Saturday, October 13, 2007
The variety of frogs on Nosy Mangabe, and on the Masoala Peninsula, was dazzling. They come in various sizes but most of them are teeny tiny. The camouflage is ASTOUNDING. My personal favorite was a frog I did not get a photo of who looked like a dirt clod. His skin was bumpy like the wet mud/dirt and you literally couldn't see him unless he moved.
I was able to catch several frogs just by having them jump into my hand. I never tried to pick them up as they are just too delicate. I held them just to examine them closely and then set them all back where I found them.
There were many frogs with pointed noses designed to look like the tip of a leaf. One was mostly black with a tan stripe down his back which precisely matched the black leaves and tan twigs he was hopping on. Without the aid of my local guides I would not have seen 99% of these frogs. Looking closely I was able to notice only about 10 of them on my own.
I've never been an amphibian person, rather, mammal centric. But, these Madagascar frogs really changed my mind. I was thrilled to come across each and every one of them. Photos were hard because the camera has a hard time between the darkness of the forest, the humidity and the camouflage, but I got a few decent photos. Above see a tiny frog in my guide's hand for size comparison, and one camouflaged on some forest leaf litter.