Tomato frog

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Tomato frog
Tomato frog, Dyscophus antongilii
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Microhylidae
Subfamily: Dyscophinae
Boulenger, 1882
Genus: Dyscophus
Grandidier, 1872
3 species

Tomato frogs are any of the three species of genus Dyscophus (family Microhylidae): D. antongilii, D. insularis, or D. guineti. [1] Dyscophus is the only genus in subfamily Dyscophinae. They are endemic to Madagascar. [2]


The common name comes from D. antongilii's bright red color. When threatened, a tomato frog puffs up its body. When a predator grabs a tomato frog in its mouth, the frog's skin secretes a thick substance that numbs up the predator's eyes and mouth, causing the predator to release the frog to free up its eyes. The gummy substance contains a toxin that occasionally causes allergic reactions in humans. The allergic reaction will not kill a human and the frog secretes it only when frightened.

The lifespan of the tomato frog can be from 6 to 8 years. When adult, the colors may vary from yellowish orange to deep red. Tomato frogs will reach sexual maturity in 9–14 months. Females are larger than males and can reach 4 inches in length. Males can reach 2 to 3 inches in length. Most females range from reddish-orange bright dark red. The bellies are usually more yellowish, and sometimes there are black spots on the throat. But males are not as brightly colored but more of a duller orange or brownish-orange. Juveniles are also dull in color and develop brighter coloration as they mature. They are also on the endangered species list. They breed in the rainy season and are nocturnal. They tend to eat small insects and invertebrates.


There are three different species: [1]

ImageBinomial name and authorCommon nameDistribution
Dyscophus antongilii02.jpg Dyscophus antongilii Grandidier, 1877Tomato frogMadagascar
Dyscophus guineti04.jpg Dyscophus guineti (Grandidier, 1875)Sambava tomato frogMadagascar
Dyscophus insularis, Ankarafantsika National Park, Madagascar 1.jpg Dyscophus insularis Grandidier, 1872Antsouhy tomato frogMadagascar

Reproductive activity

Tomato frogs lay fresh eggs during every month of the year except for November. Their reproductive activity is high during the months January–May and low between the months June–December. [3]

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  1. 1 2 Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Dyscophus Grandidier, 1872". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  2. Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Dyscophinae Boulenger, 1882". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  3. Segev, Ori; Andreone, Franco; Pala, Roberta; Tessa, Giulia; Miguel, Vences (2012-11-14). "Reproductive phenology of the tomato frog, Dyscophus antongili, in an urban pond of Madagascar's east coast". Acta Herpetologica: 331. Retrieved 13 April 2019.