The Brazilian frog is probably the only pollinating amphibian in the world

Another fantastic news about nature! Brazilian researchers may have discovered the only species of amphibian in the world, the Brazilian tree frog, capable of pollination.

It’s the frugivorous frog ( Xenohyla truncata ), endemic to the Atlantic Forest, the only amphibian in the world that feeds on fruits. According to scientists, it feeds on plants, fruits and even nectar. The presence of pollen on the amphibian’s back was the main discovery of the study, which suggests that this Brazilian frog can pollinate.

Xenohyla truncata : pollinating frog

this is impressive Xenohyla truncata be a pollinating species. Almost all amphibian species in the world are carnivorous, with insects being the main protagonists in the diet of these animals.

But although it is rare, some amphibians are able to feed on plants.

The small Brazilian fruit tree frog, about five centimeters long, lives exclusively in the rest areas of Rio de Janeiro. Unfortunately, is in danger of extinction as real estate expansion threatens its natural habitat .

Based on stomach analyzes of individuals of this species found in collections, the researchers had already discovered that this frog had an omnivorous diet, feeding on various plant structures, in addition to invertebrates. But the differential is its preference for fruits, which makes it an important seed disperser, a unique feature in post-metamorphic amphibians (in the post-metamorphosis phase).

The animal was filmed performing this type of feeding for the first time. Depending on the period of observation, frogs not only ate different things, such as larger fruits (previously it was believed that they only ate small fruits, as they did not chew) and petals, they were also caught sucking nectar.

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Amphibian specialist Henrique Nogueira explains:

“I was monitoring Búzios when, luckily, I managed to find about 10′ Xenohyla truncata ‘ feeding on plants. I was immediately excited that it was such a rare animal to see and spent the entire night monitoring the group’s feeding behavior.

The greatest discovery, however, was the observation that when the frog entered larger flowers in search of nectar, it ended up leaving with pollen grains attached to its back, making this species a potential pollinator, something that would not be unprecedented. in the world of amphibians. ”.

tree frog, pollinating amphibians, fruits, pollen

The frugivorous tree frog (Xenohyla truncata) is endemic to the Atlantic Forest and is considered a Vulnerable (VU) species to extinction and ‘Near Threatened’ internationally by the IUCN list.

He lives exclusively in the state of Rio de Janeiro and spends most of his time sheltered in bromeliads that he uses for protection.

Congratulations to the researchers for this fantastic discovery for the Brazilian fauna!

By Lara Meneguelli. Article in Portuguese

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