Impurest's Guide to Animals #44 - Emei Moustache Toad

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Edited By ImpurestCheese

Well after another week in hell I sit waiting for a Monday verdict. It makes me wonder is this is the kind of bad day that the Tiger Quoll experiences as it waddles around the Australian Outback. Still like me it is a fighter, as is this week’s animal and its bizarre weaponized facial ornaments.

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Issue #43 Emei Moustache Toad

[1]
[1]

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Amphibia

Order – Anura

Family – Megophryidae

Genus – Leptobrachium

Species –boringii

Related Species - There are 34 species in the genus Leptobrachium (1)

Range - The Emei Moustache Toad live in the shadow of Mount Emei in China

The Spikiest Stubble of All

The Emei Moustache Toad is a medium sized grey skinned frog with large protruding black eyes and bulky front legs. In addition the males, which is around an inch larger than the female, has a row of 10 to 16 dagger like spikes arranged across his upper lip (2). These structures are made from hardened keratin and are around 5mm in length and orientated away from the snout.

[2]
[2]

As adults these toads live in woodlands around their mountain home feeding on worms, insects and snails. On land males generally ignore each other, since the species is only territorial during the breeding season between late February and late March. During this time males will stake out claims on hollows in the river bank and grunt to attract females and warn off rival males.

[3]
[3]

If this passive posturing fails to see off an intruder however, the toads will attack each other, aggressively ramming their spines into each others flanks and faces. While these fights rarely result in death painful injuries are common including lacerations, broken spikes and torn legs. When the mating season is finished the females leave, with the males remaining to aggressively defend the eggs accumulated in their hollows, only ending their vigil when the tadpoles hatch and leave the nest.

Five Fun Emei Moustache Toad Facts

Such aggression between males of other frog and toad species is very rare. Most species rely on passive shoving and calls to deter rivals. (3)

The spines of the male Emei Moustache Toad are temporary much in the same way a stag’s antlers are.

During the breeding season male Emei Moustache Toads refuse to feed. On average successful males loose around 7% of their body weight over the period of three weeks (1)

Despite being pugnacious towards each other the male is gentle and caring to any eggs in his hollow. This care extends to those of any males he ousted from the nest to gain control of the breeding space. It’s theorised that females are attracted to males with eggs already, making such unusual care of a rival’s offspring understandable.

Not all members of the genus Leptobrachium are boring, grey coloured toads. One species Leptobrachium bompu has very distinct blue iris that contrast with it’s brown body (4)

[4]
[4]

Bibliography

1 - www.arkive.org

2 - Hudson, C. M.; Fu, J. (2013). "Male-biased sexual size dimorphism, resource defense polygyny, and multiple paternity in the Emei moustache toad (Leptobrachium boringii)". PLoS ONE8 (6

3 - http://www.nerdist.com/2014/04/miracles-of-weird-the-emei-mustache-toad/

4 - Sondhi, Sonjay; Ohler, Annemarie (2011). "A blue-eyed Leptobrachium (Anura: Megophryidae) from Arunachal Pradesh, India". Zootaxa (2912): 28–36

Picture References

1 - http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/ns/cms/dn23822/dn23822-2_300.jpg

2 - http://thereptilereport.com/assets/misc-06jul-crazyfrogstache-noattribution.jpg

3 - http://www.wcs.org/news-and-features-main/~/media/Images/wcs%20org/new%20and%20noteworthy/headline/moustache%20toad.jpg

4 - http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/41/Leptobrachium_bompu.jpeg/220px-Leptobrachium_bompu.jpeg

And with that the male Emei Moustache Toad moves off to claim his spot and win himself a mate. And that’s it for this year, wait? WHAT? You want more, okay fine one more issue of 2014 before we surf off into the new year with next weeks animal. As always remember to critic, comment and check out Impurest’s Bestiary of Past Issues as well as nominate your Animal Issue of the year.

Many Thanks

Impurest Cheese

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It looms like a chocolate chip mustache.

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ImpurestCheese

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itsomething

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ImpurestCheese

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@itsomething: Thanks, look forward to what you have to say about this toad

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cattlebattle

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It looks like those reptile things from Land of the Lost.

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Best mustache ever

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ImpurestCheese

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@cattlebattle: It's the eyes right?

@cgoodness: Yep it's the ultimate accessory for the battle ready toad

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NighThunder

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Now that's a manly toad.

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ImpurestCheese

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@nighthunder: Too true, he may even make moustache's popular this year (I doubt it though)

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@scorpion2501: It's because he knows that his awesome moustache makes him superior

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Very interesting

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@impurestcheese: Well, if I had a moustache like that I would smile all day as well O_O. It's like a murder weapon!

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ImpurestCheese

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@scorpion2501: Yeah a murder weapon that drops off within five weeks of growing it

@foolsgold: Thanks for the comment

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#19  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@foolsgold: Yeah but then again outrageous headgear for use in sexual conflict is older than hoofed mammals or moustache wearing toads

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@foolsgold: Yeah but then again outrageous headgear for use in sexual conflict is older than hoofed mammals or moustache wearing toads

True, but its the probably the most well known example, most likely because Humans are more drawn to fellow mammals than other groups of animals.

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ImpurestCheese

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@foolsgold: I don't know, we still like dinosaurs right?

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@foolsgold: I don't know, we still like dinosaurs right?

Extant animals only.

And before Dinosaurs became popular, ancient mammals where actually major attractions....

Saying that, it was Dinosaurs which drew me into Biology in general, so point taken :0

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#27  Edited By cbishop

@impurestcheese: Does it star in a TV show about toad cops, called Cold Bloods, like Tom Selleck stars in Blue Bloods? :)

P.S. I went to Google to check the spelling of "moustache." Turns out what I'm used to is the US spelling (mustache). However, everything else about this toad is calling it the "Emei" Moustache Toad. Just a heads up.

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ImpurestCheese

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@foolsgold: Ah am I that shallow?

@ostyo: They all are

@cbishop: Wow okay going to have to edit that later. And yes I believe that there is a show in the offing featuring such a concept

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#30  Edited By cattlebattle

@impurestcheese: Yes. That and the fact that they are green, and have permeable skin, and just the overall cut of their jib.

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#32 Straight-Fire  Online

What a cute toad. =)

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#33  Edited By ImpurestCheese

@dboyrules2011: Really even with the stache from hell? Okay then

Wonder what you'll think about next week's surfing animal?

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#34 Straight-Fire  Online
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#36 Straight-Fire  Online
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I have to agree with the chocolate chip summation. First thought that came to my head. Probably because of all the evil cookies that have crossed my path lately.

Moustaches in general can be hit and miss, but considering this little guy's devotion to his offspring, they became just a little more attractive.

(I hope things turned out the way you hoped by the way, with the whole court situation you have going on.)

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@impurestcheese: Now if only he had some chocolate chip horns above each eye too. He would be glorious!

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@ostyo: Except that these ones try and gore each other

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I've heard about this before, no idea it uses the horns( I consider them spikes at the time) for fighting.

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ImpurestCheese

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@scattered316: Yeah well that's generally what spikes are for. Thanks for the comment, it's much appreciated

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You had me at mustache.

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@wildvine: Thanks, it's so great to see you again :-D

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@wildvine: Thanks, this place hasn't been the same without you

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