AmphibiaWeb - Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi Lynch, 2008
family: Hemiphractidae
genus: Cryptobatrachus
Species Description: Lynch JD 2008 A taxonomic revision of frogs of the genus Cryptobatrachus (Anura:Hemiphractidae). Zootaxa 1883:28-68.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi is a brown frog characterized by the presence of thin dorsolateral folds, granular skin, expanded disks on the digits, and subarticular adhesive pads. Adult females of C. pedroruizi range from 60 - 73 mm in snout-vent length and adult males range from 33 - 47 mm in snout-vent length (Lynch 2008). The head of C. pedroruizi is wider than long and equal to or less than the body width. The snout is somewhat tapering to a point in dorsal view and rounded in profile (lateral view). The nostrils are protruding and directed dorsolaterally. A rounded ridge is evident between the nostril and eye (canthus rostralis) and is weakly concave. The upper lips are not flared and there are no cranial crests between the eyes. The skin of the upper eyelid is granular but lacks enlarged warts. The region behind the eye slopes abruptly to the lips. The tympanum (eardrum) is longer than tall and nearly contacts the eye. A warty supratympanic fold is present behind the tympanum. Males lack vocal slits and vocal sacs. The skin on the back of C. pedroruizi is granular with larger warts scattered above the shoulders, and a dorsolateral fold is present from above the forearm to the level of the sacrum. The skin of the stomach is coarsely granular. On the hand, the thenar tubercle is oval and twice the size of the oval palmar tubercle. No supernumerary palmar tubercles are present. Round, basal subarticular tubercles are present. Distal subarticular tubercles are present, broader than long, swollen on Fingers III - IV, and bear adhesive pads that are defined by circumferential grooves. The fingers bear lateral keels, and the toepad discs of the hand are broader than long. The first finger is longer than the second. The heel of the foot lacks tubercles, and the inner edge of the tarsus lacks folds or tubercles. The outer edge of the tarsus bears a faint series of low tubercles. The inner metatarsal tubercle is oval and is two and a half times longer than wide. The outer metatarsal tubercle is oval and one third to one half the size of the inner metatarsal tubercle. No supernumerary plantar tubercles are present except at base of Toe IV. An unclear series of tubercles are present along the outer edge of the plantar surface. Toe III reaches to the base of the distal subarticular tubercle of Toe IV, and Toe V reaches one third the distance between the penultimate and distal subarticular tubercle of Toe IV. The basal subarticular tubercles of Toes IV - V are small and round, while the other subarticular tubercles are larger. The subarticular tubercles of Toes I and II have a circumferential groove along the lateral boarders, and the distal subarticular tubercles of Toes III - V have a circumferential groove that defines the medial, lateral, and proximal edges of the subarticular pads. The heels of the flexed hind limbs overlap when held perpendicular to the sagittal plane (Lynch 2008).

Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi has thin dorsolateral folds and granular skin on the back with scattered large warts. The fingers of C. pedroruizi lack webbing but have subarticular adhesive pads and expanded disks on the digits. The anterior portion of the braincase and frontoparietals are narrow in C. pedroruizi in contrast to the widened anterior frontoparietals and braincase of C. boulengeri (Lynch 2008). All Cryptobatrachus species are very similar in appearance and are best distinguished by geographic location.

The coloration of the back of C. pedroruizi (in preservative) is brown with a pale pre-sacral spot and dark brown blotches, and the limbs are pale brown with dark brown bands. The chin of C. pedroruizi is mottled with brown or gray and the belly is cream colored. The underside of the thigh is spotted with brown (Lynch 2008).

This species exhibits a sexual dimorphism in the size of the tympanum: in males, the tympanum is ~65% of the eye and in females the tympanum is ~45% of the eye (Lynch 2008).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi is endemic to Serranía de Perijá, Colombia and Venezuela, at elevations between 930 and 1800 m (Lynch 2008, Meza-Joya et al. 2021). Like other members of the genus, C. pedroruizi is has been found near the spray zones of small waterfalls of montane streams within forests (Lynch 2008).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
It is thought that all members of Cryptobatrachus do not vocalize (Lynch 2008).

Females carry developing embryos directly on the back that hatch into miniature versions of the adult (no brooding pouch as in the hemiphractid genera Gastrotheca, Flectonotus, Fritziana). A photo of a female carrying recently hatched froglets is provided in Fig. 5 of Meza-Joya et al. (2021). The clutch size of Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi ranges from 16 - 45 offspring (Meza-Joya et al. 2021).

No diet information is known.

During a short survey in Vereda Puerto Rico, municipality El Molino, Guajira Department, Colombia in 2012, the species was common with 54 adults observed in four person-hours, but this population is now suspected to be decreasing (IUCN 2020).

All Cryptobatrachus species have direct developing embryos that are carried directly on the female’s back (Lynch 2008). Rudiment larval oral structures of Cryptobatrachus are described in Wassersug and Duellman (1984).

Trends and Threats
The species is primarily threatened by habitat loss due to mining activity in the southern portion of its range and logging and agriculture (goat livestock) in the north. The species has not been recorded from any protected areas, and the primary conservation measure needed is improved habitation protection at sites where C. pedroruizi is known to occur (IUCN 2020). The distribution, population status, ecology, and threats of this species requires further study.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing


Cryptobatrachus remotus is a junior synonym of C. pedroruizi (Meza-Joya et al. 2021). A maximum likelihood16S gene tree generated using IQ-TREE indicates that C. pedroruizi is sister to C. boulengeri and that this clade is sister to C. fuhrmanni (Meza-Joya et al. 2021). However, no molecular data is currently available for the remaining two Cryptobatrachus species: C. conditus and C. ruthveni.

Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi was named in honor of Colombian herpetologist, Pedro Miguel Ruiz Carranza (Lynch 2008).

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2020). Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi (amended version of 2017 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020, e,T78459104A176229425. Accessed on 10 June 2023.

Lynch, J. D. (2008). A taxonomic revision of frogs of the genus Cryptobatrachus (Anura: Hemiphractidae). Zootaxa, 1883, 26-68. [link]

Meza-Joya, F. B., Ramos, E., Rojas-Runjaic. F. J. M., and Ovalle-Pacheco, A. (2021). The taxonomic status of Cryptobatrachus frogs (Anura: Hemiphractidae) from the Serrania del Perija. Zootaxa, 5068, 247–262. [link]

Wassersug, R. J, and Duellman W. E. (1984). Oral structures and their development in egg-brooding hylid frog embryos and larvae: evolutionary and ecological implications. Journal of Morphology, 182, 1-37. [link]

Originally submitted by: Daniel Paluh (2023-06-15)
Description by: Daniel Paluh (updated 2023-06-15)
Distribution by: Daniel Paluh (updated 2023-06-15)
Life history by: Daniel Paluh (updated 2023-06-15)
Larva by: Daniel Paluh (updated 2023-06-15)
Trends and threats by: Daniel Paluh (updated 2023-06-15)
Comments by: Daniel Paluh (updated 2023-06-15)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-06-15)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Cryptobatrachus pedroruizi <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 5, 2023.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 5 Dec 2023.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.