Moderately large frog in the milesi group. Males to 41.3 mm SVL, females to 45.6 mm SVL. Rounded canthus. Tympanum hidden in adult male holotype. Finger I equal to or shorter than Finger II. Expanded finger discs, with discs on Fingers III-IV at least 2x the width of the finger just proximal to the discs. Toes are extensively webbed, and have fleshy fringe along margins of toes. Toes also have strongly expanded discs (about 2x toe width). Tarsal fold absent. Dorsum is tuberculate. Males have paired vocal slits and nuptial pads (McCranie et al. 1989).
Dark olive brown with pale olive brown blotches on the dorsum and upper limb surfaces. Groin has light spot on the dark uniform flank color. Posterior thigh purplish brown, with lighter para-anal bar. Throat, ventrum, and underside of tibial segment pale purple. Palms and soles purple. Iris gray with rust-colored horizontal bar (McCranie et al. 1989).
Similar species: C. matudai and C. milesi. C. chrysozetetes can be distinguished by its extensive toe webbing (vs. basal to moderate webbing in C. matudai and C. milesi), strongly expanded discs on both fingers and toes (vs. finger discs less than 2x digit width and barely expanded toe discs in C. matudai and C. milesi), hidden tympanum in adult males (vs. visible tympanum in adult male C. matudai and adult male C. milesi, though females of these species have indistinct or hidden tympana). C. chrysozetetes can also be distinguished from C. matudai as follows: paired vocal slits in males (vs. no vocal slits in C. matudai), and a light spot on otherwise uniform-colored groin (vs. mottled groin in C. matudai). C. chrysozetetes can additionally be distinguished from C. milesi by the well-developed toe fringe (vs. narrow ridge along toe margin in C. milesi) and larger males (to 41.3 mm SVL in C. chrysozetetes vs. to 34 mm SVL in C. milesi) (McCranie et al. 1989).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Honduras
Endemic to Northern Honduras in Quebrada de Oro, Rio Viejo, south-east of La Ceiba, Department of Atlantida, at elevations ranging from 880 to 1,130 meters. Occurred in premontane wet forest, alongside streams (Stuart et al. 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
After several unsuccessful searches at the only known locality for this species over a ten-year period, Craugastor chrysozetetes is now presumed to be extinct. It should also be noted that this species was always extremely rare. Craugastor chrysozetetes is thought to have been a direct developing species, like others in the genus Craugastor (Stuart et al. 2008).
Trends and Threats
Chytridiomycosis and habitat loss are the main factors thought to have contributed to the extinction of this species. In addition to Craugastor chrysozetetes, all Honduran streamside Craugastor populations located above 900 meters have disappeared, consistent with chytridiomycosis. Habitat loss due to landslides and deforestation is also likely to have impacted this species. C. chrysozetetes was not recorded from within any protected areas but did occur at the edge of Parque Nacional Pico Bonito (Stuart et al. 2008).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
The specific epithet is taken from the Greek word chrysos, meaning
"gold", and zetetes, meaning "searcher". The type locality is along the
Quebrada de Oro (Stream of Gold) (McCranie et al. 1989).
Feared to be EXTINCT! From McCranie JR 2018 Herpetologica
74: 169-180. From P. 173:
"Three of the Honduran endemic species
described from the Quebrada de Oro region are feared
extinct—Atelophryniscus chrysophorus McCranie, Wilson,
and Williams (also, see McCranie 2017), Craugastor
chrysozetetes (McCranie, Savage, and Wilson), and C. cruzi
(McCranie, Savage, and Wilson). Two others described
from the Quebrada de Oro area are feared to have been
extirpated from that region—C. fecundus (McCranie and
Wilson) and Plectrohyla chrysopleura (Wilson, McCranie,
and Williams). These scenarios do not bode well for the
long-term persistence of C. castanedai in PBNP, the only
known locality for that taxon."
McCranie, J. R., Savage, J., and Wilson, L. D. (1989). ''Description of two new species of the Eleutherodactylus milesi group (Amphibia: Anura: Leptodactylidae) from northern Honduras.'' Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 102, 483-490.
Stuart, S., Hoffmann, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P., Young, B. (eds) (2008). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, IUCN, and Conservation International, Barcelona, Spain; Gland, Switzerland; and Arlington, Virginia, USA.
Originally submitted by: Krystal Gong (first posted 2009-03-23)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-08-07)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Craugastor chrysozetetes <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/2850> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 16, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 Apr 2021.
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