Smoky jungle frog

Leptodactylus pentadactylus

Fascinating Facts

  • When threatened, smoky jungle frogs will try to appear larger by inflating their lungs and standing tall on all four legs. They release a slippery, mucus-like secretion from their skin, which is noxious to many animals and will also emit a high-pitched shriek.

Physical Characteristics

Adults can grow up to seven inches in length. They have brownish-colored backs with black markings and cream-colored underparts. Males have black spines on their chests and thumbs to more easily grasp females during mating.


This nocturnal amphibian will spend the daytime hours in burrows, leaf litter, or under logs in subtropical or tropical lowland forests, swamps, riverbanks or marshes in northern South America. Tadpoles are omnivorous, eating algae as well as eggs of their own species. Adults are opportunistic feeders, eating insects and other small reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and even birds.

Social Behavior

Males will call from the water’s edge to attract females. Females lay up to 1,000 eggs in a foam nest, which is located in a shallow depression near a water source. Predators of smoky jungle frogs include snakes, caimans and coatimundis.


Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil and French Guiana

Status In The Wild

Least Concern – IUCN 2008

Location in the Zoo

South American Tropical Rainforest and Aviary

Animals & Exhibits