Proceratophrys boiei
Boie's Frog, Rio de Janeiro's Smooth Horned Frog, sapo-de-chifre, sapo-folha, intanha-pequena.
family: Odontophrynidae

© 2008 Mauro Teixeira Jr (1 of 51)

  hear call (218.9K MP3 file)
  hear call (87.0K MP3 file)
  hear call (793.0K MP3 file)

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
Other International Status Least Concern (LC)
National Status Not listed
Regional Status Not listed


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


This species belongs to the P. boiei group (Lynch 1971; Prado and Pombal 2008). The body size is 40-62 mm SVL in males, 40-74 mm SVL in females. The head is broader than long and the body is stout with several warts. The snout is rounded in dorsal view. Upper eyelids have an extensive flap. Tympanum indistinct. Males with single internal vocal sac, vocal slits present. Symmetrical fold from tip of the eye horns to sacrum. Inner metatarsal tubercle very large. Hand with supernumerary tubercles. Throat grey. Dorsal surface covered with warts; belly and ventral surface with granulations (Cochran 1955; Prado and Pombal 2008). General dorsal color brown, with a series of bars under the eye (Heyer et al. 1990). The mean body mass is 9.53 g (Rocha et al. 2007). Izecksohn et al. (2005) provided a detailed description of the osteocranium of P. boiei and concluded that this species is very similar to P. appendiculata and P. melanopogon.

The tadpole was described by Izecksohn et al. (1979). At stage 34 the body is elliptical and depressed. Eyes dorsolateral. Oral apparatus ventral, surrounded by a single row of marginal papillae; submarginal papillae present on both sides of oral disc. LTRF 2(2)/3(1). Nares elliptical. Spiracle tube sinistral, directed dorsoposteriorally. The body is light brown, with some dark blotches. The venter is scattered with golden blotches. The dorsal portion of the caudal musculature is scattered with dark brown blotches.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.
P. boiei is distributed along eastern Brazil, associated with the Atlantic Rainforest and transition areas with Cerrado, from south of the state of Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, Paraná to south of Santa Catarina, up to 1,200 m a.s.l (Prado & Pombal, 2008). The species is more commonly found in the leaf litter inside woodlands (Haddad & Sazima, 1992; Zina et al., 2007; Serafim et al., 2008), near small, narrow permanent slow-flowing streams (Conte and Machado, 2005).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males of this species call at night from the ground (Conte and Machado 2005) or near small slow-flowing forest streams or swamps (Bertoluci and Rodrigues 2002; Conte and Rossa-Feres 2006). Sometimes it can be found calling in secondary growth forests (Heyer et al. 1990; Canelas and Bertoluci 2007). The calling season ranges from September to January, with a peak of abundance of calling males at the end of the rainy season (Bertoluci 1998). Most of the calling activity takes place in the beginning of the night (Pombal 1997). The advertisement call lacks harmonic structure; the call is given sporadically and span over 0.7-0.8 s (Heyer et al. 1990). The call can be heard on Haddad et al. (2005).

The eggs can be laid in swamps (reproductive mode 1 of Haddad & Prado, 2005) or in streams (mode 2), and tadpoles are benthic (Izecksohn et al. 1979). Newly metamorphosed specimens can be found in February (Prado & Pombal 2008).

P. boiei seems to be very common within its range, though not found very densely in the leaf litter (Giaretta et al. 1999; Rocha et al. 2007).

The diet is composed basically of crickets, beetles, Blattodea, other leaf litter frogs, and spiders (Giaretta et al. 1998; Ribeiro et al. 2005). Giaretta et al. (1998) report an ontogenetic diet variation for the species.

Trends and Threats
Its range is within many protected areas, like Parque Estadual Intervales, Estação Biológica de Boracéia, Serra do Japi, Reserva Biológica Augusto Ruschi, RPPN Serra do Caraça, Parque Nacional da Tijuca, Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, PETAR, Parque Nacional de Itatiaia, Parque Nacional da Serra do Órgãos, Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar. It is a common species along its range.

Relation to Humans
It is used internationally as a pet.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Drainage of habitat
Habitat fragmentation

The epithet of this species was given in honor of Mr. Boie, a traveler who first collected the specimens used in the description of the species.

The northern population of Proceratophrys boiei, from northern Espírito Santo to Ceará, was given the name P. renalis; this species was formerly under the synonym of P. boiei (Prado and Pombal 2008).


Bertoluci, J. A. (1998). ''Annual patterns of breeding activity in Atlantic rainforest anurans.'' Journal of Herpetology, 32(3), 607-11.

Bertoluci, J. A., and Rodrigues, M. T. (2002). ''Utilização de habitats reprodutivos e micro-habitats de vocalização em uma taxocenose de anuros (Amphibia) da Mata Atlântica do sudeste do Brasil.'' Papéis Avulsos de Zoologia, 42(3), 287-97.

Canelas, M. A. S., and Bertoluci, J. (2007). ''Anurans of the Serra do Caraça, southeastern Brazil: species composition and phenological patterns of calling activity.'' Iheringia, 97, 21-26.

