AmphibiaWeb - Eleutherodactylus geitonos
Eleutherodactylus geitonos
family: Eleutherodactylidae
subfamily: Eleutherodactylinae
Species Description: Díaz LM, Incháustegui SJ, Marte C, Köhler G, Cádiz A, and Rodríguez M. 2018. A new frog of the Eleutherodactylus abbotti species group (Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) from Hispaniola, with bioacoustic and taxonomic comments on other species. Novitates Caribaea 12: 25–42.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status
National Status N/A
Regional Status N/A



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Eleutherodactylus geitonos is a small member of the Eleutherodactylus abbotti species group with a male snout-vent length range from 12.3 to 14.2 mm and a female range of 14.3 to 15.8 mm. It has a head that is as wide as it is long. In the dorsal view, the snout is subacuminate while in the profile, it overlaps the lower jaw, The snout length is 38 – 44% of head length. The lips are not flared. The nostrils are elliptical, barely protrude, and directed laterally. The nostrils are separated by a distance that is about 26 – 32% of width of the head. The canthus rostralis is straight in dorsal view but in the profile it is rounded. The loreal region is smooth and has a subtle gradient into the labial border. The interorbital distance 32 – 39% of width of the head. The upper eyelid is 48 – 66% of the interorbital distance. The tympanum is small (25 – 50% of eye diameter), is rounded, and has a distinct annulus. The choanae are elliptical, lateral in position, and partially covered by the palatal shelf of the maxillary arch. It is 51 – 63% of the diameter of the third finger’s disk. The vomerine odontophores are very minuscule, bearing 7 - 8 teeth, each is about 1¼ times the length of each choana. It is positioned diagonally between the choanae and separated from one another by a distance that is half their own length. The elliptical tongue has ¾ of it attached to the bottom of the mouth. Males have a small, rounded, superficial vocal sac that is not distinctively folded when it is deflated. The vocal slits are apparent (Diaz et al. 2018).

The dorsal skin is covered with glandular pores and scattered granules. There are dorsolateral tubercles that are fused and aligned forming incomplete folds. Although the supratympanic gland is obvious, other glands are not noticeably swollen. The venter and inner thigh has a lichen-like texture (Diaz et al. 2018).

The hand length is about 20 - 25% the snout-vent length. The palmar tubercle is oblong and is longer than the thenar tubercle (1 ¾ times the length). The subarticular tubercles of the fingers are prominent and rounded. The relative finger length is as follows: III > IV > II > I. The digital disks are partially expanded laterally and enlarged to a moderate degree. The disk of the third finger is about 1.5 times the width of the base of the finger and about half the diameter of the tympanum. The disks on outer fingers are larger than disks on fingers I and II (Diaz et al. 2018).

When the legs are held at a right angles to the body, the heels do not touch or barely touch. The shank length is 42 - 51% of the snout-vent length and the tarsal length is 28 - 39% of the snout-vent length. The foot length is 38 - 44% of snout-vent length. The inner metatarsal is twice the length of the outer metatarsal, which is slightly conical. There are no supernumerary tubercles or enlarged tubercles on the heels. The relative toe length is as follows: IV > V ≥ III > II > I. The toes lack defined basal webbing and lateral ridges. In the profile, the subarticular tubercles are prominent and have an oval to rounded shape. There is a circumferential groove surrounding the distal portion of the toe pad (Diaz et al. 2018).

Eleutherodactylus geitonos differs from E. audanti, E. haitianus, E. melatrigonum, E. notidodes, and E. parabates in that it lacks a pectoral fold and has a vocal sac that does not have obvious folds when it is deflated. Eleutherodactylus geitonos can be further differentiated from E. abbotti, E. haitianus, E. melatrigonum, E. notidodes and E. parabates by advertisement call. Eleutherodactylus abbotti has variable notes, which are rhythmically uttered in complex assemblages. Eleutherodactylus haitianus had a very high note-repetition rate similar to E. geitonos, however, the introductory note of E. haitianus is long and has a modulated frequency, while E. geitonos does not. Additionally, E. haitianus's call gradually decrease in intensity, while E. geitonos doesn’t. Eleutherodactylus melatrigonum and E. notidodes emit the longest calls of the group. Eleutherodactylus parabates produces long, single-noted whistles instead of long spans of clicking notes (Diaz et al. 2018).

Eleutherodactylus geitonos is the most similar in morphology to E. haitianus as both are tiny frogs, but E. geitonos is on average, smaller. The focal species also has a longer snout and incomplete dorsolateral folds. Additionally, the disks on the fingers of E. geitonos are more distinct (almost twice the diameter) than E. haitianus. Furthermore, E. geitonos does not have the dark spots that E. haitianus has on its stomach and throat. The yellow coloration is more dominant in the males of E. geitonos than E. haitianus. Lastly, E. haitianus typically occurs in high elevation valleys that have pine forests and at the edges of mesophilous cloud forests (rather than in them), making it ecologically different from E. geitonos (Diaz et al. 2018).

Eleutherodactylus geitonos is easily differentiated from E. abbotti, because it is smaller, has different color patterns, and does not have prominent dorsolateral folds. From E. audanti, E. geitonos has a third toe that is longer than or equal in length to the fifth, as where in E. audanti the fifth toe that is longer than the third (Diaz et al. 2018).

