Peru is a country found in the western regions of South America, with Lima being its capital and the largest Peruvian city. Amerindians (45%) are the largest ethnic group, while Mestizos (37%) and Whites (15%) are the other notable ethnic groups. The country is a unitary presidential state with a single legislative house. Peru has a large diversity of climates due to the tropical latitude, topography variations, and two Ocean currents. The contrasting surface features and several climates have produced a rich and diverse flora and fauna. The country has a rich and diverse collection of amphibians with about 380 species of frogs being found in the country. In this article, we will look at some of the native amphibians in the Republic of Peru.
The Cayenne caecilian is an aquatic caecilian inhabiting rivers and marshes mainly in the lowland forest zones. Its color ranges from dark gray, black, to steely blue. The body is laterally flattened, and they can grow up to 22 inches in length. During daytime, they burrow in groups and only emerge at night. Its diet consists of insect larvae and shrimps and in some cases small fish. It makes use of its sense of touch and feels to prey since it lacks visual capability. It has lime glands which produce high amounts of mucous when under attack. It is usually preyed on by birds, snakes, and large fish. During spawning, the male, and the female intertwines with each other, and the male places a sperm ampulla in the cloaca of the female. Fertilization is viviparous, and the female gives birth to around ten young ones after eight months. The population of these caecilians is considered stable.
Wayampi Glass Frog
The scientific name of the Wayampi Glass Frog is Vitreoran Oyampiensis, and it was initially found in a restricted area in Brazil. The frog appears to be greenish when viewed from the top. The green color is not the skin color but the color of the skeleton seen through the translucent skin. It is a small frog with the females being slightly larger than their male counterparts. They measure slightly above half an inch in length. They inhabit tropical moist lowland forests and rivers, especially in riparian vegetation. The species is not considered threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because of its ability to live in areas inhabited by human beings and they are able to adapt to life in secondary forests.
The Nauta salamander is a quite a small salamander, measuring slightly less than two inches in length. The color patterns vary from one individual to another with most Nauta salamanders being darker dorsally and laterally than ventrally. In Peru, the species is threatened by habit loss due to agriculture and tree planting. However, it has a stable population globally, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed it as a species of least concern.
Loreto Poison Frog
The Loreto poison frog is a red-headed poison frog with a vibrant and beautiful coloration. It inhabits wetland forests. It is endemic to Peru and found in Loreto region hence the name Loreto poison frog. During spawning, the females lay two to five eggs in aquatic plants. The male then guards and tends them and later transports and deposits the larva. Due to its beautiful and bright colors, the Loreto poison frogs are collected and sold as pets. Habit loss and collection for export as pets are the leading threats to the species. The IUCN has listed the frog as near threatened.
Other Native Amphibians of Peru
Other native amphibians of Peru include the Alto Marañon Toad, scientifically known as Rhinella vellardi, the Mercedes' Robber Frog, scientifically know as Yunganastes mercedesae, and the Eastern Peru Caecilian, which is scientifically known as Epicrionops lativittatus.