Matuda's Spike-thumbed Frog
Plectrohyla matudai
One of the benefits of leading tropical birding trips is that I sometimes come across other animals that are seldom seen by the casual observer. One such treat was a small frog known as Matuda's Spike-thumbed Frog (Plectrohyla matudai) which was found in a small mountain stream below a small waterfall in the tropical evergreen forests of the Sierra Madres de Chiapas in Chiapas, Mexico in April, 2000. This little guy was a marvel at being camouflaged as the shots here will show. This location is in the same region where I have encountered the Guatemalan Palm Pit-Viper as well. From what I can learn on the Internet this frog is judged to be locally common in parts of Chiapas, Mexico, and Guatemala. I also found a reference to its occurrence in Honduras. The shots here were taken with a Canon EOS 3 and an EF 300mm F/4 L IS lens and flash on Fuji Velvia film pushed one stop. I do not believe there are any other photos of this species on the Internet at this time, at least none that I can find. My thanks to Dr. Jonathan A. Campbell of the University of Texas at Arlington for identifying this critter from photos. Dr. Campbell thinks it is almost certainly this species judging from the location, but without the specimen in hand this cannot be confirmed.