Phyllomedusa camba is a medium-sized frog with a wide head. The snout is short and appears rounded in dorsal view while truncate and inclined in lateral view. Snout-vent lengths range from 60.8-69.6 mm. The canthus rostralis is slightly rounded. The lips are thin and not flared. Nostrils are not protuberant, but are directed laterally with a flat internarial region. Eyes are slightly protuberant with vertically elliptical pupils. There are paratoid glands that stretch from the eyelid to a level where the elbow touches adpressed to the body. Tympanum is oval with an anterior ridge 1-2 mm separated from the eye. Moderate supratympanic fold can be observed, barely covering a small region of the tympanum. The upper arm is slender and the forearm is robust. Relative finger lengths (decreasing) are 3 > 4 > 2 > 1. The hind limb is slender, moderately long, and unornamented. Toe disks are slightly smaller than those of fingers. Relative length (decreasing) of toes is 4 > 5 > 1 > 3 > 2. Vomerine teeth are present. Dorsal surfaces have smooth skin (De La Riva 1999).
Phyllomedusa camba is closely related and similar to P. boliviana by also displaying very dark brown iris. However, P. camba differs from P. boliviana by having yellowish-cream border on upper eyelid, irregular pinkish-cream markings on border between the green dorsum and cream venter, relatively undeveloped parotoid glands, white gular blotch, and having two white spots on the inferior surface of the thighs (De La Riva 1999).
In life, this frog is leaf green on the dorsum, head, tympanum, and upper parts of limbs. The upper eyelid border is yellowish-cream and the throat presents as grayish-cream to pale brown. An extended, irregular white spot can be observed near the insertion of the upper arms, with the variations including the spot being surrounded by smaller, similar spots that extend onto the chest. Phyllomedusa camba have grayish-cream belly and ventral limbs. The inferior surface of each thigh may present with small, white spots, complementing a larger spot on the proximal part of the cloacal opening. Pinkish-cream blotches decorate the flanks. On the outer surface of limbs, the border between the change in dorsal and ventral coloration appears straight and is well marked by a cream line extending from the elbow to the disk of Finger 4, and from the heel to the disk of Toe 5. The groin and the less visible parts of the thighs are pale purple. The cream lower lip has a line of the same color extending from the corner of the mouth to the insertion of the upper arm. The iris is very dark brown with black flecks (De La Riva 1999).
In preservation, the normally green color of dorsal parts is instead grayish-blue. Additionally, the normally yellowish-cream border of the eyelid is instead cream color (De La Riva 1999).
The degree of throat pigmentation and reticulation on the flanks is variable. Moreover, some specimens collected from the Madre de Dios drainage have groins and posterior surfaces of flanks with yellowish coloration (De La Riva 1999).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bolivia, Brazil, Peru
Phyllomedusa camba can be found in the Southwestern Amazon Basin, from West Brazil to East Bolivia and down to Southeastern Peru. In Bolivia, the species can be found between 280 and 1000 m. In Puerto Almacén, P. camba was largely found primarily in primary forest, though they are also sighted in secondary forest and open areas. Reproductive sites for P. camba are typically on trees, palms, and vines; their breeding can also take place on bushes and Heliconia plants (De La Riva 1999).
In Andean foothills of La Paz and Cochabamba and in some parts of the lowlands of Santa Cruz, P. camba and P. boliviana are sympatric (De La Riva 1999).
In Southeastern Peru, males and females of P. camba have been found at night in bamboo patches in terra firme and floodplain forests (von May et al. 2010).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
As is common with this genus, P. camba is exclusively nocturnal. Breeding activity typically begins in November with the first heavy rains and lasts until March. Males have been known to congregate at reproductive sites in high numbers, where they make isolated calls that are unstructured from other males. Call frequencies are 800-900 Hz and composed of low-pulsed notes that last approximately 48 ms and repeat at uneven intervals (11.7 calls/minute) (De La Riva 1999).
Phyllomedusa camba seem to prefer swamps in primary forest during their reproductive cycles; however, they can also be found in inundated places on roadsides and have also been observed using water-filled holes in trees as a reproduction site. It is suggested that the proximity of water is necessary for the female to hydrate its body and fill its bladder in order to hydrate the gelatinous capsules that protect the eggs as they are laid (De La Riva 1999). Phyllomedusa camba create foam nests that reside on leaves above pools, and tadpoles fall from these into the water (De La Riva et al. 2004).
Trends and Threats
This species has a stable population trend (De la Riva et al. 2004).
P. camba has been historically confused for its sister taxa P. boliviana and thereby generated some taxonomic confusion (De La Riva 1999).
The species was named “camba” after the Bolivian word for indigenous people from the lowlands in Santa Cruz, Beni, and Pando (De La Riva 1999).
Featured in Amazing Amphibians on 15 July 2013
De La Riva, I. (1999). “A new Phyllomedusa from southwestern Amazonia.” Rev. Esp. Herp, 13, 123-131.
De la Riva, I., Jungfer, K., Angulo, A., and Reichle, S. (2004). Phyllomedusa camba. In: IUCN 2012. 2012 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 04 February 2013
von May, R., Jacobs, J. M., Santa-Cruz, R., Valdivia, J., Huamán, J., Donnelly, M. A. (2010). ''Amphibian community structure as a function of forest type in Amazonian Peru.'' Journal of Tropical Ecology, 26(5), 509-519.
Written by David Wong (davidwong8442 AT berkeley.edu), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2013-02-13
Edited by Ann T. Chang & Rudolf von May; updated by Ann T. Chang (2013-07-15)
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