- Golden Frog
- Physical Description:
- Palumbo, Luke ( donor )
- Spatial Coverage:
- General Note:
- Species: Atelopus zeteki.
Life Span: 12 years.
The golden frog is actually a toad, and is only found in Panama, living in mountain streams on the eastern side of the Tabasará Mountain Range. The frogs' habitat used to extend from the Panamá province to the town of El Copé in the Coclé province, but western populations have been wiped out by disease.
Endangered Status: The golden frog is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, only one level below Extinct in the Wild and only two levels below Extinct. It's population has declined over 80% over the last 10 years mostly due to chytridiomycosis, an amphibian bacterial disease. The species is all but gone in Western Panama, as the disease collapsed the El Copé population in 2004. The disease appears to be spreading from West Panama to East Panama, and eastern populations have begun declining.
The golden frog also faces threats such as deforestation of habitat and water pollution. Today wild populations are in extreme decline, but attempts to breed the frogs in captivity have kept them from going completely extinct. More than 50 facilities across Panama and North America breed the frogs in captivity.
Toxicity: Normally the frog is a bright yellow color, warning predators that it is toxic. The golden frog is the most toxic in its entire family (Bufonidae), able to kill a mouse in 2 minutes. The skin of a single frog has enough toxins 1,200 mice.
Mating Habits/Communication: Male frogs whistle and have two distinct calls they make to attract females. They also use a kind of sign language called "semaphore" to communicate. They will wave their hands at females to attract mates, or wave their hands at males in greeting.
Panama's National Animal: The Panamanian Golden Frog was used for centuries by indigenous Panamanians as arrow poison. However today it is the country's national animal, thought to represent good fortune. It appears on t-shirts, lottery tickets, magazines, and August 14 is "National Golden Frog Day." National Golden Frog Day is celebrated with a parade and a display of the frogs. The frogs are frequently captured and put on display in hotels, restaurants, and tourist locations, and Panamanians believe that seeing one is good luck. If a Panamanian is lucky enough to see a golden frog, they often take it home to bring good luck to the entire household.
IUCN Red list of Endangered Species, http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/54563/0
/// Frederick A. Fuhrman, Science Journal, http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/1727720.pdf?acceptTC=true&acceptTC=true&jpdConfirm=true
/// Amphibia Web, http://www.amphibiaweb.org/cgi-bin/amphib_query?query_src=aw_maps_geo-ceam&table=amphib&special=one_record&where-genus=Atelopus&where-species=zeteki
/// San Diego Zoo, "Panamanian Golden Frog," http://animals.sandiegozoo.org/animals/panamanian-golden-frog
- Source Institution:
- University of Florida
- Holding Location:
- Panama Canal Museum Collection at the University of Florida
- Rights Management:
- All rights reserved by the source institution.
- Resource Identifier:
- accession number - EDU2013.1.671
- System ID: