AmphibiaWeb - Eleutherodactylus beguei


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Eleutherodactylus beguei Díaz & Hedges, 2015

Subgenus: Euhyas
family: Eleutherodactylidae
subfamily: Eleutherodactylinae
genus: Eleutherodactylus
Species Description: Diaz LM, Hedges SB 2015 Another new cryptic frog related to Eleutherodactylus varleyi Dunn (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae), from eastern Cuba. Solenodon 12: 124-135.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Eleutherodactylus beguei is a small-sized frog with males ranging from 12.3 – 14.2 mm in snout-vent length and a single female specimen measuring 15.2 mm. The length and width of the head are about the same size. The snout is slightly pointed and overlaps the lower jaw. Nostrils have a sub-oval shape, do not protrude from the head, and are laterally directed. The canthus rostralis is described as flat from a dorsal viewpoint, but rounded in profile. On the eyelid skin a few small granules are visible. The loreal area is smooth and gradually slopes towards the labial border. They have a rounded tympanum with clear annulus. The dorsal skin has granules and tubercles that are primarily arranged in a dorsolateral row. This species has supraxillary, postfemoral, and round inguinal glands. The skin on belly, inner thigh and flanks is areolate. The anal opening does not have a sheath. The smooth, oval palmar tubercle is longer than the thenar tubercle by 1.5 to 2 times. The palms have sparse but enlarged supernumerary tubercles. The subtle subarticular tubercles are oval when viewed straight on and are rounded in the profile view. The finger have relative lengths of III > IV > II > I and small, pointed discs. The discs on the two outer fingers are larger than the two inner fingers. When the legs are held at 90 degree angles from the body, the heels touch or just overlap. The feet do not have enlarged tubercles on the heels but have smooth, narrow inner metatarsal tubercles and conical outer metatarsal tubercles, which can range from 1.4 times smaller to equal in length as the inner metatarsal tubercle. The inconspicuous supernumerary tubercles are flat and scarce while the subarticular tubercles are moderately projected and range from oval to somewhat conical. The relative toe lengths are IV > III > V > II > I. The toes do not have lateral ridges or webbing. The outer part of the toe pad has is a circumferential groove bordering the edge. Males have small vocal sacs (Díaz and Hedges 2015).

Eleutherodactylus beguei has a less robust body, a smaller head, a different ventral patterning, and a more conspicuous, swollen, subtriangular musculus submentalis then E. intermedius and E. tetajulia. Eleutherodactylus beguei is most similar to E. feichtingeri and E. varleyi. All have small body sizes, pale bellies and ventral surfaces of the legs, a partially areolated venter, enlarged tubercles forming dorsolateral rows, black stripes crossing the supratympanic fold that surround a lighter glandular area, small discs on their digits, and accentuated polychromatism. However, they also have several features that distinguish them. One feature that distinguishes E. beguei from both species is the former’s head is as wide as it is long. More specifically, from E. feichtingeri the focal species can be differentiated by being smaller, having a larger tympanum, having a reduced vocal sac when its inflated, and having vocalizations of one-note chirps. From E. varleyi, the focal species can be distinguished by having a smaller spacing between their vomerine odontophores and their snout, having a vocal sac that is small during calling and doesn’t fold over the gular region when deflated, and having a one-note advertisement call (Díaz and Hedges 2015).

In life, the overall coloration varies from grayish brown to reddish brown and some with a greenish hue. The majority of the population contains marbling or vermiculation pattern on their head, dorsum, and hind leg. Typically, a dark area is visible on the sacral and supra scapular. The groin is yellow, the forearms have a yellowish tone, and the inguinal gland is yellow. Some are lined with a cream to orange dorsolateral stripe. One specimen has a pair of wide pale paravertebral stripes. Above the tympanic membrane is a black stripe, which has a strong contrast against the paler tone beneath; this makes the black more evident. They have two dark patches above the suprainguinal. The legs possess bands that are either barely visible or fragmented. In alcohol, all background coloration becomes gray to gray-brown. While the overall pattern remains, the yellow, green, and red pigments are lost (Díaz and Hedges 2015).

