Centrolene – Giant glass frogs

This crystal-like frog is giant only compared to its nano-sized family members

These amphibians are predominantly found in Central and South America. Despite their name, they are not truly “giant,” but they are giants in their own right, showcasing unique characteristics that set them apart.

One of the most striking features of Centrolene frogs is their brilliant green skin on their backs. However, what truly captures the attention of observers is the transparency of their underbelly, which allows their internal organs, including the intestines and heart, to be visible through their skin. This translucent quality gives them the appearance of glass frogs, contributing to their unique and captivating aesthetic.

Centrolene frogs are relatively small in size, with individuals typically measuring between 19 to 24 millimeters (0.74 to 0.94 inches) in length and weighing only 0.7 to 0.8 grams (0.024 to 0.028 ounces). Their diminutive stature contrasts with their impressive ability to survive in their rainforest habitats, where they prefer to live near bodies of water, such as streams and rivers. Like other glass frogs, they exhibit predominantly nocturnal behavior, spending their daytime hours concealed behind leaves and within the trees.

Habitat loss resulting from deforestation and human activities poses a severe threat to Centrolene populations. These frogs, with their arboreal nature and reliance on intact rainforest ecosystems, are particularly vulnerable to habitat degradation.