The Tiny ‘Drop of Gold’

The pingo-de-ouro (drop-of-gold) frog, a.k.a. the Brazilian Gold Frog, is part of the family of the smallest amphibians in the world, which appears only in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, from Bahia to Paraná and measures close to 20 millimeters as adults. The one photographed above was found yesterday among some leaf litter in the mountains of Teresópolis (in Rio).

They can be found in their largest numbers on sunny mornings after heavy summer rainfall, when the males tend to make their vocalizations. They are slow walkers and only jump when absolutely needed.

These little frogs don’t grow as tadpoles in the water. Their reproduction occurs out of the water as they are born already in the adult form, from eggs deposited beneath the foliage of the forest. Threatened to extinction, it earned its name due to its orange color and its small size and it’s one of the smallest known land animals that have a spinal column. Keep in mind that its color signals danger as it secretes a toxin on its skin and a mere 1 milligram dose can kill an adult human being. 

Here’s a quick video of one in the wild.

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