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Savage's Thin-Toed Frog (Leptodactylus savagei) Photographed in Carate, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica. (Previously Smoky Jungle Frog)

Savage’s Thin-Toed Frog

(Leptodactylus savagei)

A giant of the amphibian world, the Savage’s Thin-Toed Frog is one of Central America’s largest. In fact, only the Cane Toad is larger in this region.

The name “Savage” might be thought to have something to do with their huge size and ravenous appetite for anything that fits in their mouth. In fact, the frog is named after the biologist Jay Savage who in 2005 identified it as a distinct species from the Smoky Jungle Frog of South America.

Most guides in Costa Rica (where I photographed this individual) will still call this a Smoky Jungle Frog, and I admit the name is far more appealing. However, this frog does have very long thin toes (visible in the photo) and that’s what the scientific genus name Leptodactylus means (lepto = thin, dactylus = toes) as do the 75 other frogs in the same genus!

Besides its massive size (Up to seven inches long! As big as my open hand!) it is also notable for its beautiful mournful call which fills the rainforest at night wherever this frog lives. Whoooop! Whooop! You can listen to a nice recording of it here.

Photographed in Carate, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica.