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 Malaysian Leaf Frog (1999)
(Megophrys nasuta)

Acrylic on illustration board
7" X 7"
Available for sale

 Family Pelobatidae -- the spadefoot toads

This family of North American and Eurasian frogs is strictly terrestrial, except for the aberrant Bornean genus Nesobia, which differs from the rest in many ways, including its aboreal proclivities. Most pelobatids have a hardened tubercle on each hind foot that can be used to burrow backwards into the soil. Many species spend much of their lives below ground. Members of the American genus Scaphiophryne often breed in temporary pools, and their tadpoles develop with startling speed. The tadpoles of some species manifest two forms: one specialized to feed on algae, which succeeds better in wet years, and another specialized to feed on the algae eaters, which succeeds better in dry years. The genus Pelobates of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East is very similar to Scaphiophryne. The remaining seven genera are Asian and contain a number of highly unusual and little known species.

 Malaysian Leaf Frog (Megophrys nasuta)

Moist montane forests on the Malay peninsula, Borneo, and adjacent islands provide the preferred habitat of the Malaysian leaf frog. Like the similar but unrelated horned frogs of the South American family Leptodactylidae, these anurans live rather static lives, sitting cryptically among the leaf litter, awaiting the approach of any creature small enough to overpower and cram down their spacious throats. As the rainy season commences, the males position themselves along streambanks to entice females with loud, metallic honks. The tadpoles live suspended from the surface, where they filter microorganisms gathered through a funnel-shaped structure at the top of their heads.