With the possible exception of the ubiquitous rocket frog (Allobates insperatus) by far the most common thing I find on the trails in Ecuador is this species. Despite their abundance, they are a species I rarely get tired of seeing because each individual you come across is unique. Some can be really well camouflaged, looking just like dead leaves, so spotting those makes you feel like a pro; but mostly I spot them by movement. One thing they do share in common, though, is a big depressing frown across their face – almost as if they’re my spirit animal.
The grumpiest Crested forest toad (Rhinella margaritifera). Small cranial crests visible behind the eye
The crested forest toad (Rhinella margaritifera) is a widespread species in the Amazon. They reach about 8cm in length and come in a huge range of colours – brown, black, gold, red, even blue! If that wasn’t enough variation, the cranial crests that give the species their name can be different too. Most pronounced in the females, they range from horizontally flat out the side of their head to almost vertical and in a range of sizes, you’d be hard pressed to find two that look alike.