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Title: Dyscophus  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Dyscophinae
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Tomato frog
Tomato frog, D. antongilii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Microhylidae
Genus: Dyscophus
Grandidier, 1872

See text.

Tomato frogs are any of the four species of genus Dyscophus (family Microhylidae): D. antongilii, D. insularis, or D. guineti.

Three of the four species of tomato frogs are native to Madagascar. The common name comes from D. antongilii's bright red color. When threatened, a tomato frog puffs up its body. If a predator grabs a tomato frog in its mouth, the frog's skin secretes a thick substance that gums up the predator's eyes and mouth, causing the predator to release the frog to free up its eyes. The gummy substance contains a toxin that occasionally causes allergic reactions in humans. The allergic reaction will not kill a human and the frog secretes it only when frightened.

The lifespan of the tomato frog can be from 6 to 8 years. When adult, the colors may vary from yellowish orange to deep red. Tomato frogs will reach sexual maturity in 9-14 months. Females are larger than males and can reach 4 inches in length. Males can reach 2 to 3 inches in length. Most females range from reddish-orange bright dark red. The bellies are usually more yellowish, and sometimes there are black spots on the throat. But males are not as brightly colored but more of a duller orange or brownish-orange. Juveniles are also dull in color and develop brighter coloration as they mature. They are also on the endangered species list. They breed in the rainy season and are nocturnal. They tend to eat small insects and invertebrates.


There are three different species:

Binomial Name and Author Common Name
Dyscophus antongilii (Grandidier, 1877) Madagascar tomato frog
Dyscophus guineti (Grandidier, 1875) False tomato Frog
Dyscophus insularis (Grandidier, 1872)

External links

  • Species information
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