Top 10 Ecuador's sexiest frogs

Articles | List posts

By Alejandro Arteaga, Jorge Castillo, Jose Viera, Lucas Bustamante, Sebastián Di Doménico, and Frank Pichardo. April 2019.

Ecuador has some of the sexiest frogs in the planet, not to mention with 600 species it has the 4th highest diversity of amphibians in the world. Here is our collection of the top 10 sexiest among them.

10. Tiger-striped Monkey-Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna). It moves in the canopy like a monkey and has stripes like a tiger. To find this marvelous frog, you have to be in the Amazon rainforest at night, and either climb to the top of the trees, or explore the ponds where the frogs come down to breed.

Tiger-striped Monkey-Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna). Kapawi Ecolodge and Reserve, Ecuador. Photo by Lucas Bustamante.

Tiger-striped Monkey-Frog (Phyllomedusa tomopterna). Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador. Photo by Jose Vieira.

9. Helmeted Brooding-Frog (Hemiphractus scutatus). With its batman-mask, leaf-like horns, and military camouflage, this is not only the most badass-looking frog in our list, but also the hardest to find... and let's be honest: horns are sexy! In Ecuador, the best place to find this stunning frog is Yasuní National Park.

Helmeted Brooding-Frog (Hemiphractus scutatus). Photo by Sebastián Di Doménico.

Helmeted Brooding-Frog (Hemiphractus scutatus). Sacha Yaku, Ecuador. Photo by Jose Vieira.

Want to visit Yasuní National Park? Join our custom tours in Ecuador.

8. Variable Poison-Frog (Ranitomeya variabilis). Under 2 mm in length, this is the smallest frog in our list. It is toxic, lives inside bromeliads in the Amazon rainforest, and is one of the most sought-after frogs in the international pet trade, so it is critically important to protect its populations from poaching.

Variable Poison-Frog (Ranitomeya variabilis). Macuma, Ecuador. Photo by Jose Vieira.

Variable Poison-Frog (Ranitomeya variabilis). Macuma, Ecuador. Photo by Jose Vieira.

7. Undescribed Stubfoot-Toad (Atelopus sp. nov.). Yes! This gorgeous toad species does not yet have a formal scientific name. It is one of the nearly 300 species of amphibians in Ecuador waiting to be officially named. It comes from a remote unexplored area known as Cordillera del Cóndor. If you could name this frog anything, what would YOU name it?

Undescribed Stubfoot-Toad (Atelopus sp. nov.). Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador. Photo by Alejandro Arteaga.

Undescribed Stubfoot-Toad (Atelopus sp. nov.). Cordillera del Cóndor, Ecuador. Photo by Jose Vieira.

6. Ornate Rainfrog (Pristimantis ornatissimus). This is arguably the most beautiful rainfrog in the genus Pristimantis, a group of amphibians containing over 500 species! This gorgeous frog lives in the water-filled axils of elephant-ear plants in the Choco rainforest.

Ornate Rainfrog (Pristimantis ornatissimus). Canandé Reserve, Ecuador. Photo by Alejandro Arteaga.

Ornate Rainfrog (Pristimantis ornatissimus). Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador. Photo by Jose Vieira.

5. Reticulated Glassfrog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi). Nothing is more sexy than a little transparency, and this see-through frog is one the world's truly translucent amphibians. From below, you can even see its heart beating. As you may imagine, finding a translucent frog in a lush rainforest is no walk in the park, specially if it lives attached to the underside of leaves overhanging streams in the most pristine Choco rainforests.

Reticulated Glassfrog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi). Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador. Photo by Lucas Bustamante.

Reticulated Glassfrog (Hyalinobatrachium valerioi). Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador. Photo by Jose Vieira.

4. Linda's Torrenteer (Hyloscirtus lindae). Manicured fingernails look superbly sexy on any living being. For this frog, all it takes is its orange fingertips to charm its mark. This stunning amphibian lives along chilly cascading mountain creeks in remote cloudforests in Ecuador.

Linda's Torrenteer (Hyloscirtus lindae). Sumaco Volcano, Ecuador. Photo by Alejandro Arteaga.

Linda's Torrenteer (Hyloscirtus lindae). Sumaco Volcano, Ecuador. Photo by Alejandro Arteaga.

3. Little-devil Poison-Frog (Oophaga sylvatica). Famous for its bright red attire, its incredible variety of color morphs, and its skin toxins, this gem of the Choco rainforest is one of the most sought after frogs in Ecuador.

Little-devil Poison-Frog (Oophaga sylvatica). Canandé Reserve, Ecuador. Photo by Alejandro Arteaga.

Little-devil Poison-Frog (Oophaga sylvatica). Canandé Reserve, Ecuador. Photo by Alejandro Arteaga.

2. Chachi Treefrog (Boana picturata). Do we even need to explain why this frog is on the list? All you need to know is that your life will be divided in two parts: a dull part before you have seen this stunning frog, and a colorful one after you have seen it.

Chachi Treefrog (Boana picturata). Canandé Reserve, Ecuador. Photo by Alejandro Arteaga.

Chachi Treefrog (Boana picturata). Canandé Reserve, Ecuador. Photo by James Muchmore.

Chachi Treefrog (Boana picturata). Mashpi Lodge, Ecuador. Photo by Jose Vieira.

Want to help save the Choco rainforest? Visit Save the Choco.

1. Fringed Leaf-Frog (Cruziohyla craspedopus). It is time to meet the frog that is leading our list of the sexiest frogs in Ecuador. It has perhaps the most elaborate and beautifully designed camouflage pattern of any frog. The dorsum of this marvelous amphibian is not only colored as a bright green leaf, but its fringes are shaped as though a leaf-cutter ant had cut pieces off them. When the frog is active, it displays its striking bright orange sides and belly, which are marked by beautiful black reticulations. This is, however, no easy frog to find. It lives high up in the canopy of the Amazon rainforest and rarely comes down to the understory.

Fringed Leaf-Frog (Cruziohyla craspedopus). Yasuní National Park, Ecuador. Photo by Frank Pichardo.

Fringed Leaf-Frog (Cruziohyla craspedopus). Yasuní National Park, Ecuador. Photo by Lucas Bustamante.

Want to see these animals in the field? Join our crew in Ecuador next May.

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