AmphibiaWeb - Myersiella microps


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Myersiella microps (Duméril & Bibron, 1841)
Rio Elongated Frog, rãzinha-bicuda, rãzinha-assobiadora-da-mata
family: Microhylidae
subfamily: Gastrophryninae
genus: Myersiella
Myersiella microps
© 2009 Mario Sacramento (1 of 8)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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The SVL is about 20-40 mm. General aspect globulose, skin smooth. Head very small and pointed, triangular when viewed from above, snout very prominent, projecting well beyond mouth and with a rounded tip, tympanum not visible, eyes very small, nostrils lateral. Vocal sac distinct in males. Arms short, forearms stout; palm thick, two faint metacarpal tubercles of which the outer is larger; digits cylindrical, unwebbed, and without lateral fringes; hind limb and foot short and stout, with a single inner indistinct metatarsal tubercle; tips of toes simple (no terminal discs), fingers and toes unreduced (Miranda-Ribeiro 1926; Parker 1934; Cochran 1955; Nelson and Lescure 1975). Carvalho (1954) described some osteological aspects and made taxonomic comments.

The dorsal color is dark brown with small whitish dots and the belly is light brown colored in life (Miranda-Ribeiro 1926; Parker 1934; Cochran 1955; Nelson and Lescure 1975). The posterior surface of the thigh is mottled (Heyer et al. 1990).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).

The species is distributed along the Atlantic Rain Forest in the Serra do Mar and Mantiqueira Mountain Range in the States of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, southern Espí­rito Santo and eastern Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, above 1,100 m. Myersiella microps lives beneath ground and on leaf litter, inside woodlands and at the forest edge (Feio et al. 2003; Martins and Junqueira 2004; Frost 2007).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Myersiella microps, like other microhylids, is fossorial and uses its very pointed snout to dig. This species is active at night or day in the beginning of the rainy season from August to March, with low frequency in June and July (Hartmann et al. 2002; Dixo and Verdade 2006). Lutz (1954) reported M. microps from burrows on the forest floor. At Tinguá (Nova Iguaçu-RJ), individuals were found under moist leaf litter at the bases of large tree buttresses and rocks and were observed walking on the surface in a light rain shortly after dark. The diet includes ants (Nelson and Lescure, 1975).

Myersiella microps shows explosive breeding. Males call from the ground and under the roots of small shrubs on the forest floor, away from water bodies (Izechsohn et al. 1971; Hartmann et al. 2002). The advertisement call consists of a long clear frequency-modulated note with energy concentrated between 2.4 and 2.6 kHz (Hartmann et al. 2002) and can be heard on Haddad et al. (2003).

Amplexus is pelvical. Eggs are large (7 mm in diameter) and are laid in small cavities in leaf litter and tree boles. The clutch size is small, with a mean of 14 eggs per clutch. This species has direct development, with embryos developing directly into froglets. Development lasts about 19 days (Izechsohn et al. 1971). One female was found lying upon the egg clutch soon after its deposition on the ground, suggesting parental care (Izecksohn et al., 1971; Izecksohn and Carvalho-e-Silva, 2001).

Trends and Threats
Its range is within protected areas, like the Nova Baden State Park, at Lambari-MG (Sacramento 2004), Ibitipoca State Park, at Lima Duarte-MG (Feio 1990), Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar, Picinguaba-SP (Hartmann et al. 2002), RPPN Fazenda Lagoa, in Monte Belo-MG (Garey and Silva, unpublished manuscript) and Parque Nacional da Tijuca, in Rio de Janeiro-RJ (Izecksohn and Carvalho-e-Silva 2001). Declining according to IUCN (2006).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat
Subtle changes to necessary specialized habitat
Habitat fragmentation

The genus was named for George S. Meyers. The specific epithet refers to the small eye. A distribution map can be found in Nelson and Lescure (1975), but does not include the new records by Martins and Junqueira (2004) and Feio et al. (2003).


Bergallo, H. G., Rocha, C. F. D., Alves, M., and Van Sluys, M. (2000). A Fauna Ameaçada de Extinção do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Faperj and UERJ Press, Rio de Janeiro.

Carvalho, A. L. (1954). ''A preliminary synopsis of the genera of American Microhylidae.'' Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan, 555, 1-21.

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

Dixo, M., and Verdade, V. K. (2006). ''Herpetofauna de serrapilheira da Reserva Florestal de Morro Grande, Cotia (SP).'' Biota Neotropica, 6, 1-20.

Feio, R. N. (1990). Aspectos ecológicos dos anfibios registrados no Parque Estadual do Ibitipoca, MG. (Amphibia, Anura). Master's Thesis, UFRJ-MN, Rio de Janeiro.

Feio, R. N., Cassimiro, J., and Cruz, C. A. G. (2003). ''Myersiella microps - Distribution extension.'' Herpetological Review, 34, 259.

Frost, D. R. (2007). Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.1 (10 October 2007). Electronic Database accessible at American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

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.

Hartmann, M., Hartmann, P., and Haddad, C. F. B. (2002). ''Advertisement calls of Chiasmocleis carvalhoi, Chiasmocleis mehelyi, and Myersiella microps.'' Journal of Herpetology, 36, 509-511.

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., Jim, J., Albuquerque, J. S. T., and Mendonça, W. F. (1971). ''Observações sobre o desenvolvimento e os hábitos de Myersiella subnigra (Miranda-Ribeiro).'' Arquivos do Museu Nacional, 54, 69-72.

Izecksohn, E., and Carvalho-e-Silva, S. P. (2001). Anfí­bios do Municí­pio do Rio de Janeiro. Editora UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro.

Lutz, B. (1954). ''Anfibios anuros do Distrito Federal.'' Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 52, 155-238.

Martins, I. A., and Junqueira, A. F. B. (2004). ''Myersiella microps - Distribution extension.'' Herpetological Review, 35, 405.

Miranda-Ribeiro, A. (1926). ''Notas para servirem ao estudo dos gymnobatrachios (Anura) brasileiros.'' Arquivos do Museu Nacional, 27, 1-227.

Nelson, C. E., and Lescure, J. (1975). ''The taxonomy and distribution of Myersiella and Synapturamus (Anura: Microhylidae).'' Herpetologica, 31, 389-397.

Parker, H.W. (1934). A Monograph of the Frogs of the Family Microhylidae. British Museum, London.

Sacramento, M. A. (2004). Análise da Diversidade de Anfí­bios do Parque Estadual Nova Baden, Lambari-MG. Research Report, UNIFAL-MG, Alfenas-MG, Brazil.

Originally submitted by: Diogo B. Provete (first posted 2008-07-31)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-02-08)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Myersiella microps: Rio Elongated Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 14, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 14 Jul 2024.

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