This species is a member of the Eleutherodactylus auriculatus group (Subgenus Eleutherodactylus). It is yellowish-tan dorsally with irregular gray or black blotches. It has a poorly-defined interocular bar or triangle and an irregular scapular bar. The canthus rostralis and the tympanic area are mottled with black or gray markings. The antebrachium has two transverse crossbars; the crura has three well-defined bars. The concealed surfaces of the hind limbs are heavily stippled with gray. The venter is cream-colored, and the lower jaw and undersides of all limbs are all scattered with melanophores.
The dorsum is irregularly warty and the belly is very rugose. Males possess a large gular vocal sac extending posteriorly to behind the insertion of the forelimbs. The digital disks are moderate. There is no webbing between the toes. The vomerine teeth, behind the coanes, are in short and straight series. The chromosome number is 18. Adults are small, averaging 26 mm in females and 21 mm in males (Schwartz 1960; Schwartz and Henderson 1985; 1991; Hedges et al. 1992).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cuba
This species is endemic to Eastern Cuba, and it is known only near the mouth of Yumurí River, at an approximate elevation of 30-200 m, and Cupeyal, which are both in Guantánamo province. This is an arboreal frog found in hardwood forests (Schwartz 1960; Schwartz and Thomas 1975; Schwartz and Henderson 1991).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males vocalize from branches and leaves of trees and from trunks of saplings at 1-2.5 m above the ground. Calls are composed of 3-7 notes with the dominant frequency around 2.9-3.0 kHz. These calls are like hollow and slightly metallic “tocks” (Schwartz 1960; Schwartz 1969; Schwartz and Henderson 1991; Hedges et al. 1992).
Trends and Threats
Habitat modification is considered the principal threat to this species (Vale et al. 1998).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Etymology- Named in honor of Barton L. Smith, an American herpetologist (Schwartz 1960).
Related species- E. auriculatus
This species was featured as News of the Week on 8 April 2019:
Adaptive radiations are commonly reported in island systems, where species initially colonize the islands and then diversify to fill somewhat consistent ecological roles on each island. Recently Dugo-Cota et al. (2019) studied 160 species of frogs (genus Eleutherodactylus), which are found throughout the Caribbean islands. The researchers found different species inhabited different parts of their environment (termed microhabitats - Arboreal, Bromelicolous, Cave-dwelling, Fossorial, Leaf-litter, Petricolous, Riparian, Semiarboreal, Stream-dwelling, and Terrestrial). Furthermore, they found that species independently diversified into these different microhabitats on almost every island, with the exception of fossorial species, which are only found on Hispaniola. The frog species that occupied the same microhabitats looked significantly similar (morphological convergence), with the exception of stream-dwelling and riparian species that had very few representative species. These results indicate Eleutherodactylus frogs have adaptively radiated throughout the Caribbean and support the idea that evolution can and does repeat itself under similar environmental and ecological conditions. (by Molly Womack)
Hedges, S.B., Estrada, A.R., and Thomas, R. (1992). ''Three new species of Eleutherodactylus from eastern Cuba, with notes on vocalizations of other species (Anura: Leptodactylidae).'' Herpetological Monographs, 6, 68-83.
Schwartz, A . and Henderson, R. W. (1985). A Guide to the Identification of the Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies Exclusive of Hispaniola. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee.
Schwartz, A. (1960). ''Nine new Cuban frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus.'' Science Publishers Reading Public Museum Art Gallery, 11, 1-50.
Schwartz, A. (1969). ''The Antillean Eleutherodactylus of the auriculatus group.'' Studies of the Fauna of Curacao and other Caribbean Islands, 114, 99-115.
Schwartz, A. and Henderson, R. W. (1991). Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies: Descriptions, Distributions and Natural History. University Press of Florida, Florida.
Schwartz, A. and Thomas, R. (1975). A Check List of West Indian Amphibians and Reptiles. Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Vale, M., Alvarez, A., Montes, L., and Avila, A. (1998). Estudio Nacional sobre la Diversidad Biológica en la República de Cuba. CESYTA, Madrid.
Written by Ansel Fong G. (ansel AT bioeco.ciges.inf.cu), BIOECO, Cuba
First submitted 2004-11-17
Edited by Anisha Gandhi, Michelle Koo (2019-04-07)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2019 Eleutherodactylus bartonsmithi: Barton's Robber Frog; Ranita <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/2794> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Aug 21, 2019.
Feedback or comments about this page.
Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Aug 2019.
AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.