Despite its name, the mountain chicken is actually one of the world's largest frogs. It is so named because its meat is said to taste like chicken. Sadly it is also one of the world's most threatened frog species. Once found on many Caribbean islands, it is now restricted to a few moist areas of only two: Dominica and Montserrat.
The dramatic decline in number is due to human consumption, volcanic eruptions and fungal disease. This supreme ambush predator waits patiently for anything it can swallow whole, ranging from insects to small mammals and even other frogs. Unusually for amphibians the mountain chicken breeds in underground burrows and not in water. Froglets emerge during the wet season.
Scientific name: Leptodactylus fallax
Giant ditch frog
The Mountain chicken can be found in a number of locations including: South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.
The following habitats are found across the Mountain chicken distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.
Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.
Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web
Population trend: Decreasing
Year assessed: 2004
Classified by: IUCN 3.1
Leptodactylus fallax, commonly known as the Giant Ditch Frog, is a species of frog that is native to the Caribbean islands of Dominica and Montserrat. The population has declined 80% in the last ten years and this species is now critically endangered. In 2004 it was estimated that the population possibly was as low as 8000 individuals. One of the main threats is human consumption. The fungal disease chytridiomycosis has also had a dramatic effect on the population. Locally, it is known as the Mountain Chicken for its large size and the fact it is hunted for food.
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