AmphibiaWeb - Boana tetete


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Boana tetete (Caminer & Ron, 2014)
Tetete's treefrog, Rana arborea de los Tetetes
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Hylinae
genus: Boana
Species Description: Caminer MA, Ron SR 2014 Systematics of treefrogs of the Hypsiboas calcaratus and Hypsiboas fasciatus species complex (Anura, Hylidae) with description of four new species. ZooKeys 370: 1-68.
Boana tetete
© 2014 Santiago Ron (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Boana tetete is a small treefrog with a snout-vent length ranging from 31.15 - 32.24 mm in males and 45.33 - 45.85 mm in females. The head is wider than it is long and it is also wider than the body. The snout is rounded in the lateral view and truncated in the dorsal view. The nostrils are directed laterally and are not protuberant. The canthus rostralis is indistinct and rounded, the loreal region is concave, and the internarial region is convex. The distance from the nostrils to the eyes is shorter than the diameter of the eye. The eyes are large and very protuberant, and the diameter of the eye is approximately 1.6 times the diameter of the tympanic annulus. The tympanum is concealed beneath the skin, and the tympanic annulus is evident, ovoid, longer dorsoventrally and concealed by the supratympanic fold dorsally, which reaches the anterior border of the arm insertion. The skin on the dorsum, head, and dorsal surfaces of the limbs is smooth, and the skin on the flanks is smooth with weak longitudinal wrinkles that are posterior to the arm. The skin on the venter is coarsely granular and the skin on the ventral surfaces of the head and thighs is granular. The skin on the shanks is also smooth. The cloacal opening is directed posteriorly at the upper level of the thighs, and the cloacal sheath is short and simple and it covers the cloacal opening. There are round tubercles below and on the sides of the vent. The arms are slender and the axillary membrane is absent. There are indistinct low tubercles present along the ventrolateral edge of the forearm. The prepollex is enlarged and claw-shaped. The palmar tubercle is small and elongated, and the prepollical tubercle is large, flat and elliptical. The relative finger lengths are I < II < V < III < IV, and the fingers have large, oval discs that are about three-fourths the length of the tympanum diameter at their largest. There is basal webbing on the fingers. The subarticular tubercles are prominent and round to ovoid, the supernumerary tubercles are present. The outer metatarsal tubercle is small, round, and ill defined, and the inner metatarsal tubercle is large, elongated, and elliptical. The relative toe lengths are I < II < IV < III, and the toes have discs that are slightly wider than long and are smaller than the finger discs. The subarticular tubercles are single, round, and flat, and there are supernumerary tubercles on the soles of the feet. The webbing formula for the toes is I 2- — 2 ½ II 2 — 3+ III 2 — 3+ IV 3+ — 2- V (Caminer and Ron 2014).

Boana tetete is most similar to B. alfaroi and can only be differentiated based on their advertisement calls and the smaller tympanum of B. tetete. It can also be differentiated from B. fasciata, B. almendarizae, B. calcarata, and B. maculateralis by its advertisement call and by having a tubercle on its heel instead of a calcar (Caminer and Ron 2014).

In life, the dorsal coloration is a pale yellowish tan to brown with occasional narrow pale brown longitudinal lines. There is a dark brown middorsal line that is often present that extends from the tip of the snout to the mid-sacrum. The dorsal surfaces of the hind limbs can have diffuse broad transversal bands. There can also be scattered minute dark brown dots on the dorsum and dorsal surfaces of the limbs. The flanks are light blue in females and white in males and they have dark brown irregular spots. The hidden surfaces of the thighs are a pale yellowish tan with dark brown irregular spots and blotches. The ventral side is creamy white with a yellowish white belly and there are scattered brown flecks on the chest, gular region, and jaw margin. The ventral surfaces of the limbs are a creamy white and the discs and webbing are a pale yellow tan. The iris is cream with faint yellow coloration on the upper half (Caminer and Ron 2014).

In preservative, the dorsal coloration is grayish brown with scattered minute black dots. The dark lines that are present in life are also present in preservative. The ventral coloration is creamy white instead of yellowish white and the scattered brown flecks are still present (Caminer and Ron 2014).

