Protected by the following WLT projects:
Patchy brown colouring, warts all over their body and pointed ‘horns’ provide the Smooth Horned Frogs with excellent camouflage among the fallen dead leaves (3). This helps them stay unseen during their sit-and-wait approach to hunting (2) and keeps them hidden from predators.
Smooth Horned Frogs spawn in temporary slow-flowing water within or near boundaries of the forest (1). Recently metamorphosed young are ~18mm long and adults reach 50-75mm (2). They have a large mouth, around 50% of their body length, which allows them to consume relatively large prey such as beetles, crickets, spiders, cockroaches and even smaller frogs (2).
When provoked, their defensive behaviour is to flatten their body, stretch their rear legs backwards and front legs forwards and remain motionless for several minutes (4). This confuses predators which rely on visual detection, as they look even more like fallen leaves and, if caught, such a posture makes them difficult swallow.
The Smooth Horned Frog is a common leaf litter dwelling species endemic to Brazil. Inhabiting the coastal stretch of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, it is found throughout the primary and secondary highland and mountain forests and also in recently degraded areas (1).
Threats and Conservation
Key threats faced by the frog are habitat loss due to deforestation and being taken for the pet trade (1).
- See IUCN Red List of Threatened Species for more information on the classification of the Smooth Horned Frog
- IUCN Red List website: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/57296/0
- Giaretta, et al. (1998) Food habits and ontogenetic diet shifts of the litter dwelling frog proceratophrys boiei (wied). Rev. Bras. Zool. [online], 15 (2), pp. 385-388.
- Heyer, et al. (1990) Frogs of Boraceia, Arquivos de Zoologia, 31 (4), pp. 231-410.
- Toledo, L. F. and J. Zina (2004) Proceratophrys boiei (Smooth Horned Frog) - Defensive behavior. Herpetological Review, 35 (4), pp. 375.
- Rocha, C.F.D., et al. (2007) A survey of the leaf-litter frog assembly from an Atlantic forest area (Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu) in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, with an estimate of frog densities. Tropical Zoology 20: 99-108.