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 Millot's Froglet (1998)
(Platypelis milloti)

Acrylic on illustration board
7" x 7"
Private collection

 Family Microhylidae -- the narrow-mouthed frogs

This large family contains around 60 genera with representatives in South and Central America, Africa, Southeast Asia and Australia. The typical microhylid frogs are small burrowing creatures with tiny heads and no teeth that specialize in eating ants or termites. The three species that occur as far north as the United States fit this description well. The two great centers of microhylid evolution are the islands of New Guinea and Madagascar. Here the narrow-mouthed frogs have radiated broadly to produce aboreal forms as well as ones resembling toads, pond frogs and horned frogs.

 Millot's Froglet (Platypelis milloti)

Very little is known of the habits of this attractive inch-long frog of northern Madagascar. It is arboreal in its habits and secretes itself during the day between the axils of plants like the traveller's tree, Ravenala, Madagascar's national tree, upon which the individual in this painting sits. The life history of Millot's froglet is unknown, but it is likely that breeding takes place in pools of rainwater within these axils. In related species the eggs and nonfeeding tadpoles are guarded by the male until they metamorphose.