AmphibiaWeb - Duellmanohyla salvavida


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Duellmanohyla salvavida (McCranie & Wilson, 1986)
Honduran Brook Frog
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Hylinae
genus: Duellmanohyla
Duellmanohyla salvavida
© 2016 Eduardo Boza Oviedo (1 of 3)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Diagnosis: This frog can be distinguished from all other Honduran hylids as follows: by having uniformly green dorsal surfaces in life, a white labial stripe, a white, poorly developed lateral stripe, and in preservative, pale to dark brown dorsal surfaces with many tiny white spots visible when examined under magnification (McCranie and Wilson 2002; McCranie and Wilson 1986).

Description: The SVL of adult males is 25.1-28 mm and the SVL of adult females is 34 mm. The snout on this frog is moderately short, semicircular to truncate in dorsal view and rounded to vertical in lateral view. The top of the head is flattened. Nostrils are directed laterally and are located at about 2/3 the length of the snout. The canthus rostralis is rounded to nearly angular, while the loreal region is slightly concave. A well-developed supratympanic fold usually obscures the upper edge of the tympanum. The tongue is ovoid and slightly free at the posterior. Vomerine tooth patches are present on elevated posteromedially-inclined ridges between the ovoid to elliptical-shaped choanae. Maxillary teeth are spatulate. Forearm is moderately robust and the posterior ventrolateral edge of the forearm bears a row of low tubercles that form a dermal ridge. The wrist bears a well-developed transverse dermal fold on its upper surface, while the elbow lacks any vertical dermal fold. Finger discs are broadly expanded and are rounded. Subarticular tubercles of both fingers and toes are round, and globular to conical in shape. The palmar tubercle is low, elliptical, and commonly bifid. The prepollex is slightly enlarged and rounded. In breeding males, the distal end of the prepollex and the mid-thumb have poorly cornified patches of tiny nuptial excrescences. Relative finger lengths are I< II< IV< III, and there is basal webbing between Fingers I and II. Feet are webbed and the toes bear expanded, rounded discs that are smaller than the finger discs. Unwebbed portions of toes have lateral keels. Vent opening is directed posteroventrally near the upper level of the thighs. Skin below the vent is granular to coarsely areolate. Skin of dorsal surfaces is smooth. The skin of the belly and throat is coarsely areolate. Skin of ventral surfaces of thighs is granular to coarsely areolate. The pupil of this frog is horizontally elliptical. The palpebral membrane is translucent and is either unpatterned or shows scattered pale flecks. Males have a single, median subgular vocal sac with paired vocal slits, and, in breeding season, small nuptial excrescences on the prepollices (McCranie and Wilson 2002).

Coloration of the frogs is lime green to olive green or dark leaf-green on the dorsal surfaces of the body, head, and limbs as well as the plantar surfaces of the feet. The venter is pale yellow. The upper jaw has a thin white labial stripe that expands below the eye. and continues onto the body as a pale, poorly developed flank stripe. A large, cream-colored spot is present just above the groin. A poorly developed stripe is present above the vent. Tubercles below the vent have white tips. The posterior tarsal edges have a thin white stripe. Thighs are pale yellow on the anterior and posterior surfaces. The iris is blood red (McCranie and Wilson 2002).

A typical stage 36 tadpole has a body length of 13.4 mm. The body is slightly depressed and slightly wider than it is high. The snout is semicircular in dorsal view but rounded in lateral profile. The spiracle is sinistral, directed posterior and situated slightly below midline. The tail is robust, with the dorsal fin terminating at the posterior end of the body. Oral discs are very large and funnel-shaped, and are directed anteroventrally, continuously bordered by a single row of papillae. A row of larger, well-spaced submarginal papillae encircles the oral disc immediately inside the row of marginal papillae (McCranie and Wilson 1990; McCranie and Wilson 2002).

Tadpoles have brown bodies with scattered silver flecks. The tail musculature is brown and is slightly mottled with cream. Tail fins are transparent with heavy brown mottling. The inside of the oral disc is flecked with brown. The iris of the tadpole is reddish orange and heavily reticulated with black (McCranie and Wilson 1990; McCranie and Wilson 2002).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Honduras

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Duellmanohyla salvavida is found on the Atlantic versant of north-central Honduras (in the Sierra de Nombre de Dios and Departamentos Montaña Macuzal, Atlantica and Yoro) at elevations of 90-1,400 m asl. This species lives in lowland moist forests and premontane wet forests (McCranie and Wilson 2002).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males call from low vegetation along shallow, slow-moving streams and pools (McCranie and Wilson 2002). The mating call of this species consists of multiple notes that resemble a soft high-pitched cricket-like chirp or squeak, with about 3-5 notes per call group (McCranie and Wilson 2002). Females lay large unpigmented eggs (egg diameter about 2.0 mm) in clutches of about 100 (McCranie and Wilson 2002). Tadpoles were collected from shallow, slow-moving streams with gravel or mud bottoms, or pools, from under a layer of leaves at the bottom (McCranie and Wilson 1990). Occasionally tadpoles have been observed to float upside down with the oral disc on the surface film (McCranie and Wilson 2002).

Trends and Threats
This species is Critically Endangered. It is an uncommon frog and all populations of this frog seem to be decreasing; McCranie and Castañeda (2005) noted that it was considerably less common in 1996 and 2003 than in previous years' surveys . There has been considerable habitat loss and habitat degradation due to deforestation for logging and small-scale agriculture (Stuart et al. 2008). Chytridiomycosis potentially threatens this species (Stuart et al. 2008). Fires, landslides on upper parts of clear water streams, and water pollution are other factors that have contributed to the decline of this species (Wilson and McCranie 1998). It occurs within two protected areas: Parque Nacional Pico Bonito and Refugio de Vida Silvestre Texiguat (Stuart et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Prolonged drought
Predators (natural or introduced)
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.

Species authority: McCranie and Wilson (1986). The specific name salvavida is a Spanish word that means lifesaver. The name alludes to the Honduran beer named Salvavida (McCranie and Wilson 1986).


McCranie, J. R., and Castañeda, F. E. (2005). ''The herpetofauna of Parque Nacional Pico Bonito, Honduras.'' Phyllomedusa, 4, 3-16.

McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (1986). ''A new species of red eyed treefrog of the Hyla uranochroa group (Anura: Hylidae) from northern Honduras. .'' Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 99, 51-55.

McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (1990). ''A description of the tadpole of Hyla salvavida (Anura: Hylidae).'' Copeia, 1990(4), 1152-1154.

McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (2002). ''The Amphibians of Honduras.'' Contributions to Herpetology, Vol 19. K. Adler and T. D. Perry, eds., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.

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.

Wilson, L. D., and McCranie, J. R. (1998). ''Amphibian population decline in a Honduran national park.'' FrogLog, 25, 1-3.

Originally submitted by: Sandya Iyer (first posted 2009-11-23)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2011-10-04)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2011 Duellmanohyla salvavida: Honduran Brook Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 14, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 14 Jun 2024.

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