-- the glass frogs
This family of secretive little
frogs has been revised a number of times in recent years as new
species keep being described. Restricted to the neotropics, they
are rather uniform in appearance, small, the largest barely reaching
three inches, and very delicate. They all possess some degree
of translucency, and in many species certain internal structures
can be clearly seen: the bones, intestines, beating heart, etc.
In appearance glass frogs superficially resemble the hylids.
Their toes are tipped with t-shaped bone which anchors a large
pad. Their short faces and forward-facing eyes give them a peculiar
expression. The tarsal bones are fused into one and in many species
the male bears a strange hook on the humerus. Most authorities
currently divide the family into three genera: Hyalinobatrachium,
Cochranella, and Centrolene.
Reticulated Glass Frog (Hyalinobatrachium
One of the common
Central American centrolenids, the inch-long reticulated glass
frog resides in moist forests in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.
At night it forages for small insects and spiders and habitually
rests up-side-down from the underside of a leaf. When seen from
beneath, the animal's red heart and white intestines are clearly
visible. The female cements her eggs to the undersurface of a
leaf above a stream. These eggs are subject to infestation by
certain flies, and one or both adults usually stand guard over
them. devouring any would-be parasites.