Surinam Toad (Pipa pipa) – Interesting Facts

Surinam Toad Featured Image

The Surinam Toad, also known as the Star-fingered Toad or Pipa pipa, is a type of frog that lives in South America.

It belongs to the family Pipidae and is known for its unusual way of taking care of its eggs.

The mother carries the eggs in special pockets on her back, and the baby frogs hatch out after 4 to 5 months.

What Does the Surinam Toad Look Like?

Surinam Toad is a big, flat frog with a triangular head. It has a brown, leaf-like body with dark spots that help it hide in its environment.

Its feet have webbing, and the front toes have small, star-like parts on them. Males can grow up to 154 mm long, while females can reach up to 171 mm.

The female frogs have a ring-shaped opening called a cloaca, which is visible when they are ready to breed.

Unique Features

Surinam Toad has some special features that set it apart from other frogs.

It doesn’t have a tongue, which means it catches food in a different way than most frogs. It also has a strong skull and bones that help it live in the water.

The Surinam Toad has small eyes and a special system that helps it find food and avoid danger.

Where Does the Surinam Toad Live?

Surinam Toad lives in slow-moving water, like streams, ponds, and pools in the Amazon rainforest.

It’s found in many parts of South America, including Brazil and Ecuador. This frog is very good at living in the water, but it has a hard time moving on land.

What Does the Surinam Toad Eat?

Surinam Toad is an omnivore, which means it eats both plants and animals. Its diet is mostly made up of worms, insects, crustaceans, and small fish.

This frog waits for food to come near, then it catches the food by sucking it into its mouth.

How Does the Surinam Toad Catch Food?

Since Surinam Toad doesn’t have a tongue, it uses a special way of catching food called suction feeding.

The frog can take in a lot of water and make its body bigger to catch its prey. It can also move its jaws in different ways to help catch and hold onto the food.

Surinam Toad uses its front legs to help grab and push the food into its mouth.

How Do Surinam Toads Reproduce?

Mating Season and Behavior

Surinam Toad mates during the fall and winter. The males make a clicking sound to attract females.

When the male and female toads find each other, they swim around together, and the male holds onto the female’s front legs.

The female’s back swells up, and the eggs are laid on her back.

Egg Development and Hatching

The eggs sink into the female’s skin and develop into tadpoles inside special pockets.

The baby frogs don’t come out as tadpoles but stay inside the pockets until they are fully formed.

After 12 to 20 weeks, the tiny toads hatch out and start living on their own. The mother then sheds the skin that held the eggs and starts the process again.

What Challenges Do Surinam Toads Face?

Although Surinam Toad is not considered endangered, it’s affected by habitat loss and changes caused by human activity, like farming and deforestation.

This means that we need to protect the places where these frogs live to make sure they don’t disappear.

Can Surinam Toads Be Kept as Pets?

Surinam Toads can be kept in an aquarium, but they need special care. They like to have plants and rocks to hide behind and need low light.

Since they produce a lot of waste, the water in the aquarium needs to be changed often.

You can check out what this amphibian looks like over here.

Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Pipa pipa
Also Known As:Surinam Toad, Star-fingered Toad
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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