AmphibiaWeb - Melanophryniscus setiba


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Melanophryniscus setiba Peloso, Faivovich, Grant, Gasparini & Haddad, 2012
Restinga Toadlet, sapinho-da-restinga
family: Bufonidae
genus: Melanophryniscus
Species Description: Peloso PLV, Faivovich J, Grant T, Gasparini JL, Haddad CFB 2012 An extraordinary new species of Melanophryniscus (Anura, Bufonidae) from southeastern Brazil. Amer Mus Novitat 3762: 1-31.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Melanophryniscus setiba is a very small frog with a male snout-vent length range of 14.4 - 16.1 mm and a female range of 13.8 - 16.0 mm. The body is moderately robust, and the head is wider than long. The snout is round when in dorsal view and protrudes somewhat in lateral view. There is no frontal macrogland. Fingers II, III, and V are reduced with distinguishable subarticular tubercles on finger V, and nuptial pads characterized by keratinized spines on medial margin of finger II in males. The fingertips are not expanded or rounded. The toes hardly have noticeable webbing. The head and dorsum are slightly granular while the chest and throat are smooth (Peloso et al. 2012).

The absence of a frontal macrogland, and almost smooth skin on the dorusm and flanks are a distinctive features of this species. Males can be distinguished from males of similar species by the nuptial pads with a few enlarged brown spines on Finger II (Peloso et al. 2012).

The dorsum is reddish brown to dark brown in life. Dorsal marks are present, forming an X anteriorly and an upside-down V posteriorly. The venter is light colored with various numbers of dark spots and markings at midbody. There is usually a dark brown mark on ventral side. The nuptial pads are brown (Peloso et al. 2012).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil

Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Melanophryniscus setiba is native to restinga (coastal sand forest) habitat of Setiba, a municipality of Guarapari in the State of Espírito Santo, Brazil. They are found in the leaf litter of dry forests (mata seca) and sandy soil areas on forest edges consisting of small and large shrubs (Peloso et al. 2012)

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The species is diurnal with peak activity in the early afternoon (Peloso et al. 2012).

The presence of vocal slits and sacs suggest male vocalization. However, at the time of the species description, calls were not observed (Peloso et al. 2012).

The species is likely oviparous, but eggs were not observed at time of the species description (Peloso et al. 2012).

The species seems relatively abundant in the area (Peloso et al. 2012).

Their diet consists of ants and mites (Peloso et al. 2012).

Trends and Threats
The coast where this species is found is the most disturbed area in Brazil, with a high degree of habitat degradation. Restingas are fragile environments and are often near areas of high human population density. This degradation is a threat to many other species, it is likely this species is also threatened (Peloso et al. 2012).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss


Parsimony analysis methods on the mitochondrial genes 12S, tRNAVa l, 16S, along with the nuclear genes exon 1 rhodopsin, exon 2 of chemokine receptor 4 (Cxcr4), and recombination activating gene 1 (RAG-1) found that M. setiba is the most basal Melanophryniscus species and is sister to the clade composed of M. devincenzii, M. fulvoguttatus and M. klappenbachi. The latter two are sister to each other (Peloso et al. 2012).

The species epithet, setiba, is derived from the Tupi Guarani language and means “seashells in abundance” (Peloso et al. 2012).


Peloso P.L.V., Faivovich J., Grant T., Gasparini J.L., Haddad C.F.B. 2012. "An extraordinary new species of Melanophryniscus (Anura, Bufonidae) from southeastern Brazil." Amer Mus Novitat 3762, 1-31. [link]

Originally submitted by: Jack K. Dirck (2022-09-14)
Description by: Jack K. Dirck (updated 2022-09-14)
Distribution by: Jack K. Dirck (updated 2022-09-14)
Life history by: Jack K. Dirck (updated 2022-09-14)
Trends and threats by: Jack K. Dirck (updated 2022-09-14)
Comments by: Jack K. Dirck (updated 2022-09-14)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-09-14)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Melanophryniscus setiba: Restinga Toadlet <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 25, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 25 May 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.