Eleutherodactylus leberi is a small frog, with males reaching up to 33 mm in SVL. The digital discs are moderate. There is no webbing between the toes. The vomerine teeth, behind the choanae, are present in a short, straight series (Schwartz 1965; Schwartz and Henderson 1985; Schwartz and Henderson 1991).
This frog is yellow-green with a dark brown stippled pattern. There is a conspicuous dark and broad interocular bar and two large, dark, diffuse figures in the scapular and sacral regions. The snout is stippled and set off from the dark interocular bar by a pale area. Concealed surfaces of the thighs are dark gray, and the anterior surfaces are greenish yellow with some varied darker markings. The venter is pale yellow with some dark stippling on chin and throat. The vocal sac is vivid yellow (Schwartz 1965; Schwartz and Henderson 1985; Schwartz and Henderson 1991).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cuba
This species is endemic to eastern Cuba and it is known only from the northern foothills of the Sierra Maestra mountains and apparently also from north of Guantánamo. It occurs in mesic hardwood forests at elevations between 394-465 m above sea level (Garrido and Jaume 1984; Schwartz and Henderson 1991).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This frog is active at night. Males vocalize from large rocks (up to 2 m in diameter) overgrown with plants and from leaves of vines, trees and shrubs, 1.5 to 3 m above the ground. Calls are composed of two notes; the first note is lower in pitch than the second, although they are so close together that they sound like a single, repeated metallic “tenk”. The dominant frequency is about 2.0 kHz. (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Hedges et al., 1992; Fong, unpublished).
Trends and Threats
Habitat modification is considered the principal threat to this species (Vales et al. 1998). The species is threatened by habitat destruction from agriculture and subsistence farming (Hedges and Diaz 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Eleutherodactylus leberi is a member of the subgenus Eleutherodactylus (Heinicke et al., 2007).
Etymology- Named for David C. Leber, who accompanied the author in collecting specimens (Schwartz 1965).
The chromosome number is 24 (Bogart 1981).
Bogart, J. P. (1981). ''Chromosome studies in Sminthillus from Cuba and Eleutherodactylus from Cuba and Puerto Rico (Anura: Leptodactylidae).'' Life Science Contribution, Royal Ontario Museum, 129, 1-22.
Drewes, R. C., and Wilkinson, J. A. (2004). ''The California Academy of Sciences Gulf of Guinea Expedition (2001) I. The taxonomic status of the genus Nesionixalus Perret, 1976 (Anura: Hyperoliidae): treefrogs of São Tomé and Príncipe, with comments on the genus Hyperolius.'' Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 55, 395-407.
Garrido, O. H., and Jaume, M. L. (1984). ''Catálogo descriptivo de los anfibios y reptiles de Cuba.'' Doñana, Acta Vertebrata, 11(2), 5-128.
Hedges, S. B. and Díaz, L. M. (2004). Eleutherodactylus leberi. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. . Downloaded on 11 November 2007.
Hedges, S.B., Estrada, A.R., and Thomas, R. (1992). ''Three new species of Eleutherodactylus from eastern Cuba, with notes on vocalizations of other species (Anura: Leptodactylidae).'' Herpetological Monographs, 6, 68-83.
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. (1965). ''A new Cuban Eleutherodactylus of the auriculatus group.'' Herpetologica, 21(1), 27-31.
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)
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