2003 Wildlife Facts - White-Lipped Frog

Photo of the White-lipped Frog, Sapito de Labio Blanco
White-lipped Frog (Eng.), Sapito de Labio Blanco (Sp.), Leptodactylus albilabris

Information compiled by Alan Mowbray, Interpretive Media Writer, EYNF/LEF

Photo: USGS, Center for Aquatic Resource Studies

General Information

Leptodactylidae (order Salientia) are frogs which are usually endemic to a particular island in the Antilles. The White-lipped Frog, Leptodactylus albilabris can only be found in Puerto Rico and the U.S. and British Virgin Islands.

Description

The White-lipped Frog is a terrestrial (living on the ground) smooth-bodied frog (not warty like a toad) which passes through a tadpole stage. The tadpoles are brown colored, reaching about 1.5 inches (13 millimeters) in length. L. albilabris can be recognized by its white upper lip (hence the name albilabris), web less fingers and toes, black streak between the eyes and the tip of the snout and between eye and shoulder. In general, adults grow to 1.4 inches (3.5 centimeters) in snout-vent length, but like other Puerto Rican frogs the body size increases with elevation and adults of a snout-vent length greater than 2.0 inches (5.0 centimeters) are not rare in the higher regions of the El Yunque National Forest. Individuals have a grayish brown background color with dorsal lines and bands of various shades of brown, cream, and reddish brown. It is white ventrally, and some males have many dark spots on the throat. Its voice is a "pink-pink-pink" sound usually heard from a muddy area.

Habits

This frog's diet includes insects, millipedes and land snails. It lays terrestrial eggs, but they are laid in a foam nest on the ground, usually under a rock or log. Eggs develop into tadpoles, which are washed away by the first rains and finish their development in temporary pools, or bodies of water with low or no water movement.

Habitat

This frog can usually be found in muddy areas near streams, marshes and ditches.

Where to look for this animal in the EYNF

Near the water feature at the El Portal Tropical Forest Center; near the Ba Grande pool across from the Palo Colorado Visitor Center; along the  La Mina river.

Additional Information

Rivero, Juan A., 1978; The Amphibians and Reptiles of Puerto Rico, Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico

Biologist
USDA Forest Service
El Yunque National Forest
HC-01 Box 13490
Rio Grande, PR 00745-9625
787-888-5610

List of Mamals by Month

January: Flannel Moth February: White-Lipped Frog March: Puerto Rican Screech Owl April: Common Blind Snake Lizard
Link/Drawing of Flannel Moth, Plumilla
Link/Photo of PR Screech Owl, Mucarito de PR
Link/Photo of Blind Snake, Culebrita Ciega
May: Spotted Sandpiper June: Mountain Mullet July: Black Rat August: Pueto Rico Upland Gecko
Link/Photo of Mountain Mullet, Dajao
September: Black Swift October: Big-Claw River Shrimp November: North American Bull Frog December: Puerto Rican Bullfinch
Link/Photo of Big-claw River Shrimp, Camarón
Link/Photo of the North American Bull Frog, Sapo Toro
Link/Photo of Puerto Rican Bullfinch, Comeñame de Puerto Rico