Fun Panamanian Golden Frog Facts For Kids

Aashita Dhingra
Nov 18, 2022 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Luca Demetriou
Here are amazing Panamanian golden frog facts for you to read.

With combined traits of fascinating, rare, and beautiful allure, the toad-like members of the Amphibian family, Panamanian golden frogs are the charming attractions of Panama. These radiantly shaded frogs, in fact, hold the prestigious position of national animals of Panama.

The species of  Panamanian golden frogs are the ambassadors at numerous tourist spots of Panama, besides gracing a number of homes, for the good luck magnetism that they are believed to bring along. However, the only unsavory characteristic of Panamanian golden frogs is the overwhelming toxicity possessed in their skin.

Panamanian golden frog endangered status might soon be updated to Panamanian golden frog extinct status by IUCN as the numbers are declining steadily.

Panamanian golden frog (Order Anura Family Bufonidae Genus Antelopus) might soon be extinct in the wild. Another threat to their existence is posed by amphibian chytrid fungus that is rampant through the forests of Central Panama.

Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) diet comprises of small insects and invertebrates. The Panamanian golden frog waving sign to attract females is unique to the species and resembles hand waving like humans.

Read along to come across some interesting Panamanian golden frog facts. After enjoying these Panamanian golden frog facts, do check out our other articles on pool frog and goliath frog as well.

Panamanian Golden Frog Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Panamanian golden frog?

Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) are a group of a toad; that is, the member of the Bufonidae family characterized by leather skin, with profound dryness, large bumps forming a canopy over the parotid glands. The Atelopus zeteki species, in fact, holds dignified popularity as the national animal of Panama.

Panamanian golden frog (Order Anura Family Bufonidae Genus Antelopus) may soon be extinct in the wild due to habitat loss.

What class of animal does a Panamanian golden frog belong to?

The Panamanian golden frog is also known as Cerro Campana stub foot toad, belongs to Class Amphibia; that is a group of vertebrates that can be located on terrestrial as well as aquatic habitats. This amphibian species is usually four-limbed and ectothermic.

How many Panamanian golden frogs are there in the world?

There are no exact numbers to ascertain the population of Panamanian golden frogs. However, these amphibian are considered to be almost extinct in the wilderness.

The present population rates of these species are assumed to be constituted just by the number of members present in the captivity. Conservation efforts are being undertaken in Panama for increasing the numbers of these frogs.

Where does a Panamanian golden frog live?

Panamanian golden frogs or Atelopus zeteki are the prime residents of Panama. However, now these organisms can be located at a number of captive-rearing organizations such as zoos and aquariums. Conservation efforts for their habitat in wild are also being undertaken for species survival.

What is a Panamanian golden frog's habitat?

Panamanian golden frog habitat consists of damp areas. It is an earthbound type of tropical wet-or dry montane woodland, with rearing and larval advancement occurring in backwoods streams.

Who do Panamanian golden frogs live with?

They are most likely to be found living on farms and rainforests where they breed and find their prey. There are many breeding facilities where they are taken care of so that their population remains stable.

How long does a Panamanian golden frog live?

The average life expectancy of the members of the Atelopus zeteki species is found to be in the range between 10-15 years.

How do they reproduce?

Panamanian golden frogs are oviparous organisms with an external mode of fertilization. Belonging to the Amphibian category, these species are adapted to breed in aquatic habitats. As for Panamanian golden frogs, the basic existence of these toad-like frogs itself can be spanned into four categories- larva or tadpole, juvenile, subadult, and adult.

The breeding season for Atelopus zeteki is found to extend from late November to the Early days of January. Preferably, any form of moving water bodies such as streams usually constitutes the reproductive habitats of these organisms.

Panamanian golden frog reproduction procedures are unique. The male Panamanian golden frogs spot the desired mates and compete for them. After establishing dominance over other males and after attracting the desired female they mount the female Panamanian golden frogs from the rear.

The mounting procedure is termed as amplexus wherein the male fertilizes the eggs. Following amplexus, the female Atelopus zeteki locates the desired site to oviposition (lay eggs).

They usually favor shallow and shady locations in their proximity. A large chain of the Panamanian golden frog eggs are released in the water bodies for external fertilization.

The production of a large number of eggs is an adaptation by externally fertilizing animals to ensure a steady population despite numerous potential predators. Following fertilization, the fertilized eggs hatch after an average period of about 7-10 days, to give rise to white-toned tadpoles. The shades of these infants change within a few days to provide camouflage.

What is their conservation status?

The Panamanian golden frogs according to the IUCN Red List are categorized as critically endangered species (groups facing an extremely higher risk of extinction). These frog species are largely affected by chytridiomycosis (a amphibian chytrid fungus) that has adversely led to a massive decline in their population rate, particularly in the natural surrounding of these frogs.

