The White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog

A true giant among the frogs of Madagascar is the White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog. Its scientific name is Boophis albilabris. Males measure up to 8,1 cm of length, the long jump-legs not yet measured. A very generous “handful of frog“! Presumably, Boophis albilabris is Madagascar’s biggest tree inhabiting frog. Only the tomato frog living on the ground is bigger. Between fingers and toes, Boophis albilabris carries distinctive webs, that enable it very fast locomotion in the water. White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog live from small insects, that they carry off with its out-jumping tongue.

The habitat of the White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog extends exclusively along the humid east coast of Madagascar at altitudes between 100 and 1000 m above sea level. Marojejy, Andapa, and Anjanaharibe-South in the northeast of the red island are populated as well as Andasibe-Mantadia in the eastern highlands and Ranomafana in the southern highlands as well as the Andringitra mountains in the southeast.

Female of the species in Ranomafana’s rainforest

Boophis albilabris mate mainly in the rainy season. The males position themselves within very slowly flowing waters. From there, they call loudly for females, with what they use its sound-blister at the head for the production of the sounds. During the reproductive-season, dozens of frogs can find themselves in such waters, that all look for a suitable partner. Only occasionally, one finds males near waters on some meters height in the branches. After the successful combination, the females bring the spawn into the water. A female can deliver up to 400 eggs. The eggs are small and yellowish with a black cap. Out of them hatch little tadpoles, which turn into frogs little by little.

A fascinating characteristic of this species is its varied appearance. The colors range from neon green to spotted to dirty brown, they can have a smooth back or multiform small thorns. Only one thing is common to all white-lipped Madagascar rowing frogs: the white-yellow lips that give them their name. The thorny back is a special characteristic of performing courtship display males, one can distinguish it easily from the smooth-backed females through it.

Fortunately, the White-lipped Bright-eyed Frog lives in several protectorates of Madagascar. In the national parks Ranomafana and Andasibe-Mantadia as well as in the reservation Vohimana one can discover it particularly well.

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