Johnstone's Whistling Frog
© 2008 Tiffany Schriever (1 of 11)
Similar Species: E. ridens has enlarged, pointed supraocular tubercles on upper eyelids, red thighs, calves, and feet. E. cruentus has large truncate and emarginate disks on fingers (Savage 2002).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Introduced: Aruba, Bermuda, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guyana, Jamaica, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela.
Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Costa Rica, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Guadeloupe, the Grenadines, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Panama, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, Trinidad, Tobago, Venezuela
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Mating Behavior: During wet season, peaks around June to August (Ovaska 1991; Savage 2002). Females approach calling males to initiate courtship. Repeatedly, a male moves away, calling softly, and the female follows until both reach a possible oviposition site. Other males may follow and compete for the female with calls and, sometimes, physical means. Female accepts male by backing under him. Male clasps female in axillary amplexus or perches on her back; less often, a pair uses a reverse hind leg clasp, a position only known in E. coqui, which has internal fertilization. Both go through abdominal pulsations and body spasms before the female begins to lay eggs (Bourne 1997).
Eggs and Froglets: Clutches found throughout the year but most often during the wettest months and contain 10-30 unpigmented eggs covered in a thin layer of viscous mucus. Newly laid, egg diameters average around 3.0 mm. Froglets hatch from the eggs by using an egg tooth located on the tip of the snout. They have snout vent lengths of about 4.0 mm. Their short stumpy tails disappear within a day, and the froglets reach sexual maturity in about one year (Bourne 1997; Savage 2002).
Call: Two-note whistle that can be repeated at a maximum of 60 times per minute. First note, frequency about 2 kHz for 70-90 milliseconds. Longer second note, lasting 180-270 milliseconds, that rises sharply from about 3 to 4 kHz. Average interval between calls is 1.2 seconds (Savage 2002).
Trends and Threats
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
Bourne, G. R. (1997). ''Reproductive behavior of terrestrial breeding frogs Eleutherodactylus johnstonei in Guyana.'' Journal of Herpetology, 31(2), 221-229.
Kaiser, H. (1997). ''Origins and introductions of the Caribbean frog, Eleutherodactylus johnstonei (Leptodactylidae): management and conservation concerns.'' Biodiversity and Conservation, 6, 1391-1407.
Ovaska, K. (1991). ''Reproductive phenology, population structure, and habitat use of the frog Eleutherodactylus johnstonei in Barbados, West Indies.'' Journal of Herpetology, 25(4), 424-430.
Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
Written by Chih Wang (chihwang AT uclink.berkeley.edu), AmphibiaWeb
First submitted 2003-03-19
Edited by Tate Tunstall (2009-11-02)
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