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 Reticulated Glass Frog (1999)
(Hyalinobatrachium valerioi)

Acrylic on illustration board
7" x 7"
Private collection

 Family Centrolenidae -- 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 valerioi)

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.