Chordates •

Maud Island frog

(Leiopelma pakeka)



The Maud Island frog,Leiopelma pakeka,is a primitive frog native to New Zealand,one of only four extant species belonging to the family Leiopelmatidae.L.pakeka is a small terrestrial frog,growing to 5 cm in length,and is medium to dark brown with unwebbed toes and a distinctive extended ridge behind its eye.It is slightly larger than and differs slightly in colour from Hamilton's frog (Leiopelma hamiltoni).Like other members of the genus Leiopelma,Maud Island frogs lay their eggs on moist ground.One to 19 eggs are laid in December,and are guarded by the male for 14–21 weeks.The eggs hatch into froglets which the male carries on its back until they become independent.Long-term studies beginning in 1983 have revealed this species is extremely long-lived: some monitored frogs reach 35–40 years old,making them the longest-lived wild frog in the world.Individuals are well-camouflaged and sedentary,spending their whole lives within a 30 square metre area and moving the centre of their home range only 1.3 m every ten years – one of the smallest home ranges known for any vertebrate.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Amphibia
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