AmphibiaWeb - Bryophryne cophites


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Bryophryne cophites (Lynch, 1975)
Cusco Andes Frog
family: Strabomantidae
genus: Bryophryne
Bryophryne cophites
© 2008 Alessandro Catenazzi (1 of 4)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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This is a small frog (males up to 23 mm, females up to 29 mm). Rounded snout with moderately sharp and concave canthus rostralis and flat loreal region. The tympanum, columella, and tympanic cavity are all lacking. Vomerine dentigerous processes are absent. The temporal region is swollen, somewhat resembling a parotoid gland. Finger I is shorter than Finger II. Short hindlimbs. Both outer and inner metatarsal tubercles are present, with the inner metatarsal tubercle equal to or slightly larger than the outer. Dorsolateral folds are absent. Areolate skin on both dorsum and venter. Males have nuptial pads on both Finger I and Finger II, but lack a vocal sac and vocal slits (Lynch 1975).

Dorsum is gray to brown (dull brown to pale tan) and may or may not be mottled. Venter is gray or has dark mottling. The throat is paler than the venter, and males have an orange cast to the throat (Lynch 1975).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru

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Endemic to southern Peru. This species is presently known only from the eastern side of the Cordillera de Paucartambo, a mountain range between the larger Cordillera de Urubamba (to the north) and Cordillera de Vilcanota (to the south), in the Provincia de Paurcartambo, Region Cusco, Peru. It occupies moist puna grassland and elfin forest habitats between 3400 and 3700 m elevation.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This is a direct-developing species. Females lay and attend ~20 eggs, ~4 mm in diameter until hatching occurs; froglets measure 6-7 mm (Catenazzi 2006). Males lack vocal and auditory apparatus and probably do not call. Lehr (2006) noted the presence of nuptial pads on fingers I and II of males.

Bryophryne cophites and Psychrophrynella usurpator occur sympatrically in the area of Abra Acanacu (=Acjanaco, Acanaco), Provincia de Paucartambo, Region de Cusco, at 3450m asl (Lynch, 1975). This species is also sympatric with Gastrotheca excubitor, Gastrotheca marsupiata and Telmatobius timens (De la Riva et al. 2005). Other species occurring in the same areas (although not directly in sympatry with B. cophites) are: B. nubilosus, Noblella pygmaea (Lehr and Catenazzi 2008, 2009) and "Hyla" antoniiochoai.

Trends and Threats
The type locality of B. cophites is inside Manu National Park, which forms part of the SINANPE (Sistema Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas) in Peru and is a Reserve of Biosphere and World Heritage Site. Populations of B. cophites are currently threatened by anthropic disturbance (fires and grazing), climate change, and by the recent arrival of the disease Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

Intensified agriculture or grazing
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.

This species was formerly known as Phrynopus cophites but was transferred into the genus Bryophryne by Hedges et al. (2008). The specific epithet cophites comes from the Greek kophos = deaf, in allusion to the absence of the middle and external ear in this species.


Catenazzi, A. (2006). ''Phrynopus cophites. Reproduction.'' Herpetological Review, 37, 206.

De la Riva, I., Aparicio, J., and Ninon RĂ­os, J. (2005). ''New species of Telmatobius (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from humid paramo of Peru and Bolivia.'' Journal of Herpetology, 39, 409-416.

De la Riva, I., and Chaparro, J. C. (2005). ''A new species of tree frog from the Andes of southeastern Peru (Anura: Hylidae: Hyla).'' Amphibia-Reptilia, 26, 515-521.

Hedges, S. B., Duellman, W. E., Heinicke, M. P. (2008). ''New World direct-developing frogs (Anura: Terrarana): Molecular phylogeny, classification, biogeography, and conservation.'' Zootaxa, 1737, 1-182.

Lehr, E. (2006). ''Taxonomic status of some species of Peruvian Phrynopus (Anura: Leptodactylidae), with the description of a new species from the Andes of southern Peru.'' Herpetologica, 62, 331-347.

Lehr, E., and Catenazzi, A. (2008). ''A new species of Bryophryne (Anura: Strabomantidae) from southern Peru.'' Zootaxa, 1784, 1-10.

Lehr, E., and Catenazzi, A. (2009). ''A new species of minute Noblella (Anura: Strabomantidae) from southern Peru: the smallest frog of the Andes.'' Copeia, 2009, 148-156.

Lynch, J.D. (1975). ''A review of the Andean leptodactylid genus Phrynopus.'' Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, The University of Kansas, 35, 1-51.

Originally submitted by: Alessandro Catenazzi (first posted 2008-09-18)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-06-18)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Bryophryne cophites: Cusco Andes Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 15, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Jun 2024.

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