Cochran, D. M. (1955). ''Frogs of southeastern Brazil.'' Bulletin of the U.S. National Museum, 206, 1-423.

Conte, C. E., and Machado, R. A. (2005). ''Riqueza de espécies e distribuição espacial e temporal em comunidade de anuros (Amphibia, Anura) em uma localidade de Tijucas do Sul, Paraná, Brasil.'' Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 22(3), 940-948.

Conte, C. E., and Rossa-Feres, D. C. (2006). ''Diversidade e ocorrência temporal da anurofauna (Amphibia, Anura) em São José dos Pinhais, Paraná, Brasil.'' Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 23(3), 162-75.

Giaretta, A. A., Araújo, M. S., Medeiros, H. F. and Facure, K. G. (1998). ''Food habits and ontogenetic diet shifts of the litter dwelling frog Proceratophrys boiei (Weid).'' Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 15, 385-388.

Giaretta, A. A., Facure, K. G., Sawaya, R. J., Meyer, J. H. de M., and Chemin, N. (1999). ''Diversity and abundance of litter frogs in a montane forest of southeastern Brazil: seasonal and altitudinal changes.'' Biotropica, 31, 669-674.

Haddad, C. F. B., Giovanelli, J. G. R., Giasson, L. O. M., and Toledo, L. F. (2005). Guia sonoro dos anfíbios anuros da Mata Atlântica (Sound guide of the Atlantic rain forest anurans). Audio CD. NovoDisc Mídia Digital da Amazônia, Manaus.

Haddad, C. F. B., and Sazima, I. (1992). ''Anfíbios anuros da Serra do Japi.'' História Natural da Serra do Japi: Ecologia e Preservação de uma Área Florestal no Sudeste do Brasil. P. C. Morellato, eds., Unicamp, Campinas.

Heyer, W. R., Rand, A. S., Cruz, C. A. G., Peixoto, O. L., and Nelson, C. E. (1990). ''Frogs of Boracéia.'' Arquivos de Zoologia Sao Paulo, 31, 231-410.

Izecksohn, E., Carvalho-e-Silva, S. P. and Deiss, I. (2005). ''O osteocrânio de Proceratophrys boiei (Wied-Neuwied), P. appendiculata (Günther), P. melanopogon (Miranda-Ribeiro) e P. laticeps Izecksohn & Peixoto (Anura, Leptodactylidae).'' Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 22, 225–229.

Izecksohn, E., Cruz, C. A. G., and Peixoto, O. L. (1979). ''Notas sobre o girino de Proceratophrys boiei (Weid) (Amphibia, Anura, Leptodactylidae).'' Revista Brasileira de Biologia, 39, 233-236.

Lynch, J. D. (1971). ''Evolutionary relationship, osteology, and zoogeography of leptodactyloid frogs.'' Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas, 53, 1-238.

Pombal, J. P. (1997). ''Distribuição espacial e temporal de anuros (Amphibia) em uma poça permanente na Serra de Paranapiacaba, Sudeste do Brasil.'' Brazilian Journal of Biology, 57, 583-594.

Prado, G. M., and Pombal, J. P. (2008). ''Espécies de Proceratophrys Miranda-Ribeiro, 1920 com apêndices palpebrais (Anura; Cycloramphidae).'' Arquivos de Zoologia, 39, 1-85.

Ribeiro, R. S., Egito, G. T. B. T., and Haddad, C. F. B. (2005). ''Chave de identificação: anfíbios anuros da vertente de Jundiaí da Serra do Japi, Estado de São Paulo.'' Biota Neotropica, 5(2), 235-247.

Rocha, C. F. D., Vrcibradic, D., Kiefer, M. C., Almeida-Gomes, M., Borges, V. N. T. Jr., Carneiro, P. C. F., Marra, R. V., Almeida-Santos, P., Siqueira, C. C., Goyannes-Araújo, P., Fernandes, C. G. A., Rubiao, E. C. N., and Van Sluys, M. (2007). ''A survey of the leaf-litter frog assembly from an Atlantic forest area (Reserva Ecológica de Guapiaçu) in Rio de Janeiro State, Brazil, with an estimate of frog densities.'' Tropical Zoology, 20, 99-108.

Serafim, H., Ienne, S., Cicchi, P. J. P. and Jim, J. (2008). ''Anurofauna de remanescentes de floresta Atlântica do município de São José do Barreiro, estado de São Paulo, Brasil.'' Biota Neotropica, 8, 69.

Zina, J., Ennser, J., Pinheiro, S. C. P., Haddad, C. F. B., and Toledo, L. F. (2007). ''Taxocenose de anuros de uma mata semidecí­dua do interior do Estado de São Paulo e comparações com outras taxocenoses do Estado, sudeste do Brasil.'' Biota Neotropica, 7, 1-9.

Written by Diogo Borges Provete (dbprovete AT, Universidade Estadual Paulista (SJ do Rio Preto)
First submitted 2010-03-16
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2010-04-12)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Proceratophrys boiei: Boie's Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 28, 2017.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 May 2017.

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