Tepui tree frog, Rana tepuyana
Species Description: Barrio-Amoros CL, Brewer-Carias C 2008 Herpetological results of the 2002 expedition to Sarisarinama, a tepui in Venezuelan Guyana, with the description of five new species. Zootaxa 1942:1- 68.
Diagnosis: This species can be diagnosed as a member of the Hypsiboas benitezi (see Faivovich et al. 2005), based on the following combination of characters: (1) body size (30.0-36.0 mm SVL in males, 34.5-47.7 mm SVL in females); (2) dorsal skin smooth or slightly shagreened, ventral skin smooth or slightly granular; (3) snout rounded to truncated when viewed from above, rounded when viewed from the side, with distinct, rounded canthi; (4) indistinct tympanum, sometimes barely visible; (5) elliptical and moderately large choanae; (6) vomerine teeth are distinct and number 7-16 on each dentigerous process, with the processes either straight and converging toward the anterior of the mouth or arc-shaped; (7) vocal slits reaching from tongue midlength to the posterior of the jaw; (8) Finger I is the same length as Finger II; (9) no lateral fringes present on fingers; (10) ulnar tubercles are lacking or very weakly developed; (11) no heel calcars; (12) both metatarsal tubercles present but only the inner one is well-developed; the inner metatarsal tubercle is oval-shaped while the outer metatarsal tubercle is tiny and nearly indistinct; (13) in life, coloration is bright yellow dorsally with brown markings, or brown with gray markings, or darker brown with yellow dorsolateral stripes, along with reddish-orange fingers, toes, and webbing; (14) in preservative, coloration is pale yellow to gray or brown, with markings such as dark transverse bars, a reticulum, or dorsolateral stripes (Barrio-Amoros and Brewer-Carias 2008).
Similar species in the Guayanan region: H. benitezi is larger, has a ridge of distinct ulnar tubercles (none or indistinct in H. tepuianus), and a different advertisement call (; H. lemai has a yellow dorsum but can change to brown during the day, Finger I shorter than Finger II (vs. approximately equal in H. tepuianus), and basal webbing between all fingers (vs. webbing absent between Fingers I and II but basal between all other fingers in H. tepuianus). H. rhythmicus has creamy-colored fingers, toes and webbing (vs. reddish-orange in H. tepuianus), a golden iris (vs. gray to bronze in H. tepuianus), small digital discs (vs. large in H. tepuianus), a different advertisement call with a single note at a higher dominant frequency of 3260-3450 Hz (vs. two to five notes at a lower dominant frequency of 2500 Hz for H. tepuianus), and calls from the undersides of leaves (vs. on top of leaves and sticks for H. tepuianus). H. jimenenezi and H. sibleszi are mainly green and sometimes brown in life (vs. yellow or brown for H. tepuianus) (Barrio-Amoros and Brewer-Carias 2008).
Description: Adult males measure 30.0-36.0 mm SVL. Adult females measure 34.5-47.7 mm SVL. Large head with a broad upper eyelid. Dorsal skin is mostly smooth, but weakly shagreened. Ventral skin is smooth, but weakly granular. Distinct canthus rostralis with a slightly concave loreal region. Indistinct tympanum with a weakly defined supratympanic fold. Distinct dentigerous processes of the vomers with about 7-16 teeth on each process. Round wide tongue. Forearms moderately robust. Fingers may or may not have lateral fringes. Long fingers with round expanded terminal discs. Indistinct supernumerary tubercles and palmar tubercles. Fingers have basal webbing and toes are extensively webbed. Both genders have an enlarged pollex (more so in males) with a hidden prepollical spine. No axillary membrane. Hind limbs are long, with adpressed heels reaching beyond the snout in mature males but only to the eyes in females. Toes have large round subarticular tubercles, but lack supernumerary tubercles. The inner metatarsal tubercle is flat and ovoid, while the outer metatarsal tubercle may be absent, nearly indistinct, or round. Males have white tubercles on both sides of the vent opening (Barrio-Amoros and Brewer-Carias 2008). Although Faivovich et al. (2006) describe this species as having a mental gland, Barrio-Amoros and Brewer-Carias (2008) were not able to conclusively identify one; they mention seeing a whitish quadrangular area on the chin but note that this is present in both male specimens and the single female specimen.
In life, the dorsum is bright yellow with brown specks, brown with gray specks or dark brown with yellow dorsolateral stripes. Fingers and toes are reddish-orange and have reddish-orange webbing (Barrio-Amoros and Brewer-Carias 2008).
In preservative, the dorsal surface is a light yellow to gray with a few shades of brown or the surface can be reddish brown with with darker brown specks. Transverse dark brown bars and dirty white dorsolateral stripes are present (Barrio-Amoros and Brewer-Carias 2008).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil, Venezuela
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
One female was found in the spray zone of a waterfall (Barrio-Amoros and Brewer-Carias 2008). Females were also found at night sitting on rocks near small waterfalls, about 1-2 m above the water (Donnelly and Myers 1991, as Hyla benitezi).
Barrio-Amoros, C. L., and Brewer-Carias, C. (2008). ''Herpetological results of the 2002 expedition to Sarisariñama, a tepui in Venezuelan Guayana, with the description of five new species.'' Zootaxa, 1942, 1-68.
Donnelly, M. A. and Myers, C. W. (1991). ''Herpetological results of the 1990 expedition to the summit of Cerro Guaquinima, with new tepui reptiles.'' American Museum Novitates, 3017, 1-54.
Gorzula, S., and Señaris, J. C. (1999). ''Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana. I. A data base.'' Scientia Guaianae, 8, 1-267.
Heyer, W. R. (1994). ''Hyla benitezi (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae): first record for Brazil and its biogeographical significance.'' Journal of Herpetology, 28, 497-499.
Señaris, J. C., and Ayarzagüena, J. (2002). ''A new species of Hyla (Anura: Hylidae) from the highlands of Venezuelan Guayana.'' Journal of Herpetology, 36, 634-640.
Originally submitted by: Stephanie Ung (first posted 2009-11-02)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-04-30)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Boana tepuiana: Tepui tree frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/7219> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 22, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 May 2022.
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