Eleutherodactylus turquinensis is a small frog (but large for eleutherodactylids), reaching 53 mm SVL in adult females and 37 mm in males. The skin of the dorsum is slightly tuberculate, while the venter is smooth. The snout is short. The feet are webbed with a distinct dermal flange on distal portions of the toes; the digital discs are rounded and moderate in size. The heels do not overlap and usually do not contact when the folded legs are held at right angles to the body axis. Fingers II and IV are of equal length. Inguinal, postfemoral and supraxillary glandular areas are absent. The vomerine teeth, behind the choanae, are present in a long series (Barbour and Shreve 1937; Schwartz and Henderson 1985; Schwartz and Henderson 1991; Hedges et al. 1995; Estrada and Hedges 1998).
This frog is a mottled tan brown, greenish-brown or orange-brown dorsally with darker brown markings. The head of some specimens is brick red, and this color is also present on the limbs of some individuals. A scapular chevron and dorsolateral bands are at times present. The hind limbs have narrow or wide bars, variable in number. The venter is white, usually with extensive dark brown stippling or spots. The iris of the eye is greenish-gray (Barbour and Shreve, 1937; Schwartz and Henderson, 1985; Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Hedges et al., 1995; Estrada and Hedges, 1998).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cuba
This species is endemic to Cuba. It is known only from the Sierra del Turquino (Sierra Maestra mountains) in eastern Cuba, at elevations between 800-1400 m. This is a semi-aquatic frog found in small mountain streams in rainforests and disturbed areas (Diaz et al. 2005).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species can be found during day or night on rocks and the banks of streams, or clinging to wet rocks directly in the splash zone or underwater. When disturbed, it typically dives underwater to escape. Males vocalize at night from crevices between rocks on the banks of streams or from concealed locations on the ground next to the streams, presumably to attract females to terrestrial egg-laying sites. Calls are “chirps” with a slightly rising quality and a dominant frequency about 1.7 kHz. It is parasitized by the nematode Physalopteroids valdesi (Barbour and Shreve 1937; Coy and Lorenzo 1982; Schwartz and Henderson 1991; Hedges et al. 1995; Estrada and Hedges 1998).
Trends and Threats
This species is threatened by loss of its forest habitat (Hedges and Diaz 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Eleutherodactylus turquinensis is a member of the subgenus Euhyas. Related species include Eleutherodactylus cuneatus, E. riparius, and E. rivularis (Heinicke et al. 2007).
Etymology- Named in allusion to the distribution of the species.
Barbour, T., and Shreve, B. (1937). “Novitates Cubanae.” Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 80(9), 377-387.
Coy, A., and Lorenzo, N. (1982). ''Lista de los helmintos parásitos de los vertebrados silvestres cubanos.'' Poeyana, 235, 1-57.
Díaz, L. M., Fong, A., Viña, N., and Knell, G. (2005). ''Amphibians and reptiles.'' Cuba: Parque Nacional La Bayamesa. Rapid Biological Inventories Report 13. D. Maceira, A. Fong, W. S. Alverson, and T. Wachter, eds., The Field Museum, Chicago.
Estrada, A. R. and Hedges, S. B. (1998). ''Sistemática de las ranas ribereñas de Cuba (Leptodactylidae: Eleutherodactylus) con la descripción de una especie nueva.'' Caribbean Journal of Science, 34(3-4), 218-230.
Hedges, S. B. and Díaz, L. M. (2004). Eleutherodactylus turquinensis. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.iucnredlist.org/. Downloaded on 11 November 2007.
Hedges, S. B., González, L., and Estrada, A. R. (1995). ''Rediscovery of the Cuban frogs Eleutherodactylus cubanus and E. turquinensis (Anura: Leptodactylidae).'' Caribbean Journal of Science, 31(3-4), 327-332.
Heinicke, M. P., Duellman, W. E., Hedges, S. B. (2007). ''Major Caribbean and Central American frog faunas originated by ancient oceanic dispersal.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(24), 10092-10097.
Schwartz, A., and Henderson, R. W. (1985). A Guide to the Identification of the Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies Exclusive of Hispaniola. Milwaukee Public Museum, Inland Press, Milwaukee.
Schwartz, A., and Henderson, R. W. (1991). Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. Descriptions, Distributions, and Natural History. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Florida, USA.
Vales, M., Álvarez, A., Montes, L., and Ávila, A. (1998). Estudio Nacional sobre la Diversidad Biológica en la República de Cuba. CESYTA, Madrid.
Written by Ansel Fong G. (ansel AT bioeco.ciges.inf.cu), BIOECO, Cuba
First submitted 2007-11-07
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2007-11-12)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2007 Eleutherodactylus turquinensis: Turquino Robber Frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/3255> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 23, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Oct 2017.
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