AmphibiaWeb - Dendropsophus salli


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Dendropsophus salli Jungfer, Reichle & Piskurek, 2010
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Hylinae
genus: Dendropsophus
Species Description: Jungfer K-H, Reichle S, Piskurek O 2010 Description of a new cryptic southwestern Amazonian species of leaf-gluing treefrog, genus Dendropsophus (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae). Salamandra 46: 204-213.

© 2012 Mauricio Pacheco Suarez (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.


Dendropsophus salli is a frog that has an average snout-vent length of 30.1 mm in males and 32.5 mm in females. The dorsal skin is smooth and the ventral skin is granular. The vocal sac is vertically wrinkled. There is an axillary membrane that reaches halfway to the elbows and a single palmar tubercle. The webbing formula of the fingers is I 2+ – 2½ II ½ – 3- III 2½ – 2½ IV. The webbing formula of the toes is I 1+ – 2⅓ II 1 – 2⅔ III 1+ – 3- IV 3- – 1+ V (Jungfer et al. 2010).

This species differs from most other similar species by its large, light blotches on the dorsal surface of the head, dorsum, lower arms, and shanks. It can also be differentiated from other species based on its distinct advertisement call and lack of red coloration, which is most common in the webbing of Dendropsophus frogs. Additionally, it differs from D. sarayacuensis by the smaller size of its triangular head blotch, and it differs from D. leucophyllatus by its smaller size. There are specimens of D. elegans with a similar coloration to D. salli, but they can be differentiated by the more extensive webbing in D. elegans (Jungfer et al. 2010).

In life and during the day, the dorsal coloration is a dark tan with bright yellow or creamy yellow blotches that have a narrow black outline. The ventral coloration is a bright lemon-yellow. There is a triangular head blotch that is connected to broad dorsolateral bands that run along the anterior two thirds of the body. There is a light sacral blotch. The webbing is yellow or orange. The irises are a light silvery bronze with a narrow golden ring around the pupil. At night, the dorsal coloration is tan and the blotches are outlined in dark brown. The flanks and limbs are a dark yellow color and the irises are a dark bronze (Jungfer et al. 2010).

In preservative, the dorsal coloration is dark brown and the triangular head blotch is white. The dorsal blotches are white. The ventral coloration is pale yellow along with the ventral surfaces of the limbs, however the thighs are pale pink all over (Jungfer et al. 2010).

There is sexual size dimorphism, with the females being larger. There is also slight webbing and color variation. The dorsal blotches vary from bright yellow to creamy yellow, and the webbing varies from yellow to orange. The coloration also varies greatly from day to night, with the general dorsal coloration being lighter and the general ventral coloration being darker at night (Jungfer et al. 2010).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bolivia, Peru


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Dendropsophus salli has a range that spans from Provincia Ballivian, Departamento Beni, Bolivia, its type locality, to Espigão do Oeste, Rondônia, Brazil, which is about 780 km northeast (Melo-Sampaio and de Souza 2015). It can be found in lowland moist forests and the transitional forests between southwestern Amazonia and the Chiquitania Dry Forests. It can also be found in forest edge situations (Jungfer et al. 2010).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species has one advertisement call and is most often vocal after heavy rains. The call is 3 - 4 notes with a total duration of 212 - 282 ms and consists of two different types of notes: a longer note with a duration of 61 - 80 ms and a shorter note with a duration of 5 - 15 ms. The longer note has 16 - 23 pulses per note (259 - 391 pulses per second) and the shorter note has 1 - 3 pulses per note (111 - 222 pulses per second). The dominant frequency of the call is 2.85 - 3.00 KHz. The males tend to call from grassy vegetation or broad-leafed plants about 10 - 50 cm above the water’s surface (Jungfer et al. 2010).

As of 2023, only one egg clutch has been observed. It was deposited on the upper surface of a floating water lily leaf close to its margin (Jungfer et al. 2010).

