Atelopus andinus are slender toads with type male of this species reach 28 mm and type female 34.9 mm in terms of total length. The head is approximately as long as it is wide. Total leg length is slightly shorter than snout vent length. And the foot is about a third of the snout vent length. Their skin is highly granular with a spiny texture that is concentrated on their eyelids, dorsolatera area, and posterior end. The limbs are less granular. Otherwise the description is similar to that of Atelopus spumarius (Rivero 1968).
Atelopus andinuscan be differentiated from other Atelopus species by its grandular skin and color pattern. Specifically, Atelopus andinus is differentiated from Atelopus spumarius by having more dense tubercles, especially on the eyelid, dorsolateral area, and posterior end. Additionally, the dorsolateral band and dorsal spots are tan instead of ranging from green to green-yellow in Atelopus spumarius (Rivero 1968).
Atelopus andinus has a black dorsum with a tan dorsolateral band and tan dorsal spots (Rivero 1968). They exhibit bright colors, which serve as visual warnings that these frogs do secrete toxins in their skin (Lotters 2003).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru
Atelopus andinus species is found in the upper the Río Pisqui, (Departamento Loreto), Río Biabo Valley (northern versant of the Cordillera Azul) (Departamento de San Martín), and Río Cachiyacu (on the border of Departamentos San Martín and Loreto), Peru. The toad’s recorded altitudinal range is between 1,000 - 2,000 m. This is a terrestrial species that inhabits submontane tropical forests. Breeding is thought to take place in streams. This species is thought to be heavily affected by habitat change, therefore it is unlikely to be found in altered or degraded habitats (Lotters et al. 2004).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Atelopus andinus is diurnal. When these frogs lay eggs, they come out in stringed clusters that are unpigmented in torrential streams. Based on the study of other Atelopus tadpoles, it could be likely that tadpoles of this species would possess a large ventral mouth, suctorial disk, a median anal tube, and breathe by using buccal pumping. (Duellman and Lynch 1969). These frogs prey primarily on small insects and other small organisms (Lotters 2003).
Trends and Threats
The main threats to Atelopus andinus species are habitat degradation, destruction, and disease. Currently the population is declining. This species is present in the Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul. A disease management program is likely needed for successful conservation due to this species vulnerability to chytridiomycosis (Lotters et al. 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
The species authority is: Rivero, J.A. 1968. More on the Atelopus (Amphibia, Salientia) from western South America.Caribbean Journal of Science: 19-29.
Atelopus andinus was originally described as a subspecies to Atelopus spumarius (Rivero 1968).
Duellman, W.E., Lynch, J.D. (1969). ''Description of Atelopus Tadpoles and Their Relevance to the Atelopoid Classication.'' Herpetologica, 25(4), 231-240.
Lotters, S. (2003). ''On the Systematics of the Harlequin Frogs (Amphibia: Bufonidae: Atelopus) From Amazonia. III: A New, Remarkably Dimorphic Species From the Cordillera Azul, Peru.'' Salamandra, 39(3/4), 169-180.
Lötters, S., Salas, A., Angulo, A., Icochea, J., Reynolds, R., La Marca E. (2004). Atelopus andinus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 11 April 2014.
Rivero, J.A. (1968). ''More on the Atelopus (Amphibia, Salientia) from western South America.'' Caribbean Journal of Science, 8(1-2), 19-29.
Originally submitted by: Taylor Bonnet (first posted 2015-01-19)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2015-01-19)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2015 Atelopus andinus <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5537> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 20, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 May 2022.
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