Monte Iberia frogPublished on June 15, 2018 - Last modified: November 25, 2019
Iberian mountain frog (Eleutherodactylus Iberia) es an amphibian that lives in Mount Iberia, where its name comes from. With an average of 1 cm in length, it is the second smallest frog in the world, being the Brazilian golden frog (Brachycephalus didactylus) the smallest.
Due to its size, it is in critical danger of extinction, inhabiting only two remote regions of the Cuban forests. This species lives in very specific areas of tropical forests with poorly drained soils and demanding high levels of humidity. This delicacy makes it a very vulnerable species and extremely sensitive to changes, which makes it a difficult species to reinsert in other places.
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The Monte Iberia frog is a vertebrate animal, easily identifiable by its bright yellow stripes that it has along its back that warn that it is poisonous, since when it feeds on arachnids it extracts the toxins that it then expels through its skin. Therefore, it is a very dangerous animal for human.
It measures 1 cm, fitting perfectly on a human nail and its head is the same size as the head of a pin. Due to its size, its teeth are scarce compared to those of other larger frogs. Their noises are higher-pitched like hissing and squeaking.
The behavior of the Monte Iberia frog is unknown, being so small it is difficult to follow, although it is known that it is an animal with daytime activity and dangerous, as its colors warn.
The Monte Iberia frog lives in Holguín (eastern Cuba) 600 meters above the sea, in the forests of the Iberian Plateau (less than 100 km²). Due to human activity, the area has suffered great alterations in the last 40 years that have caused a decline in the populations of Mount Iberia.
The Monte Iberia frog, despite its size, is a carnivorous animal. It has a diet very similar to other small frogs, hunting and eating a wide variety of small invertebrates as well as in insects, moths y Spiders, together with other semi-aquatic invertebrates, from the Cuban jungle.
The Monte Iberia frog has abundant predators due to its size. Like various birds, small mammals rodents and other larger frogs and toads.
The Monte Iberia frog is an oviparous animal that was discovered together with a single egg, that is why it is believed to be in danger since it reproduces very slowly compared to other species of frogs that lay thousands of eggs at the same time. As they have a small population, very little is known about their reproduction, but like other frogs they also undergo metamorphosis.
The Monte Iberia frog is considered to be an animal in critical danger of extinction in the wild, as its population is very low. Being an extremely sensitive animal, it is affected by changes in the environment such as pollution, livestock or deforestation.