Eastern Cuba Grassfrog
Species Description: Diaz LM, Hedges SB, Schmid M 2012 A new cryptic species of the genus Eleutherodactylus (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) from Cuba. Zootaxa 3220: 44-60.
The snout-vent length of Eleutherodactylus feichtingeri males ranges from 13.3-17.4 mm; females may reach up to 18.5 mm. The dorsum is granulated and tuberculated, with two rows of tubercles running laterally from the insertion of the forelimb to the posterior end. The head is equally wide and long, with a pointed snout. The nostrils do not protrude, and are rounded. The eyelids are generally smooth or very weakly granulated. In E. feichtingeri, the tympanum is rounded or ovular, 21.9âˆ’42.4% the width of the eye, and has an annulus which is poorly distinct. A distinct supratympanic fold is present. Inside the mouth, the vomerine odontophores are arched and moderately sized. The tongue of E. feichtingeri is suboval in shape, and the rear half of it is not attached to the floor of the mouth. A simple external vocal sac, hemispherical in shape, extends onto the chest. The flanks, inner part of the thigh, and venter are areolate (except for the chest and throat). Relative finger length in ascending order is I, II, IV, III. The fingers have small oval discs. Palmer and subarticular tubercles are present, though not prominent, but supernumerary tubercles are not visible on the hands. The toes are not webbed and do not have lateral ridges. Toe size in increasing order is as follows: I, II, V, III, IV. The heel has no enlarged tubercles but has prominent subarticular and metatarsal tubercles, and flat and inconspicuous supernumerary tubercles (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
E. feichtingeri is morphologically very similar to its close relative, E. varleyi, but can be distinguished by several characteristics. E. feichtingeri has a smaller tympanum, which ranges from 8-15% of head length (contrasted to the 18-26% seen in E. varleyi). The tympanum of E. feichtingeri is pigmented, and fully embedded in the supratympanic stripe (whereas in E. varleyi, the size and lack of dark pigmentation in the tympanum causes it to interrupt the supratympanic stripe). Lastly, the call of E. feichtingeri is one note, versus two notes for E . varleyi. E. feichtingeri can be distinguished from E. adelus by its coloration pattern, lack of paravertebral folds at middorsum, different hyoid plate anatomy and characteristic vocalization patterns (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
Coloration: In life, pattern and coloration are highly variable. Common patterns include: 1) almost solid coloration, 2) the presence of dark chevrons, triangles, and rhomboid blotches, 3) wide light colored areas running along the dorsum, or 4) a pair of light colored stripes running vertically along the dorsum (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
Background coloration of the dorsum may be green, grey, purplish, dark brown, light brown, reddish brown, or yellow brown. The flanks are typically darker than the dorsum, often scattered with lighter areoles. Brown bands may be present on the limbs. A black stripe crosses the tympanic membrane and supratympanic fold. The postrical region is white or yellowish green, and a half-moon shaped crescent under the eyes has this same coloration. The sides of the snout are darkly pigmented, while a vertical white bar is present at the tip of the snout. The venter and vocal sac are white or greenish white (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
In preservation, patterns seen in life remain, but most colors fade to grays and browns (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
Distribution and Habitat
E. feichtingeri is distributed throughout central and eastern Cuba, between sea level and 900 m elevation. Habitats in which E. feichtingeri can be found include cuabal vegetation (on serpentine rock in savannah habitats), leaf litter or grass in deciduous forests, and open herbaceous portions of tropical rainforests. E. feichtingeri is also found in many areas modified by humans, including agricultural regions (such as pastures and sugar cane plantations), gardens, and grass covered road edges (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males call from grasses year round, except in the drier lowland areas, where it is more seasonal. Vocal activity is typically higher after rains. Dense choruses may occur in the late afternoon, with activity declining after midnight, but peaking again before dawn. Males may call from very close together, or several meters apart, in a variety of locations, but usually in a horizontal position (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
The calls consist of a single metallic note with a dominant frequency at around 3.7-3.9 kHz for a duration of 8-41 ms. The call rises sharply in its first 30ï¿½47%, reaches maximum amplitude by 50% of its duration, and then declines (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
Relation to Humans
The species authorities are Luis M. Dï¿½az, S. Blair Hedges, and Michael Schmid. E. feichtingeri is named for Dr. Wolfgang Feichtinger of the Biocenter of the University of Wï¿½rzburg, Germany, in honor of his contributions to Cuban herpetological work (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
E. feichtingeri is very closely related phylogenetically to E. varleyi, its sister species found in west and central Cuba. Another related (closely in a broad sense, but more distantly than the relationship between E. feichtingeri and E. varleyi) species is E. adelus (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
E. feichtingeri has a karyotype of 2n=32. In C-banded chromosomes, the banding of chromosomes 3-8 can be used to distinguish E. feichtingeri and E. varleyi (E. feichtingeri has distinct interstitial C-bands) (Dï¿½az et al. 2012).
Díaz L.M., Hedges S.B., Schmid M. (2012). ''A new cryptic species of the genus Eleutherodactylus (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) from Cuba.'' Zootaxa, 3220, 44-60.
Written by John Cavagnaro (john.cavagnaro AT berkeley.edu), University of California Berkeley
First submitted 2012-03-20
Edited by Mingna (Vicky) Zhuang (2012-10-04)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Eleutherodactylus feichtingeri: Eastern Cuba Grassfrog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/7775> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 11, 2019.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 11 Dec 2019.
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