Leptodactylus savagei — Savage’s Thin-toed Frog
This species was split from Leptodactylus pentadactylus in 2005. L. pentadactylus is now confined to South America.
Esquinas Rainforest Lodge, Golfito region, Puntarenas province, Costa Rica—September 25, 2001
This medium-sized frog, perhaps 3 inches long, will get much larger, large enough to eat frogs and snakes and whatever it can stuff into its gaping maw. They are popular in the pet trade for their attractive colors and large size. Herpetologist Bill Lamar of GreenTracks told me that the name "Smokey Jungle Frog" was an old pet-trade name that caught on since there was no better common name in use by herpetologists. You have to admit, "Smokey Jungle Frog" is a pretty cool name. [Editor's note (wait, there's an editor?): the name 'Smokey Jungle Frog' stuck with L. pentadactylus when L. savagei was split off in 2005.]
Here is a complete list of the species we found on this GreenTracks trip.
This was a very large frog, perhaps 7 inches long. It was sitting near the side of the dirt road through the park at night when we came across it. It made a surprisingly loud, surprisingly un-frog-like squeal when I grabbed it, in a futile attempt to scare me into letting go so it could leap away. I put it in a big plastic bag and deposited it in the closet area in my cabin, along with a few other bags with other herps, so we could take pictures the next day. It was not content to sit there, and spent most of the night hopping around my room, taking the big plastic bag for a ride.
Another big adult, this one lurking in a shallow creek.