Eleutherodactylus gundlachi
Turquino Spiny Frog, Gundlach's Robber Frog
Subgenus: Euhyas
family: Eleutherodactylidae
subfamily: Eleutherodactylinae

© 2007 Ansel Fong (1 of 3)

  hear Fonozoo call

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None



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Eleutherodactylus gundlachi is a small frog, with females measuring up to 26 mm in SVL, and males less than that. The dorsum of the body is strongly plicate and rugose. The digital discs are very small. There is no webbing between the toes. Vomerine teeth, behind the choanae, are present in a long series (Barbour 1914; Schwartz and Henderson 1985; Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

This frog is dark brown or olive-brown, variegated with light and dark. The concealed surfaces of the thighs are red and the sides of the body are reddish. The venter is whitish-gray with the anterior area spotted with brown. There are two or three transverse crossbars in the dorsal region of the femurs (Barbour 1914; Schwartz and Henderson 1985; Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cuba


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This species is endemic to Cuba and it is found only in the Sierra Maestra and Sagua-Baracoa mountains, in eastern Cuba. This is a terrestrial species found under rocks, logs and leaf litter of deep hardwood forests. It occurs from 650 m to 1375 m in elevation (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
These frogs are active at night. Males vocalize from the ground and rock piles. Calls are very faint and composed of four notes (Schwartz and Henderson 1991). Other aspects of the natural history of this species are unknown.

Trends and Threats
This species is threatened by habitat destruction and deforestation, due to agriculture, woodcutting, disturbance from tourists, and infrastructure development for human settlement (Hedges and Diaz 2004).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

Eleutherodactylus gundlachi is a member of the subgenus Euhyas (Heinicke et al., 2007)[3930].

Etymology- Named after the distinguished naturalist Johannes Gundlach (Schmidt 1920), who collected and studied many Cuban amphibians and reptiles.

Synonyms include Eleutherodactylus plicatus (Barbour 1914).


Barbour, T. (1914). ''A contribution to the zoogeography of the West Indies, with special references to amphibians and reptiles.'' Memoirs of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 44(2), 209-359.

Hedges, S. B. and Díaz, L. M. (2004). Eleutherodactylus gundlachi. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 November 2007.

Heinicke, M. P., Duellman, W. E., Hedges, S. B. (2007). ''Major Caribbean and Central American frog faunas originated by ancient oceanic dispersal.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(24), 10092-10097.

Schmidt, K. P. (1920). ''Some new and rare amphibians and reptiles from Cuba.'' Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New York, 33, 3-4.

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, Inland Press, Milwaukee.

Schwartz, A., and Henderson, R. W. (1991). Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. Descriptions, Distributions, and Natural History. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Written by Ansel Fong G. (ansel AT, BIOECO, Cuba
First submitted 2007-11-07
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2007-11-12)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2007 Eleutherodactylus gundlachi: Turquino Spiny Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 31, 2020.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 31 May 2020.

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