Gastrotheca

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Gastrotheca is a genus of frogs (family Hemiphractidae) found in Central and South America. Most species occur in theAmerican Cordillera from southern Costa Rica to northwestern Argentina. This genus makes up the bulk of marsupial frog diversity; formerly it was placed in the “Leptodactylidae” assemblage.

Marsupial frogs are so-called because they possess a dorsal brood pouch. In some species the eggs are fertilized on the female’s lower back, and are inserted in her pouch with the aid of the male’s toes. The eggs remain in contact with the female’s vascular tissue, which provides them oxygen.

Gastrotheca guentheri (Guenther’s Marsupial Frog) is the only known frog with true teeth in its lower jaw. Gastrotheca riobambae (Andean Marsupial Tree Frog) is kept as pet and is used in scientific experiments.

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