© 2012 Donald Filipiak (1 of 39)
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Tadpoles have been found in bromeliads on felled trees (Taylor 1954), water-filled tree cavities (Robinson 1961; Duellman 1970), and bamboo internodes in a botanical garden forest (Jungfer 1996). Jungfer (1996) reported on breeding in captivity. Eggs were laid into a treehole during daytime, over a period of 2 to 4 hours, although Jungfer (1996) considered the diurnal amplexus likely to be an artifact of captivity. An amplectant pair enters the treehole head down in the water and with the vents of the pair above water level. Four to five egg-laying bouts take place, each resulting in 3-5 fertilized eggs attached to the wall of the container just above the surface of the water. After egg deposition, the female leave the container; the male called softly a few times and leaves soon after. On subsequent nights, the male returns and mates again with the same female or occupies another container and starts calling again. In captivity, a clutch consisted on average of 158 eggs (range 48-311) with each egg having a diameter of 1.5 to 1.8 mm; eggs had a dark gray animal pole and a small white vegetal pole and were surrounded by a jelly coat. Only a few eggs (1-25) per clutch, 6% of total eggs, were fertilized and hatched in captivity. Larvae hatched after 6-7 days (Jungfer 1996).
In captivity, the female first returned to the water-filled container about 7 days (range 5-9 days) after depositing fertilized eggs. Sometimes the male was present (resulting in oviposition as described above). If the male was not present, the female sat in the water with her cloaca submerged and laid up to 8 unfertilized eggs into the water, with the eggs mostly being grabbed and consumed by a tadpole as soon as they were extruded from the female's cloaca. Tadpole feeding occurred at intervals of about 5 days (range 1-14 days), for a total of 13-31 visits. Oviposition of the nutritive eggs took place only after the female received tactile stimuli from the tadpoles (swimming slowly around the mother, touching her with their mouths and sucking slightly at her skin, with movements becoming faster just before nutritive eggs were extruded). If a second clutch of fertilized eggs was laid, the subsequent larvae disappeared within two days, presumably eaten by their older siblings. After 60-132 days, 1-16 larvae metamorphosed from captive-bred clutches. The froglet is 26-28 mm. Larvae are able to breath atmospheric oxygen after hatching (Jungfer 1996).
Trends and Threats
The major threats to this species appear to be habitat loss and degradation, arising from smallholder farming and subsistence wood gathering (Santos-Barrera et al. 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
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. Monograph of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas.
Jungfer, K.-H. (1996). ''Reproduction and parental care of the coronated treefrog, Anotheca spinosa.'' Herpetologica, 52(1), 25-32.
McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (2002). ''The Amphibians of Honduras.'' Contributions to Herpetology, Vol 19. K. Adler and T. D. Perry, eds., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
Robinson, D. C. (1961). ''The identity of the tadpole of Anotheca coronata (Stejneger).'' Copeia, 1961, 495.
Santos-Barrera, G., Flores-Villela, O., Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Savage, J., Chaves, G., and Kubicki, B. (2004). Anotheca spinosa. In: IUCN 2009. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.1. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 07 September 2009.
Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica:a herpetofauna between two continents, between two seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA and London.
Sessions, S. K. (1978). ''The chromosomes of Anotheca spinosa (Stejneger), family Hylidae.'' Herpetologica, 34, 70-73.
Taylor, E. H. (1954). ''Frog-egg eating tadpoles of Anotheca coronata (Stejneger) (Salientia, Hylidae) .'' University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 36, 580-595.
Written by Peter Janzen (pjanzen AT gmx.de), Deutsche Gesellscaft fur Herpetologie and Terrarienkunde (German Society for Herpetology)
First submitted 2005-06-30
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2020-04-16)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2020 Anotheca spinosa: Coronated Treefrog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/673> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 9, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 9 Jul 2020.
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