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Waxy monkey leaf frog (Phyllomedusa sauvagii)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Hylidae
Subfamily: Phyllomedusinae
Genus: Phyllomedusa
Wagler, 1830

See text

Phyllomedusa is a genus of frog from the family of Hylidae which inhabits Central and South America. Its distribution ranges from Costa Rica southward to Argentina. It has around 30 species.


Some Phyllomedusa species produce a waxy secretion that reduces the evaporative water loss of their bodies. If they begin to dry out, they move their limbs over their backs, where the secretory glands are, and spread the lipid secretion over their entire skin.[1]

Some indigenous groups from South America use the secretions of Phyllomedusa bicolor, the giant leaf frog, in shamanic hunting practices. The substance is said to intoxicate the hunters who ingest it, causing them to temporarily improve their sensorial capacities.

Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis walking up a near-vertical surface


In this genus of tree frogs, eggs are deposited on a leaf surface, interspersed with hydrating jelly capsules. During the mating process, the frogs fold the leaf around their batch of eggs using their limbs, with a jelly plug at the bottom of the folded leaf to prevent the eggs from falling out. At hatching, the jelly plug is liquified, and the tadpoles drop through the previously plugged hole. These nests are made above water, so the tadpoles drop into a suitable habitat, where they begin their lives as filter feeders.

Scientific classification[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Brand GD, Leite JR, Silva LP, et al. (December 2002). "Dermaseptins from Phyllomedusa oreades and Phyllomedusa distincta. Anti-Trypanosoma cruzi activity without cytotoxicity to mammalian cells". Journal of Biological Chemistry. 277 (51): 49332–40. doi:10.1074/jbc.M209289200. PMID 12379643.


Two species, the waxy monkey tree frog (Phyllomedusa sauvagii) and the tiger-legged monkey frog (Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis) are known to be kept in captivity.


  1. ^ Caldwell, Janalee P. (1999). "Animal adaptations". In Mares, Michael A. Encyclopedia of Deserts. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 24–27. ISBN 9780806131467.
  2. ^ Daniel P. Bruschi; Elaine M. Lucas; Paulo C. A. Garcia; Shirlei M. Recco-Pimentel (2014). Matthias Stöck, ed. "Molecular and Morphological Evidence Reveals a New Species in the Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis Group (Hylidae, Phyllomedusinae) from the Atlantic Forest of the Highlands of Southern Brazil". PLOS One. 9 (4). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0105608.

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