Friday, August 21, 2015

A waltzing frog:B. alvarengai

If you are at least 16 or so, you've probably done courtship behavior, at least in the form of a dance. Well, so does B. alvarengai, an adorable frog native to Brazil. I don't really like using scientific names but sadly, B. alvarengai doesn't have a common name. So let's just refer to it as a waltzing frog. Okay?

They're very large tree frogs, but not much is known about them, and whatever we know is from a few reports. Their love is also controversial, shy as they cease any activity when they know someone's watching them which makes them very difficult to research.

The researchers somehow managed to witness the frogs getting to know each other at dance in the rainforest. The frogs were breeding via amplexus but they did it in a very interesting fashion. They were waltzing. Holding hands with each other, the fingers intertwined on the front legs. Looking at each other, in a puddle, touching even. They're dancing, just like teenagers at prom, even though we hope the teenagers don't amplexus. And also like teenagers at prom, they were pretty shy. The male hid underneath a clump of grass on the other side of the puddle after about 2 minutes. Also after a little bit longer the female joined him and they returned to dancing. Then amplexus was truly attempted when the male tried to push the female underwater. If you are a teenager or a parent of one, let's hope your or your kid's prom isn't like this. At this very moment, the female escaped, the male chasing after her while calling. The female did the right thing and ignored him, going back to wherever she was intended to be. If amplexus was successful then the female would have laid eggs. Let's definitely hope teenagers don't do that!

Centerno, Fernanda, Pinheiro, Paulo, Andrade, Denis. "Courtship Behavior of Bokermannohyla alvarengai, a Waltzing Anuran" Herpetological Review, 46(2), 166-168. 2015. 

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