Coloration is pale-green to pale-brown above, and bluish-green on the venter,
with a creamy line on the edge of the upper eyelid, the supratympanic fold, and
the canthus (Duellman 1970).
This species can immediately be distinguished from
other Middle American hylids by the presence of an oval-shaped mental gland on
the chin. The iris is pale brown, bones appear greenish through the skin, and
a yellow anal stripe runs transversely. The skin is smooth except for weak
granulation on the ventral thighs and belly.
The head is flat on top, the snout appears acutely rounded in dorsal outline and bluntly rounded in lateral
profile, and the canthus is angular. The tympanum is approximately half the
size of the eye, and a dermal fold arches from the eye, over the tympanum, to
a point above the arm's insertion. The fingers are 1/3 webbed and bear small
discs, while the toes are about 4/5 webbed and also bear small discs. Adult
male snout-vent length begins around 31.9 mm and reaches a maximum of 37.0 mm,
whereas females range from 36.7 to 43.3 mm
(all above descriptions based on Duellman 1970).
The tadpole is ovoid, with a relatively shallow
dorsal fin that does not extend onto the body. A large, ventral mouth is
present, completely bordered by two rows of oral papillae, with bluntly
serrated beaks, and six upper and nine lower rows of teeth (with some
variation). The spiracle is sinstral, at a point midlength and midline along
the body, and the anal tube is dextral
(all tadpole morphology from Duellman 1970).
The mating call has been described as a "series of
short, high pitched, cricket-like chirps," where the notes are produced in
rapid succession (Duellman 1970).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Panama
Hyla colymba is found on the Caribbean slopes of western Panama and Costa
Rica, on the Pacific slopes of eastern Panama and Ecuador, and presumably in
Colombia (Duellman 1970). It occupies an elevational range between 600 and
1400 m, what has been described as the Subtropical Rainforest Lifezone
(Holdridge 1967). Typical habitat lies in close proximity to streams of
humid, lower montane forest or cloud forest, and tadpoles are commonly found
within quiet of small rocky streams (Duellman 1970).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Few life history observations have been reported for H. colymba. It has
been noted that males are extremely wary, calling and remaining in retreat
under large boulders, and ceasing calls at any slight disturbance
Trends and Threats
No population records have been obtained for H. colymba, and thus its
conservation status, and any potential threats, remain unknown.
Hyla alvaradoi is synonymous with H. colymba; see
Duellman (1970) for remarks.
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
Duellman, W.E. (1970). The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Volume 1. Monograph of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas.
Holdridge, L. R. (1967). Life Zone Ecology. Tropical Science Center, San Jose, Costa Rica.
Written by Sean D. Schoville (sschov AT uclink4.berkeley.edu), MVZ University of California at Berkeley
First submitted 2000-02-28
Edited by Meredith J. Mahoney (2009-11-02)
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb: Information on
amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. 2016. Berkeley, California:
(Accessed: May 25, 2016).
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