At Gosner stage 36, the larva has a total length of 32.0 mm and a body length of 9.4 mm. The body is triangular in shape, but it is compressed when viewed laterally and ovoid to slightly violin-shaped when viewed dorsally. The snout is rounded in the dorsal view and is tapering in the lateral view. The nostrils are globular and small, and they are located anterodorsally and directed anteriorly. The oral disc is located and directed terminally, and it protubes when the mouth is closed. The eyes are located and directed laterally, and they are large and gibbous. The spiracle is sinistral on the lower flank and it has a short conical tube that has a small opening located posterodorsally. The last third of the spiracle’s wall is not fused to the body wall. The tail is about 2.42 times longer than the body and the dorsal fin emerges before the tail, rises up moderately to the middle of the tail, and then descends along the rest of the tail. The ventral fin is shaped like the dorsal fin (Schulze et al. 2015).

In life, the larva has a yellowish to golden color both dorsally and laterally and it has small black spots on its dorsum that are densely arranged. The posterior third of the ventral region is sub-transparent and parts of the gut are visible. The ventral region has a few small spots. The first third of the tail is colored like the dorsum, and the first third of the fins are transparent. Both the tail and the fins are then covered with a large dark blotch with reddish speckles so that the color transitions from brown to reddish at the end (Schulze et al. 2015).

The most similar species to D. salli larva is D. bifurcus, however D. salli can be readily differentiated based on its coloration and markings. The coloration and markings can also be used to differentiate it from all other tadpoles that are co-occurring in the Bolivian lowlands (Schulze et al. 2015).

The larvae have been found in flooded wetlands in sections with dense vegetation at the edge of Chiquitano Dry Forests (Schulze et al. 2015).

Trends and Threats
As of 2023, D. salli is not found on the IUCN List of concerned species, but the species it was split from, D. bifurcus is of "Least Concern" on because of its large and protected range (Melo-Sampaio and de Souza 2015; IUCN 2004).

A Maximum Likelihood analysis of 12S and 16S rRNA separated D. salli from D. bifurcus (Jungfer et al. 2010). Based on a 2017 Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian analysis of nucDNA and 16S mtDNA, D. salli was shown to be sister to D. vraemi, the two of which form a clade that is sister to D. elegans (Caminer et al. 2017).

The species epithet, “salli”, is in honor of John Sall for his contributions to worldwide forest conservation, especially in the Neotropical region (Jungfer et al. 2010).


Caminer, M. A., Milá, B., Jansen, M., Fouquet, A., Venegas, P. J., Chávez, G., Lougheed, S. C. and Ron, S. R. (2017). Systematics of the Dendropsophus leucophyllatus species complex (Anura: Hylidae): Cryptic diversity and the description of two new species. PLoS (Public Library of Science) One 12(3), e0171785 [link]

Jungfer, K., Reichle, S., and Piskurek, O. (2010). Description of a new cryptic southwestern Amazonian species of leaf-gluing treefrog, genus Dendropsophus (Amphibia: Anura: Hylidae) The Nature Conservancy, Southern Andes Conservation Program. Salamandra 46(4). [link]

Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron, Claudia Azevedo-Ramos, Ariadne Angulo, Fernando Castro, Jose Vicente Rueda. (2004). Dendropsophus bifurcus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T55409A11302897. Accessed on 27 November 2023.

Melo-Sampaio, P. R., and M. B. de Souza. (2015). New and noteworthy distributional records of treefrogs (Anura) from southwestern Amazonia. Check List, 11(4), 1–7. [link]

Schulze, A., Jansen, M., and Köhler, G. (2015). Tadpole diversity of Bolivia's lowland anuran communities: molecular identification, morphological characterisation, and ecological assignment. Zootaxa 4016(1), 001 - 111. [link]

Originally submitted by: Nessa Kmetec (2023-11-30)
Description by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2023-11-30)
Distribution by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2023-11-30)
Life history by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2023-11-30)
Larva by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2023-11-30)
Trends and threats by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2023-11-30)
Comments by: Nessa Kmetec (updated 2023-11-30)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-11-30)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Dendropsophus salli <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Feb 29, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 29 Feb 2024.

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