Underwood’s Litter Frog
Species Description: Savage 2002,Amph.Rept.Costa Rica ,: 262.
© 2013 Fabio Hidalgo (1 of 4)
This species can be distinguished from other morphologically similar leaf litter frogs by the complete absence of webbing between fingers and toes. It is most often confused with other frogs in the Craugastor rhodopis group, especially C. podiciferus, whose range and activity overlaps with that of C. underwoodi. However, the dark eye mask that characterizes C. podiciferus is typically absent in C. underwoodi. Additionally, the tubercles on the hands and feet of C. underwoodi are comparatively smoother, less prominent and more globular. Craugastor underwoodi is also similar to C. bransfordii, which is smaller and has more pointed tubercles on the palms and planters, and C. polyptchus, which also has pointed tubercles and whose males lack nuptial pads (Pounds and Fogden 2000; Savage 2002).
Individuals of this species generally have a light brown dorsal surface with barring on the legs and a variety of other markings that may include a dark bar between the eyes, a dark or light patch between the shoulders, and dorsolateral or mid-dorsal stripes. The ventral surface is usually yellow with some mottling, and the inner thighs and groin often display a reddish coloration. The pupils tend to be coppery-brown (Pounds and Fogden 2000; Savage 2002).
The polymorphism and polychromatism in many frogs of the genus Craugastor often make it exceedingly difficult to differentiate between species. Individuals of C. underwoodi vary widely in skin texture and markings, with some frogs bearing extensive stripes or markings and others displaying more uniform coloration. The skin may be extremely warty or smoother with a varying degree of ridging (Pounds and Fogden 2000; Savage 2002).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Costa Rica, Panama
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
The species authority is Boulenger (1896)
Craugastor underwoodi was previously placed in the family Eleutherodactylidae, genus Eleutherodactylus. Other names for this species include Eleutherodactylus underwoodi, Hylodes underwoodi, and Microbatracheus underwoodi (Crawford and Smith 2005). Craugastor underwoodi was also briefly lumped with Craugastor bransfordii (Savage 2002).
Craugastor underwoodi was named for the herpetologist Garth Underwood (Pounds and Fogden 2000).
A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).
Crawford, A. J., and Smith, E. N. (2005). ''Cenozoic biogeography and evolution in direct-developing frogs of Central America (Leptodactylidae: Eleutherodactylus) as inferred from a phylogenetic analysis of nuclear and mitochondrial genes.'' Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 35, 536-555.
Pounds, A., Bolaños, F., Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G., Savage, J., Jaramillo, C., and Fuenmayor, Q. (2004). Craugastor underwoodi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 02 May 2013.
Pounds, J. A., Fogden, M.P. (2002). ''Appendix 8: Amphibians and Reptiles of Monteverde.'' Monteverde: Ecology and Conservation of a Tropical Cloud Forest. Nadkarni, N.M. and Wheelwright, N.T, eds., Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica:a herpetofauna between two continents, between two seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, Illinois, USA and London.
Written by Kristin Charles (kcharles6 AT gmail.com), University of California, Berkeley
First submitted 2009-11-02
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2013-09-11)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2013 Craugastor underwoodi: Underwood’s Litter Frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6607> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 30, 2020.
Feedback or comments about this page.
Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 30 Mar 2020.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.