In life, the background dorsum color has a range of brown shades with tan to red tint. The dorsal patterns also vary. The snout is lighter than the dorsum. An interesting dark brown stripe covers the lores, and continues to the lower half of the eye. An interocular bar is present and this brown striping extends to the suprascapular chevron. The supratympanic fold is near black and extends to forelimbs. The area below supratympanic fold and extending to the typmanum varies, but normally is yellow. Additionally, 1 - 3 postrictal tubercles gather to make a light area below the posterior half of the supratympanic fold. The flanks are a dark tan color or have a cream coloration. Some individuals may have dorsolateral stripes that are orange. Most individuals have a white to tan middorsal hairline. The belly and throat are yellow in males while they are an indistinct gray in juveniles and females. The arms can be brown to reddish brown and variable yellow tint. The hind limbs have broad brown stripes that contrast the lighter tonality. There can be varying degrees of chevron pattern on the forelegs for individuals. The the lower half of the iris is dark brown (Diaz et al. 2018).

In preservation, snout, anterior to interocular bare is lighter than the dorsum but darker than the sagittal hairline. In the dorsal view, the snout and the edge of the eyelids have a white outline. Intersecting wide, white bordered dark bands span the thigh, shank and tarsus. The interocular bar is clearly prominent. The lores has a dark strip that intersects from the snot to the eye. The supratympanic fold is black and extends toward the forelimbs, while the fold behind tympanum is distinctively lighter. The dorsum is a brown-gray color with a dark striped suprascapular. The yellow tint is not preserved. The dorsum is slightly speckled. The dorsolateral folds are also lighter than the middorsum. White tubercles are defined in the suprascapular area. The arms are clearly lighter than the dorsum and have antebrachial dark bars that are not complete. The chest has dark spots and mandibles have dark splotches. A white sagittal hairline extends from the middorsum to the vent. It divides into two branches on the inner surface of the plantar surface and hind legs. Similarly, this branching pattern is present on inner surface of the forelimbs and hands. The inner surface of the hind and forelimbs are darker in color. The ventral surface is finely speckled with a white background. The vent area and adjacent inner thigh have a prominent dark triangle that is outlined by the above bifurcations of the sagittal hairline (Diaz et al. 2018).

The species varies in coloration and patterning by sex, by age, and by individual (Diaz et al. 2018).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Dominican Republic


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Eleutherodactylus geitonos is found in mesophilous cloud forest mixed with palm forest. At the time of its description, the species was only known at the type locality at an elevation of 1084 m on the southeastern slope of Cordillera Central in Cambita Carabitos Municipality, San Cristóbal Province of the Dominican Republic. The location is near the city of Santo Domingo (Diaz et al. 2018).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Eleutherodactylus geitonos has been heard calling in the forest along trails straddled by dense vegetation, however the frog is primarily found in grass. Females were found in the leaf litter. Males begin calling at dusk from the ground or plants, typically ferns, up to a meter high (Diaz et al. 2018).

Eleutherodactylus geitonos has one of the highest note-repetition rate and shortest note periods of the E. abbotti species group. Due to their size they also have very high pitched calls. Eleutherodactylus geitonos has 13 - 44 notes. These notes increase gradually in intensity with each call. The call period is variable, ranging from 14 - 75.8 seconds and normally ends abruptly. Notes last 11 - 29 seconds with a period of 124 - 183 milliseconds. The notes repeat at a rate of 6.2 - 9.1 notes/second. At a temperature of 16°C and 94% humidity, the call frequency is about 5-5.6 kHz. The first note is not distinctly differentiated from the rest and has the lowest intensity of the call (Diaz et al. 2018).

Trends and Threats

At the time of its description, Eleutherodactylus geitonos was only known from a 600 m2 area. Human activity, including agriculture, grazing and deforestation have caused major habitat destruction where Eleutherodactylus geitonos is found (Diaz et al. 2018).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing


The species authority is: Diaz, L., Inchaustegui, S., Marte, C., Kohler, G., Cadiz, A., Rodriquez, M. (2018). “A new frog of the Eleutherodactylus abbotti species group (Anura: Eleutherodactlyidae) from Hispaniola, with bioacoustic and taxonomic comments on other species.” Novitates Caribaea 12: 25-42.

Phylogenetic relationships estimated using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods on the DNA sequences of the 16S rRNA gene found that E. geitonos is the sister taxa of E. haitianus (Diaz et al. 2018).

The species epithet is from the ancient Greek "geitȏn", that means "neighbor", this is because the type locality is very close to Santo Domingo (Diaz et al. 2018).

There are potentially similar species that exhibit call patterns and habitats that mirror E. geitonos at Rancho Arriba (Sierra de Ocoa; San José de Ocoa Province), El Valle de Dios (Parque Nacional Loma La Humeadora; San Cristobal Province), and Los Guayuyos (near Parque Nacional Luis Quin; Peravia Province) (Díaz et al. 2018).


Diaz, L., Inchaustegui, S., Marte, C., Kohler, G., Cadiz, A., Rodriguez M. (2018). ''A new frog of the Eleutherodactylus abbotti species group (Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) from Hispaniola, with bioacoustic and taxonomic comments on other species.'' Novitates Caribaea, 12, 25-42.

Written by: Aileen Lavelle (2018-10-09)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2018-10-16)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2018 Eleutherodactylus geitonos <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 14, 2021.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 14 Apr 2021.

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