Brazil Nuts

Empty pods ~ nursery pools for tadpoles!


The empty Brazil nut seed pods (or cocos) collect rainwater and acts as a water reservoir – perfect for many amphibians and insects to breed in.

Some species of amphibians, such as frogs, reproduce in the empty pods and nowhere else.


The Brazil nut "poison" frog, Adelphobates castaneoticus, is named for the nut pods which it uses to spawn and hatch its larva and tadpoles.

The Brazil Nut frog is a tiny "thumbnail" frog, measuring about 2cm, diurnal (they sleep at night like us) and feeds on ants, termites and other small invertebrates. The eggs are laid on the ground where they are guarded by the male. When they hatch, he carries the tadpoles to temporary pools such as water holes in trees and stumps, and water-filled empty Brazil nut cases on the forest floor.

pod frog

Here the tadpoles develop rapidly, devouring mosquito larvae, smaller tadpoles, and other creatures that share these ephemeral pools, as well as suitably-sized plant material. This frog may become sexually mature in five to seven months.

The main threats it faces are logging, habitat destruction, wildfire and collection of animals to be sold as pets on an international market.

This shows the interconnectedness of life in the rainforest and on our planet.