V is for Vietnamese Mossy Frog
This is another extraordinary frog – frogs really have some of the most incredible adaptations for their environment of any animal. This wonderful photo was taken by Andrew Mudd
And this photo was taken by Josh More:
Have I mentioned yet this year that I adore frogs? I have been most restrained and only posted two so far this year. There’s still time, though!
These mossy frogs live in flooded caves and on the banks of mountain streams in northern Vietnam, among the mosses, and are semi-aquatic, often hiding among floating plants in the water.
They have also been found breeding on crevices of mossy trees, and are excellent climbers thanks to the large suction discs on the ends of their toes.
The texture and colour of their skin with their bulbous and spiny growths is very similar to moss, and a frog that is sitting still is almost impossible to see.
Even their large eyes have beautiful, mossy patterns – and give them excellent night vision (they are nocturnal) when they are looking for small invertebrates and insects to eat.
If these frogs are threatened they curl into a ball of moss – making them look even less like an edible frog.
Vietnamese mossy frogs are protected by the Vietnamese Government, but are suffering from habitat loss and being collected illegally for the pet trade. The IUCN Red List for Threatened Species does not have enough information to classify them.
Here is my poem for them:
Vietnamese Mossy Frog
As mossy as the moss it’s on
upon the mossy log,
it misdirects so you expect
it’s moss and miss the frog.
© Liz Brownlee
Image one taken by Andrew Mudd and used by kind permission.
Prose and Poem © Liz Brownlee, all rights reserved, not to be used in any manner whatsoever without the permission of the author.