The dorsal coloration varies from grayish brown to pale brown in life and there are also sometimes dark markings. The flank coloration is light blue in females and white in males. The ventral coloration also varies from creamy white to yellowish white. The iris coloration varies from yellow to cream. There is sexual dimorphism with the females being larger than the males (Caminer and Ron 2014).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Ecuador, Peru

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Boana tetete is found in the Ecuadorian and Peruvian Amazon Basin, as well as the Department of Amazonas, Colombia. The elevation ranges from 98 to 420 meters above sea level (Caminer and Ron 2014; Acosta-Galvis et al. 2018). Its habitat consists of Amazonian Lowland Evergreen Forest or Napo Moist Forest. All individuals have been found in flooded areas, typically in secondary forest (Caminer and Ron 2014).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Boana tetete has two call types. The first call type is more common and consists of a beep-like note with a mean duration of 0.10s, an average rise time of 0.03s, and an average dominant frequency of 1938.47 Hz. The second call type consists of a single pulsed note with a mean duration of 0.11s, an average rise time of 0.05s, and an average dominant frequency of 1829.12 Hz. The second call type was observed to be alternated between the first call type (Caminer and Ron 2014).

All individuals have been found roosting on vegetation approximately 50 to 80 cm above the ground (Caminer and Ron 2014).


While no larva have been identified for this species, larva for a similar species, Boana calcarata, has been identified and described as having an elongate/ovoid body in dorsal view with body length of about 10.8 mm and a total length of about 31.8 mm at Gosner stage 38. The larval stage of B. tetete is most likely similar (Duellman 2005).

Trends and Threats

Boana tetete has a very small range and the main threat is the degradation of its habitat, which is increasing due to human activities. Because of this, it is an endangered species (Caminer and Ron 2014).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss


In a 2014 Maximum Likelihood analysis of 12S and 16S mtDNA, B. tetete was placed as sister to B. alfaroi. In this same study, the researchers also looked at nucDNA of two genes, which led to a B. tetete specimen being included in the B. alfaroi lineage. However the number of specimens used and the amount of data for the nucDNA analysis was much less than for the mtDNA analysis, so it is difficult to draw conclusions from the nucDNA analysis (Caminer and Ron 2014). A 2021 Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analysis using 16S mtDNA supported that B. tetete and B. alfaroi are sister (Rainha et al. 2021).

The species epithet, “tetete”, refers to the Tetete, a Western Tucanoan indigenous group that inhabited the Colombian and Ecuadorian Amazon, but became extinct in the 1970s due to rubber exploitation (Caminer and Ron 2014).


Acosta-Galvis, A. R., Lasso, C. A., and Morales-Betancourt, M. A. (2018). First record of Boana maculateralis (Caminer & Ron, 2014) and Boana tetete (Caminer & Ron, 2014) (Anura, Hylidae) in Colombia. Check List 14, 549–554. [link]

Caminer, M. A. and Santiago, R. R. (2014). Systematic of treefrogs of the Hypisboas calcaratus and Hypsiboas fasciatus species complex (Anura, Hylidae) with the description of four new species. ZooKeys 370, 1 - 68. [link]

Duellman, W. E. (2005). Cusco Amazonico: The lives of amphibians and reptiles in an Amazonian rainforest. New York: Comstock Publishing Associates, Cornell University.

Rainha, R. N., Martinez, P. A., Moraes, L. J. C. L., Castro, K. M. S. A., Réjaud, A., Fouquet, A., Leite, R. N., Rodrigues, M. T., and Werneck, F. P. (2021). Subtle environmental variation affects phenotypic differentiation of shallow divergent treefrog lineages in Amazonia. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 134(1), 177 - 197. [link]

Originally submitted by: Nessa Kmetec (2024-05-13)
Description by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2024-05-13)
Distribution by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2024-05-13)
Life history by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2024-05-13)
Larva by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2024-05-13)
Trends and threats by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2024-05-13)
Comments by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2024-05-13)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2024-05-13)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2024 Boana tetete: Tetete's treefrog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 22, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Jul 2024.

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