AmphibiaWeb - Leptodactylus elenae


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Leptodactylus elenae Heyer, 1978
family: Leptodactylidae
subfamily: Leptodactylinae
genus: Leptodactylus
Leptodactylus elenae
© 2014 Bert Willaert (1 of 3)

sound file   hear Fonozoo call

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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The two sexes of adult Leptodactylus elenae differ in size. Males are relatively moderate in size in relation to the females. The heads are longer than they are wide, and the hinds legs are both of moderate length (Heyer and Thompson 2000). The male vocal sacs are characteristically darkly pigmented and are modestly expanded laterally. The forearms of are not hypertrophied, and the thumbs and chest both lack asperities on the thumb and chest. Two pairs of dorasolateral folds are observed in Leptodactylus. One pair runs from the upper posterior edge of the tympanum to the upper groin region. The second pair may be observed extending from the top of the tympanum level, posterior to the parotoid gland, to the groin along the flanks. Rounded or slightly swollen toe tips are characteristic, along with fringes or lateral fleshy ridges that are generally lacking on the toes. Toe webbing between toes I,II, and III and basal lateral ridges may be observed in certain individuals. Weak longitudinal folds are rarely associated with the usually smooth upper shank. The outer tarsus generally displays one to many white tubercles, but is smooth in some individuals. Many white, fleshy tubercles are also located on the soles of the feet.

A distinct (77%) or indistinct (23%) light stripe is located on the upper lip, while a dark suborbital bar is never present. An interorbital bar is observed, but irregularly shaped. The dorsum's color ranges from unchanging tan/brown to a parallel series of small, darker spots. The pattern of spots may be coalesced longitudinally in some individuals or to one of two small chevrons in the mid-scapular and mid-sacral regions. The posterior of the dorsolateral folds usually stands out by a distinct light pin-stripe. A noticeably darker stripe usually boarders the upper pair of dorsolaterl folds from below. There are no middorsal stripes observed in this species. The stomach displays a few indistinct dark spots, mottling on the lateralmost extent and is mostly immaculate. Distinct, light, horizontal stripes may be detected on the lower aspects on the posterior thighs. Irregular shaped crossbands are also seen on the dorsal surface of the shank.

The larvae of this species have not been described.

The text above is based on the species description by Heyer and Heyer (2002) .

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay

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Leptodactylus elenae is wide ranging and may be most often found in the semi-dry Chaco, cerrado, caatinga and mostly arid forest regions from the eastern slopes of Bolivia to Mato Grosso, Brazil and south through Paraguay to north-central Argentina. This frog has been documented in the forests (Mercolli et al. 1995), as well as in open habitats (De La Riva 1993; Harvey 1998; Heyer and Maxson 1982; Kohler 2000).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The species call advertisement consists of one note per call, at a rate of 64 to 120 per minute. The range of the call duration lasts from .02-.03 seconds. The calls either display no pulses or very weak pulses in mid-call.the frequency of the calls have been modulated. The first 1/3 to 1/2 of the call rises very slowly, but ultimately reaching a plateau at the end. The loudest intensity point of the call is at about 3/4 to 4/5 of the call duration, at which point it decreases rapidly. At the beginning of the call, the dominant frequency ranges from 700 to 870 Hz, and 1370 to 1500 Hz at the end of the call (Heyer and Heyer 2002).

Heyer (1978) named the species for his daughter Elena.


De La Riva, I. (1993). Ecología de una comunidad neotropical de anfibios durante la estación lluviosa. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Harvey, M. B. (1998). ''Reptiles and amphibians of of Parque Nacional Noel Kempff Mercado.'' A Biological Assessment of Parque Noel Kempff Mercado. T.J. Killeen and T. S. Schulenberg, eds., University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Heyer, W. R. (1978). ''Systematics of the fuscus group of the frog genus Leptodactylus (Amphibia, Leptodactylidae).'' Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Science Bulletin, 29, 1-85.

Heyer, W. R., and Thompson, A. S. (2000). ''Leptodactylus rugosus.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 743.1-743.3.

Heyer, W.R., and Heyer, M. M. (2002). ''Leptodactylus elenae.'' Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 742.1-742.5.

Heyer, W.R., and Maxson, L.R. (1982). ''Distributions, relationships, and zoogeography of lowland frogs: The Leptodactylus complex in South America with special reference to Amazonia.'' Biological Diversification in the Tropics. G.T. Prance, eds., Columbia University Press, New York.

Kohler, J. (2000). ''Amphibian diversity in Bolivia: A study with special reference to montane forest regions.'' Bonner Zoologische Monographien, 48, 1-243.

Mercolli, C., Yanosky, A.A., and Dixon, J.R. (1995). ''The ecology of Leptodactylus elenae Heyer, 1978 (Anura, Leptodactylidae) in a protected area in subtropical Argentina.'' Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society, 31, 130-142.

Originally submitted by: Kevin Gin (first posted 2003-10-07)
Edited by: Vance T. Vredenburg (2003-10-21)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2003 Leptodactylus elenae <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 17, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Jun 2024.

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