Furthermore, habitat loss and pollution are additional threats imposed on the Panamanian golden frog's survival. Captive breeding in zoos and aquariums is being undertaken in the Republic of Panama in Central America.

Panamanian Golden Frog Fun Facts

What do Panamanian golden frogs look like?

Atelopus zeteki are the members of true toad families. These are small-sized organisms with brightly colored skin.

The body is anatomically proportioned with slender limbs, a long head, pointed and bulging snouts, and a smooth dorsal surface with minute spicules. The shading in Panamanian golden frogs usually involves a dorsal coloration of bright yellow with blotches of black forming a patchy framework.

However, the Atelopus zeteki are not born with vibrant shades of yellow.

Generally, the tadpoles possess blackish-gray tones, which then transposes to green with black markings and finally ends in the flamboyant yellow shades, laying hold to Golden in their nomenclature. Both the genders of Atelopus zeteki exhibit the same color and patterns.

The yellow shades of Panamanian golden frogs are, however, particularly adapted to warn or repel predators. Yellow is the color symbolizing danger in the case of these Amphibians, as the skin of these organisms possesses venomous glands producing toxic compounds such as tetrodotoxin and zetekitoxin.

A Panamanian golden frog is yellow in color with black spots on it.

How cute are they?

Being the golden members of the Bufonidae family, Panamanian golden frogs are quite charming and fascinating to look at. However, their skin possesses harmful toxins.

How do they communicate?

The communication in Atelopus zeteki is largely based on visual and tactile receptions since they lack external ear openings. These amphibians exhibit numerous interesting displays such as waving, head and leg twitching, hopping, and stamping the ground. These frogs use a visual signaling technique called semaphoring for communicating.

How big is a Panamanian golden frog?

The average length of Panamanian golden frogs ranges between 1.4-2.5 in (35-63 mm). The females species are mostly bigger as compared to their male counterparts. The average length of females Atelopus zeteki usually ranges between 45-63 mm (1.8-2.5 in). In contrast, the males are found to lie in the range of 35-48 mm (1.4-1.9 in) in terms of length.

How fast can a Panamanian golden frog swim?

Frogs can run at an average speed of nine mph; that is more than a marathon runner. Even more disappointingly, various frogs are much more lethargic. Some frogs essentially dispatch their tongues at the highest speed of close to one mph.

How much does a Panamanian golden frog weigh?

The male golden frogs measure somewhere in the range o 3-12 grams. Females measure somewhere in the range of 4-15 grams. Wet backwoods’ males and females are bigger than dry woodland frogs.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no species names allotted to the members of Panamanian golden frog species on the basis of their gender. The adult  males are called male Panamanian golden frogs while the adult females are referred to as female Panamanian golden frogs.

What would you call a baby Panamanian golden frog?

The babies of Panamanian golden frogs are generally referred to as a toad or tadpole.

What do they eat?

Atelopus zeteki are carnivores, particularly insectivores organisms. Panamanian golden frog food includes invertebrates and insects like flies, beetles, crickets. In contrast, when in captivity, Panamanian golden frog diet comprises number of fruits as well.

Are they poisonous?

The skin of Atelopus zeteki possesses glands on their skin that produce highly toxic contents. Chemicals such as tetrodotoxin, and zetekitoxin are produced that have high venomous effects; so much so that these chemicals are capable of eradicating about 1100-1200 species of mice in one go.

Yellow color symbol means the level of danger in the case of these animals.

Would they make a good pet?

Panamanian splendid frogs are cleared out in the wild, partly taking into account the pet trade. The distinctive frogs are seen as a picture of good luck in Panama and were especially needed as pets.

Did you know...

In reconciliation with their lack of proper auditory structures, the members of Atelopus zeteki detect the auditory vibrations with the help of their lungs. These frogs, however, do produce occasional chirping sounds.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has actively contributed towards the active cause of aiding the foundation of breeding centers for rearing the Panamanian golden frogs. The following facilities are aimed to be set-up in the native lands of these frog species, that is, Panama.

How many mice can the Panamanian golden frog kill?

The poisonous content of chemicals produced by Panamanian golden frogs can prove to be fatal enough to kill approximately 1,200 mice.

When did the Panamanian golden frog become endangered?

A rapid decline in the number of Panamanian golden frogs inhabiting the terrains of their natural habitats was noticed prominently during the later parts of the 1990s. Following this, a number of reports, throwing lights on the decreasing rates of the wild population of Atelopus zeteki was recorded in 2003-04 and 2009 respectively.

In fact, the last glimpse of these species in their natural habitat was observed between 2006 and 2009.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other amphibians including marine toad, or Surinam toad.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our panamanian golden frog coloring pages.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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