Tiny frogs with see-through bellies offer clues to species identification

August 8, 2014, 1 p.m.
glass belly frog

Glass frogs hold no secrets

Transparent animals are just plain cool. But the more complex the animal, the more amazing it is when we can see right into their inner workings. And in the case of glass frogs, the ability to see right inside them helps with identifying the species. Photographer Andrew Snyder writes, "This glass frog (Hyalinobatrachium cf. cappellei) is a very small juvenile that was found on a small riverside branch along the Essequibo River on afternoon. Currently Guyana has six species of glass frogs recorded for the country, and many of those look quite similar to each other. This image shows clearly why glass frogs get their name, but is also a way to make species identification possible. The underside gives a clear view as to what color the bones are (typically either white or green) and whether certain organs such the heart are visible, all important diagnostic characteristics."

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