Species: Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum)
Status: Critically Endangered (CR)
Interesting Fact: Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog was first discovered in 2005 and only formally described as a new species in 2008.
Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog is known only from forest habitats in a small area of central Panama. This large frog has substantial webbing on its hands and feet, large discs at the ends of its fingers and toes, and fringes of skin along the outer margins of its forearms and feet. Remarkably, Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog is able to leap from the forest canopy and use its outstretched limbs and webbing to glide safely to the ground. This species is active at night and feeds on a variety of insects. Male Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrogs call to defend water-filled tree holes, where the females come to lay their eggs. The male then guards the eggs and tadpoles, and is even thought to let the tadpoles feed on flecks of his skin.
Sadly, since the discovery of Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog, the arrival of the fungal disease chytridiomycosis is believed to have driven the species to extinction in the wild. Attempts to collect individuals for captive breeding have been unsuccessful, and a single remaining Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog at the Atlanta Botanical Garden is now believed to be the very last of its kind.
Find out more about Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog at Zoo Atlanta.
Liz Shaw, ARKive Text Author