Individuals can vary in pattern and coloration. Additionally, the supraxillary, postfemoral, and inguinal glands vary in their distinctiveness. Sexual dimorphism cannot be determined because of low female sample sizes, but the lone female specimen was larger than the male range (Díaz and Hedges 2015).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cuba


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Eleutherodactylus beguei has only been found at two locations. The first, near the north coast of eastern Cuba in Humboldt National Park and the second site was 2 km north of La Munición, Municipality of Yateras, Guantánamo Province in Cuba. The two known locations had elevations of 678 and 730 m respectively. While this species has only been located in one area of Cuba, there is the possibility of range expansion to the Meseta del Guaso and other locations. The region of Cuba where the species is found consists primarily of pine forest (Pinus caribaea) with a thick layer of bushes near the base of the trees. These frogs were found on the ground, in the leaves of bushes, on fallen branches, or on tree trunks while vocalizing, but could be found as high as 1.2 m. (Díaz and Hedges 2015).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males were found calling at night between 10:00 pm and 3:00 am utilizing a variety of calling perches including, on the ground, in leaf litter, in the leaves and branches of small bushes ranging from 30 to 120 cm, on fallen trunks with 5 cm diameters. Males responded to playbacks of calls and a gravid female was located because she was emitting a soft, chirping reciprocal call to a male (Díaz and Hedges 2015).

The advertisement call of E. beguei is most commonly a one-note call that is similar to the sound of a chirp. Yet, they have been known to produce two, three, and four note calls. The one-note call’s frequency resembles that of an inverted V, increasing then sharply decreasing. Each call is produced at a low rate and last roughly 19 - 26 milliseconds and has a frequency of 3.2 - 5.1 kHz. The highest amplitude of the call occurs around the middle. The duration between calls usually last 12.7 - 21.1 seconds. In the two-note call the first note last 22 - 28 milliseconds while the second last 19 - 30 milliseconds. This call has a frequency of 3.5 - 4.4 kHz and also follows the inverted V-shape. The frequency has the inverted V-shaped pattern as well and produces 2.9 kHz. The female call is similar to males but with two well-defined harmonics at 5.9 and 8.9 kHz (Díaz and Hedges 2015).

The single female specimen and male to whom she was reciprocally calling to were placed in a container together and found in axillary amplexus five hours later surrounded by nine ivory white eggs with diameters of 3.5 – 3.7 mm. An additional yolk filled egg was found inside the female (Díaz and Hedges 2015).

At 9 – 10 eggs, the clutch size of E. beguei is the largest known of its species group. The clutch size for E. varleyi and E. adelus is three to four eggs and clutch sizes for E. intermedius and E. tetajulia is five to six eggs (Díaz and Hedges 2015). It is unknown as to whether or not the male or female species participate in any means of parental care.

The species authority is: Díaz, L.M., Hedges, S.B. (2015). “Another new cryptic frog related to Eleutherodactylus varleyi Dunn (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae), from eastern Cuba.” Solenodon 12, 124-135.

Based on maximum likelihood analysis of ~800 base pairs of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome B, E. beguei appears to be sister to the clade formed by E. feichtingeri and E. varleyi. However, this relationship is not highly supported (Días and Hedges 2015) and requires more investigation.

Eleutherodactylus beguei was the sixth species to be described in the E. gundlachi group. However, because of recent evidence indicating E. gundlachi belongs to the E. luteotus group, a new group, the E. varleyi group, has been proposed to include E. beguei, E. feichtingeri, E. intermedius, E. tetajulia, and E. varleyi (Días and Hedges 2015).

The species epithet, "beguei" is in honor of Gerardo Begué Quiala, a collaborator of the authors of the species description and a specialists on the biodiversity at Humboldt National Park (Días and Hedges 2015).


Díaz, L.M., Hedges, S.B. (2015). ''Another new cryptic frog related to Eleutherodactylus varleyi Dunn (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae), from eastern Cuba.'' Solenodon, 12, 124-135.

Originally submitted by: Laura Casals (first posted 2018-03-21)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2018-03-27)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2018 Eleutherodactylus beguei <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 2, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Mar 2024.

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