The Monte Iberia Eleuth is a critically endangered animal that is confined to just two remote areas of forest in Cuba. The Monte Iberia Eleuth was first discovered on Mount Iberia in 1996, and populations are known to be very vulnerable as this frog is only found in very specific habitats that include areas of closed rainforest, with poorly drained soil and high levels of humidity.
The Monte Iberia Eleuth is a tiny black frog that can be easily identified by the bright yellow stripes that run along each side of the frog's back. Due to the fact that the head of the Monte Iberia Eleuth is about the same size as the head of a pin, this tiny frog has fewer teeth than larger frogs and is also thought to make more highly-pitched vocal calls.
Only two isolated populations are known to exist, both in the HolguÃn Province of eastern Cuba at elevations under 600 meters. The first location is on top of the Monte Iberia tableland where the Monte Iberia Eleuth was first discovered. The second is smaller (less than 100 kmÂ²) and sparsely-occupied, near NibujÃ³n at sea level. This area has suffered great disturbances over the past 40 years from human activities which has obviously led to drastic declines in Monte Iberia Eleuth population numbers.
Despite it's miniature size, the Monte Iberia Eleuth has a very similar diet to other small frogs, hunting and eating a wide range of invertebrates in the Cuban jungle. The Monte Iberia Eleuth feeds on insects, moths and spiders along with a number of semi-aquatic invertebrates when it is close to water.
Due to it's small size, the Monte Iberia Eleuth has numerous predators within it's natural environment including birds, rodents, lizards, toads and even larger frogs. The Monte Iberia Eleuth is also an incredibly sensitive animal that is easily affected by changes to it's environment including pollution and deforestation.
Little is known about the reproduction of the smallest frog in the Northern Hemisphere, besides the fact that once hatched, the life-cycle of the Monte Iberia Eleuth is similar to that of other frogs turning from water-based tadpoles to ground-dwelling frogs. When the first Monte Iberia Eleuth frog was found, she was found next to a single egg which indicates that this species reproduces slowly as they don't lay hundreds of eggs at once.
Today, the Monte Iberia Eleuth is considered to be an animal that is critically endangered in the wild and therefore population numbers are very low in the wild.