree hole to allow the sound to travel farther to reach more potential mates.
The Central Florida Zoo describes the call as sounding like “oars tapping the side of a canoe.”
Can I have an Amazon Milk Frog as a Pet?
There are many frog breeders that raise Amazon Milk Frogs to be pets.
These are captive bred and rarely taken from the wild for the purpose of being a pet.
Like any amphibian, the correct husbandry conditions are expected when owning one as a pet.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of care sheets and guides online!
How to Find An Amazon Milk Frog In the Wild
- Be in the Amazon Rainforest in various South American countries where these frogs can be found. Don’t forget to bring a raincoat and boots!
- Amazon Milk Frogs are nocturnal, so, the next step is to go searching the Amazon Rainforest at night!
- Once you’re in the Amazon at night, listen for a call. Amazon Milk Frogs are very vocal when attracting mates. So, it might be best to visit between November and May, which is their breeding season (when they’ll be calling the most) but also the rainy season.
- Search in tree holes above the ground. These frogs breed in tree holes filled with water and will call from those holes. They are arboreal, so don’t forget to climb some trees!
Fun Facts About Amazon Milk Frogs
- Amazon Milk Frogs are arboreal. This means they live exclusively in trees. They rarely ever come down to the ground.
- They are also nocturnal, meaning they are only active during the nighttime. Sometimes they will call during dusk and dawn, when the sun is coming up and setting.
- While they are poisonous, their toxin is not very potent. But, it will make predators feel sick.
- Sometimes they will mate in water-filled depressions in vegetation if a tree hole is not available or adequate.
- Females can lay upwards of 2500 eggs at one time!
Amazon Milk Frog Attraction: Central Florida Zoo animals. Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.centralfloridazoo.org/animals/amazon-milk-frog/
Amazon milk frog (Trachycephalus Resinifictrix). iNaturalist. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/67251-Trachycephalus-resinifictrix
AmphibiaWeb. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://amphibiaweb.org
Henry, T. (2022, March 21). Fun facts about amazon milk frogs. Sacramento Zoo. Retrieved from https://www.saczoo.org/2022/03/fun-facts-amazon-milk-frogs/
IUCN. 2022. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2022-2. https://www.iucnredlist.org.