AmphibiaWeb - Bokermannohyla luctuosa


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bokermannohyla luctuosa (Pombal & Haddad, 1993)
Reservoir Treefrog, Perereca-de-mata
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Hylinae
genus: Bokermannohyla
Bokermannohyla luctuosa
© 2019 Mauro Teixeira Jr (1 of 3)

sound file   hear call (400.8K MP3 file)

[call details here]

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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Bokermannohyla luctuosa is a large treefrog (SVL 55-70 mm) belonging to the B. circumdata species group (Faivovich et al. 2005). Body robust. The snout is rounded and short, nostrils slightly protuberant directed laterally. Eye large, protruding. The tympanum is large, nearly elliptical, its diameter about 1.2x the eye diameter. Supratympanic fold originating at the posterior corner of the orbit and reaching the shoulder. A single subgular vocal sac, males with vocal slits. Prepollex well developed, with curved spine. Fingers and toes robust. The finger and toe discs are large, nearly rounded, smaller than tympanum. Dorsal and throat texture smooth; belly and undersurfaces of thighs, and anal region granular. Dorsum brown, with darker transverse bars. Flanks pale cream. Posterior surface of the thighs brown with distinct black vertical not bifurcated, interrupted stripes. Belly cream. This species is sexually dimorphic, with males having vocal slits, a prepollex on each hand and hypertrophied arms (Pombal and Haddad 1993; Napoli 2000).

The tadpoles have total length of 15 mm at Gosner 25. The oral apparatus is large and directed ventrally, oral disc with a double row of marginal papillae, interrupted dorsally; upper and lower jaw heavy, finely serrated, lower jaw V-shaped; LTRF 2(2)/3(1). The body is ovoid in dorsal view, with a robust tail. Dorsal fin higher than the ventral; dorsal fin origin at the body-tail juncture. The eyes are small and lateral; the nostrils are dorsal. The spiracle is sinistral, positioned on the midline at the posterior part of the body. The color of the dorsum in preservative is brown; throat and belly transparent (Pombal and Haddad 1993).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil

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Bokermannohyla luctuosa lives associated to temporary ponds inside forests, it is also rarely found near forest streams. The species is distributed along the Atlantic Rain Forest in the Serra da Mantiqueira and Serra do Mar, in southwestern Rio de Janeiro, eastern Minas Gerais, and eastern São Paulo States, in eastern Brazil, above 800 m (Pombal and Haddad 1993; Napoli 2000).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Bokermannohyla luctuosa lives inside woodlands, near temporary ponds and cascading forest streams. It is more commonly encountered on days with low temperature and soft rains (pers. obs). The adults frequently occur on the leaf-litter; Giaretta et al. (1999) report that B. luctuosa contributed 7.9% of the litter frog fauna in the summer in their study site. This species is rarely heard. Males call after midnight on low vegetation (66 cm above ground) in the rainy season from November to March. The advertisement call was described by Pombal and Haddad (1993). The call is given sporadically; call duration 0.60 s. Inactive individuals can also be found on the ground, near large permanent ponds or brooks (Haddad and Sazima 1992; Pombal and Haddad 1993; Napoli 2000; Vasconcelos and Giaretta 2003; Ribeiro et al. 2005; pers. obs.). This species lays eggs with large gelatinous capsules in water-filled depressions (7 cm in diameter) in the ground, near ponds and rivulets. It can also oviposit directly in running waters (Mode 2 and 4 of Haddad and Prado 2005).

The defense strategy is to emit a distress call and to open the mouth widely (Haddad and Pombal 1993; Haddad et al. 2008).

Trends and Threats
Its range is within protected areas, like the Parque Nacional de Itatiaia, at Itatiaia-RJ, Parque Municipal do Itapetinga, at Atibaia-SP and Serra do Japi, at Jundiaí-SP. It is a common species within its range (Vasconcelos and Giaretta, 1999; Haddad et al., 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Subtle changes to necessary specialized habitat
Habitat fragmentation


The karyotype is composed of 2n=24 (Pombal and Haddad 1993).

This genus is dedicated to Werner Carlos Augusto Bokermann (1929– 1995), as homage to his contribution to the knowledge of Brazilian anurans (Faivovich et al. 2005). The epithet is a Latin adjective (luctuosus=sad), in allusion to the mournful calls heard late in the night (Pombal and Haddad 1993). There is a detailed drawing of the posterior surface of the thigh of this species (a distinctive trait within the group) and a comparison with other members of the species group in Vasconcelos and Giaretta (1999).


Faivovich, J., Haddad, C. F. B., Garcia, P. C. A., Frost, D. R., Campbell, J. A., Wheeler, W. C. (2005). ''Systematic review of the frog family Hylidae, with special reference to Hylinae: phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision.'' Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, (294), 1-240. [link]

Giaretta, A. A., Facure, K. G., Sawaya, R. J., Meyer, J. H. de M., and Chemin, N. (1999). ''Diversity and abundance of litter frogs in a montane forest of southeastern Brazil: seasonal and altitudinal changes.'' Biotropica, 31, 669-674.

Haddad, C. F. B., Toledo, L. F., and Prado, C. A. (2008). Anfíbios da Mata Atlântica – Atlantic forest amphibians. Editora Neotropica, São Paulo.

Haddad, C. F. B., and Prado, C. P. A. (2005). ''Reproductive modes in frogs and their unexpected diversity in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.'' BioScience, 55, 207-217.

Haddad, C. F. B., and Sazima, I. (1992). ''Anfíbios anuros da Serra do Japi.'' História Natural da Serra do Japi: Ecologia e Preservação de uma Área Florestal no Sudeste do Brasil. P. C. Morellato, eds., Unicamp, Campinas.

Napoli, M. F. (2000). ''Taxonomia, variação morfológica e distribuição geográfica das espécies do grupo de Hyla circumdata (Cope, 1870) (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae). Doctor of Science Dissertation.''

Pombal, J. P., and Haddad, C. F. B. (1993). ''Hyla luctuosa, a new treefrog from southeastern Brazil (Amphibia, Hylidae).'' Herpetologica, 49, 16-21.

Ribeiro, R. S., Egito, G. T. B. T., and Haddad, C. F. B. (2005). ''Chave de identificação: anfíbios anuros da vertente de Jundiaí da Serra do Japi, Estado de São Paulo.'' Biota Neotropica, 5(2), 235-247.

Vasconcelos, E.G., and Giaretta, A.A. (2003). ''A new species of Hyla (Anura: Hylidae) from southeastern Brazil.'' Revista Española de Herpetología, 17, 21-27.

Originally submitted by: Diogo B. Provete (first posted 2008-09-06)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-01-20)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Bokermannohyla luctuosa: Reservoir Treefrog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 23, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Jul 2024.

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