Smokey Jungle Frog

(Leptodactylus pentadactylus)


Smokey Jungle Frog IUCN LEAST CONCERN (LC)


Facts about this animal

With its close to 20 cm body length, the nocturnal and terrestrial Smokey Jungle Frog is one of the biggest frogs. The basic color of the body is a dark brown with single reddish and black spots and stripes. From the snout to the end of the back there is a bright dorsal skin fold. The head and the snout are partly yellowish. The throat is covered by several bright and dark spots. The tympanum is dark brown to black. The eyes are quite large and are reddish. The limbs have dark stripes. In relation to the body the head is quite big.


The Smokey Jungle frog waits in ambush for its prey. It is a voracious feeder, eating almost anything it can catch, including frogs, snakes, lizards, small birds and mammals as well as big invertebrates. Males are territorial. They call at night on the ground near rivulets and ponds within or adjacent to forests, during the rainy season.


Reproduction takes place in temporary waterbodies; males and females release eggs and sperm simultaneously. At the same time, the male, by alternatingly pushing its hind limbs, produces a big foam nest along the pond or the rivulet and the eggs are then deposited into this nest. The foam nests can indeed reach a diameter of 25,5 cms and a thickness of 11,5 cms. Only about 6,5 % of the eggs are fecundated by the male. The rest serves as food for the carnivorous and cannibalistic tadpoles once hatched. With strong rainfall the tadpoles are then washed from the foam nest into the pond or lake and further development takes place there.

Did you know?
According to its mood, the cals of the Smokey Jungle Frog can be different. When attacked by a carnivore it produces a loud alarming cry, that sounds like a loud and penetrating miaow of a cat. Hereby it blows its body up like a balloon, prolongs and stiffens its extremities and thus it becomes quite difficult for its enemy to take it into the mouth and swallow it. When courting however, its calls sound like a melodic hooting or whistling. These calls are in a medium frequency range and can be heard over long distances.


Name (Scientific) Leptodactylus pentadactylus
Name (English) Smokey Jungle Frog
Name (French) Crapaud boeuf
Name (German) Südamerikanischer Ochsenfrosch
Name (Spanish) Sapo-toro Comun
CITES Status Not listed
CMS Status Not listed



Photo Copyright by
© Brian Gratwicke



Range Bolivia; Brazil; Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; Peru; Suriname; Venezuela
Habitat It is found in leaf litter in primary, secondary, and seasonally flooded tropical rain forests, but also in more open areas and in seasonally flooded forests, up to 1.200 m asl
Wild population It is an abundant species. It may be locally threatened in Colombia by consumption by Amerindian people.The population trend is stable (Red List IUCN 2012)
Zoo population 81 reported to ISIS (2007)

In the Zoo

Smokey Jungle Frog


How this animal should be transported

For air transport, Container Note 45 of the IATA Live Animals Regulations should be followed.


Find this animal on ZooLex

Why do zoos keep this animal

Neotropical frogs are threatened by habitat distruction, disease and other factors. Zoos and aquariums keeping these species want to build up reserve populations and to raise awareness of the global amphibian crisis. Several zoos have also linked their ex situ activities with involvement in in situ conservation.