Surinam Toad

Surinam Toad Pipa pipa

Type of Animal:

Turbid/muddy/slow-moving water bodies-tropical/subtropical lowland forest pools, tropical/subtropical lowland forest muddy river bottoms, flooded forest muddy river bottoms, streams, rivers, swamps, freshwater marshes, murky ponds, canals, tropical/subtropical lowland forest, moist leaf litter

Guiana Shield, far NE/S/part of NW Venezuela, E Colombia, E Ecuador, E Peru, N Bolivia, W/NE Brazil, Trinidad, Tobago

Looks like mottled brown to gray leaf, almost completely flat, triangular head, broadly webbed feet, small star-like appendages on front toes, tiny eyes

Worms, insects, crustaceans, larvae, fish, carrion, smaller amphibians (including smaller individuals of own species)

Status in Wild:

Breeding in zoos, aquariums, herpetoculture, & aquaculture

Solitary or in trios (often a male & 2 females) but can be all same sex as well

Additional Info:

Young: Tadpole/Toadlet/Froglet
Group: Knot

Male: 3.5 oz
Female: 5.6 oz
3-5 months 

Life Span:
6-8 years

Body Length:
Male: 4.17-6.06 in
Female: 4.13-6.73 in
Young: 0.7 in

Males call to females underwater by making clicking sound. Males also make these sounds when fighting.
Females release 60-100 eggs w/ male fertilizing them & pushing them onto her back, where they stick to skin, forming honeycomb structure of pockets. Tadpole stage occurs in skin for 3.5 months, until emerging as froglets/toadlets by squeezing through pore-like openings, loosening mom’s skin. After all froglets/toadlets emerge from skin, skin layer shed. Froglet/toadlet stage lasts until 22-24 months old.
Camouflage aids in catching prey & protecting itself from potential predators.
Uses star-tipped fingers to sense movement.
Very shy & secretive in the wild.
Mating can last as long as 12 hours.
Sometimes kept as pets.
Sometimes called Common Surinam Toad.

Fun Fact(s):
Can trigger trypophobia (fear of irregular patterns/small hole clusters) due to female’s back.

Young have no gills/tails (reabsorbed during development).
Can remain underwater for up to an hour.
Since they don’t have teeth/tongue, prey simply swallowed whole in single gulp.
These frogs completely aquatic, never leaving water.
Called toads due to rough skin-they’re actually frogs.
Also called star-fingered toad due to tiny star-shaped fingertips on forelimbs.

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