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Fun Facts About Amazon Milk Frogs

Categories: Animals

Amazon milk frogs are just one of the many amazing residents of the Sacramento Zoo’s Reptile House. These green-and-brown frogs delight and mystify visitors of all ages.  Following are some of the most frequently asked questions about Amazon milk frogs.


Amazon milk frog on a white backgroundWhat are other names for Amazon milk frogs (Trachycephalus resinifictrix)?

Common names for this frog include mission golden-eyed milk frog, blue milk frog, Amazonian cave frog, and milky frog.


Where do Amazon milk frogs live?

Amazon milk frogs live in tropical rainforest canopies of Northern South America including Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, Southern Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru and Brazil. These frogs live in the rainforest canopy, usually near slow-moving water. Milk frogs stay in the trees, rarely descending to the forest floor. Amazon milk frogs have specialized toe pads that allow them to climb plants. These toe pads are so strong that they can hold up to 14 times the frog’s weight.


Are Amazon milk frogs poisonous?

When threatened, Amazon milk frogs secrete a sticky white substance through their skin. While not as poisonous as other frog toxins, it can still cause a predator to become sick. Covering its body in the milky substance also helps keep the frog hydrated. This white secretion is how the Amazon milk frog got its name.


What do Amazon milk frogs eat?

In the wild, Amazon milk frogs eat insects, spiders, small invertebrates, and amphibians. At the Sacramento Zoo, these frogs are fed crickets, worms, and flies.


How long do Amazon milk frogs live?

It is estimated that wild Amazon milk frogs live 15+ years. In human care, they can live up to 25 years.


Are Amazon milk frogs social and how do they communicate?

Amazon milk frogs are highly vocal frogs, especially at night. Males can use water-filled cavities in trees, or other objects, to amplify their vocalizations which allows the sound to travel even further. During breeding season, males will sing for females. Once the female lays her eggs, which are fertilized by the male, the male continues to call to attract another female. But when the second female arrives and lays her eggs, the male will not fertilize the second clutch. Instead, those eggs become food for the hatched tadpoles.


Are Amazon milk frogs threatened?

The IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) lists Amazon milk frogs as a species of Least Concern. The frogs have extensive range and a stable population. However, studies have shown that these frogs are negatively impacted by habitat loss due to agriculture and logging. Like all amphibians, they are also susceptible to pollution and toxins introduced to their habitat due to the porous nature of their skin.


On your next visit to the Sacramento Zoo, be sure to swing by the Reptile House. There, nestled between the Puerto Rican boa and Standing’s day gecko, you’ll find the Amazon milk frogs hanging out on their favorite branches. The Sacramento Zoo works with visitors of all ages to increase awareness of the need to preserve whole habitats and ecosystems to protect as many species as possible. As you give your regards to the Amazon milk frogs, take a moment to check out our Take Conservation Action page to see what you can do to help these and other amazing animals.

Want to help support wildlife conservation? Donate to our conservation fund or become a Sac Zoo recurring donor.

Learn more about Amazon milk frogs and other amphibians that live in our Reptile House!