Megophryidae – Goose frogs

Their horns are not true horns but are extensions of the skin that help enhance their camouflage

Commonly known as the leaf-litter frogs or horned frogs, it encompasses a fascinating group of amphibians that are primarily found in the diverse and humid forests of Southeast Asia. These frogs are noted for their exceptional camouflage and unique adaptations that enable them to blend seamlessly into the forest floor.

Megophryidae frogs vary greatly in size, ranging from the tiny species measuring just over an inch to the larger ones that can reach up to 13 cm (5) in length. They are particularly known for their cryptic appearance. Many species in this family possess physical traits that mimic dead leaves, complete with leaf-like vein patterns on their backs and body shapes that resemble leaf litter. This remarkable camouflage not only helps them avoid predators but also aids in ambushing prey.

These frogs are widely distributed across Asia, from the foothills of the Himalayas to the rainforests of Indonesia and the Philippines. They thrive in moist, cool forest environments, often at higher elevations, where humidity and leaf litter provide ideal conditions for their survival. They are terrestrial breeders, with many species laying their eggs in leaf litter or in burrows, and their larvae often develop in streams or puddles.

The diet of Megophryidae frogs mainly consists of insects and other small invertebrates. Their hunting strategy is largely passive; they sit still and wait for prey to come within striking distance, relying on their camouflage to remain unnoticed. This sit-and-wait tactic is quite effective in the dense, debris-strewn forest floor where they live.