Ryukyu Kajika frog

This steamy little fella is hot! Some of these frogs even breed in geothermal hot springs

蝶々婦人

This captivating amphibian thrives in both the Japanese archipelago of the Ryukyu and Taiwan. Although this species is distributed across diverse habitats, certain populations have specialized in residing near thermal hot springs. These geothermal oases offer an exceptional and consistent setting for their reproductive activities, characterized by calm, warm waters that persist throughout the seasons, making them an optimal breeding habitat for these frogs.

During the summer months, Ryukyu Kajika frogs gather in large numbers near the hot springs to engage in their reproductive activities. This congregational behavior allows them to find suitable mates easily. One striking feature of this species is the noticeable change in the males’ coloration during the breeding season. Adult males turn a brilliant shade of gold, making it simple to distinguish them from the females.

What sets this frog apart from many other amphibians is its ability to reproduce throughout the year. This continuous reproductive cycle is made possible by the warm and stable waters in their preferred habitat. The hot spring environment provides a constant source of warmth and comfort, allowing these frogs to breed and lay eggs irrespective of the season.

Moreover, the adaptability of the Ryukyu Kajika frog extends to its tadpoles. These resilient amphibian larvae have developed the ability to withstand remarkably high water temperatures, withstanding up to 42 °C (108 °F). This adaptation is essential for their survival in the warm waters of hot springs, where temperature fluctuations can be extreme.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Japan
LC
2020
Nansei-Shoto

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No