Luzon Fanged Frog

Limnonectes macrocephalus from Dipagsanghan (photo: MVW) 7 February 2013, 23:17:57 Brown R, Siler C, Oliveros C, Welton L, Rock A, Swab J, Van Weerd M, van Beijnen J, Rodriguez D, Jose E, Diesmos A (2013). "The amphibians and reptiles of Luzon Island, Philippines, VIII: The herpetofauna of Cagayan and Isabela Provinces, northern Sierra Madre Mountain Range". ZooKeys 266: 1. DOI:10.3897/zookeys.266.3982.
Luzon Fanged Frog from Disagsanghan, in Zookeys 266 (Merlijn van Weerd / CC BY)

The Luzon Fanged Frog (what a scary name!) is the large stream frog that lives in the streams and waterfalls that run near Sakahang Lilok.

But why is it called a fanged frog? Inside its mouth are two bony growths on its jaw that look like fangs! Scientists aren’t sure what the purpose of the growths are, but they think it may help them hold onto slippery fish and frogs that they eat in the fast-moving streams where they live.

the fangs of a large male limnonectes macrocephalus luzon fanged frog bicol
The bony growths on the lower jaw of the Luzon Fanged Frog (©Rafe Brown)

Luzon Fanged Frogs are a frog that has sexual dimorophism. That means that the males and the females look different. In this case, the males are much bigger,and have very big heads!

Luzon Fanged Frog  limnonectes macrocephalus caught at waterfall near Sakahang Lilok limnonectus
Luzon Fanged Frog caught at waterfall near Sakahang Lilok

Sadly, one time when I was looking for frogs in the stream near Batlag Falls, I saw two men who were killing lots of the frogs to eat. It’s okay to eat frogs, but stream frogs like the Luzon Fanged Frog have so few wild streams to live in now that they could be put in a lot of danger if we catch the frogs in their few remaining homes.

Luzon Fanged Frog limnonectes macrocephalus caught for food in Nueva Vizcaya (©Tony Gerard)
Luzon Fanged Frog caught for food in Nueva Vizcaya (©Tony Gerard)

Where do they live?

The Luzon Fanged Frog is found in the water in moist tropical forest. It especially likes hanging out near waterfalls both big and small.

What do they eat?

It will eat bugs and other insects that live in or near the water, as well as small fish and any frogs smaller than itself.

Are they dangerous?

Nope! Even with those “fangs”, they couldn’t hurt a human.

Are they in danger?

The Luzon Fanged Frog is still common in many places, but it is losing its habitat due to agriculture, logging, human settlements, and pollution. It is also killed too much for food in some places. As a result its populations appear to be declining.

What is their scientific name and classification?

The Luzon Fanged Frog is scientifically known as Limnonectes macrocephalus. It is a member of the Ranid family, frogs which are known as “True Frogs” because they have the most well-known frog shape.

Some pictures of Luzon Fanged Frogs in Tanay

What do you think we can do to make sure that our streams will always have frogs in them?

1 thought on “Luzon Fanged Frog

  1. Pingback: A bit of Manila – Reptiles and Amphibians of Bangkok

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