AmphibiaWeb - Odontophrynus cultripes


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Odontophrynus cultripes Reinhardt & Lütken, 1862
Rio Grande Escuerzo, Sapinho-boi
family: Odontophrynidae
genus: Odontophrynus
Odontophrynus cultripes
© 2003 Lucas Grandinetti (1 of 5)

sound file   hear Fonozoo call

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None


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A small toad-like frog (males 50-70 mm SVL). Head, viewed from above, rounded, broader than long, about two-thirds as broad as body. Snout blunt, truncate. Nostrils superolateral, located at the tip of the snout. Area between nostrils slightly depressed. Eyes large and prominent, anterolateral. Tympanum not visible. Anterior region of the dorsum with two tooth-like glands of moderate size, and several smaller ones evenly distributed. It also bears a markedly enlarged, smooth temporal gland. Belly granular. Fingers free; a pronounced shovel-like tubercle on the base of the first finger (Cochran 1955). A single moderate glandular ridge is present on the posterior surface of forearm; a greatly enlarged tibial gland is also present. The inner metatarsal tubercle is greatly enlarged and shovel-like, modified for burrowing (Savage and Cei 1965).

Coloration: Dorsal surfaces of the head, back and limbs brown, with faint lighter beige areas on head and some faint black markings on back and limbs. Enlarged warts uniform brown, except for some black edging. A distinct yellow streak along sides, running obliquely downward from level of parotoid gland toward groin. Side of the head and upper lip with regular dark blotches. Belly dirty yellow with some brown pigment. Throat of males dark chocolate brown (Savage and Cei 1965).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil, Paraguay

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Odontophrynus cultripes is restricted to two vegetation formations in southeastern and middle west Brazil, the Cerrado (Brazilian Savanna) and the Semi-deciduous Atlantic Forest (Savage and Cei 1965). O. cultripes occurs in Goiás, Distrito Federal, southwestern Rio de Janeiro, and Minas Gerais reaching northern São Paulo from 500 m up to 1,000 m a.s.l. Elsewhere it approaches the range of O. americanus in the state of São Paulo; however, the two forms have not been taken together at any locality and their ranges are essentially allopatric. Although there are reports of this species in Argentine Chaco and Paraguay, it is unlikely that this species occupies these regions (see Cei 1980).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Odontophrynus cultripes is a fossorial form. It deposits a gelatinous egg mass at the bottom of temporary ponds, but can also reproduce in artificial water bodies, like large farm ponds with floating macrophytes; the amplexus is axillary (Cochran 1955; Bastos et al. 2003). It has been recorded less commonly from nearby forest streams with low turbulence (Silvano 1999; Pedralli et al. 2001). Cei (1980) observed matting in wet, marshy ground, near Belo Horizonte, as also noted by Cochran (1955).

Silvano (1999) recorded this species year-round in her study site (a mountain range and suburban areas in southern Minas Gerais), with the peak of the calling activity taking place in the dry season. However, the reproductive pattern seems to vary geographically: Canelas and Bertoluci (2007) found the reproduction of O. cultripes to be associated with the beginning of the rainy season in central Minas Gerais, an area of Atlantic Rainforest. Contrasting with the data of these authors, Giaretta et al. (2008) recorded the reproduction of O. cultripes occurring in both wet and dry seasons, in southwestern Minas Gerais, an area of transition between the Cerrado and Semi-deciduous Atlantic Forest, which agrees with Silvano’s data.

The advertisement call can be heard on Toledo et al. (2007).


At Gosner 37, tadpole body globose, slightly flattened below. Eyes and nostrils dorsal. Body dark brown, with several small dark blotches dorsally; venter finely pigmented with black but transparent. Tail musculature and fins heavily pigmented with a sharp contrast between light and dark areas. Dorsal fin higher than ventral. Spiracle sinistral directed back- and upward, vent tube median, located at the lower part of the body; labial papillae well-developed laterally and along lower labium, one row of marginal papilae, not infolded laterally, dorsal gap present; LTRF 2(2)/3(1); upper and lower jaws finely serrated (Savage and Cei 1965). Lynch (1971) presented a diagnosis for the genus based on osteological characters.

Trends and Threats
Its range is within protected areas, like the Parque Estadual Nova Baden, at Lambari-MG, Parque Municipal das Mangabeiras, at Belo Horizonte-MG, RPPN Santuário do Caraça, at Santa Bárbara-MG, Estação Ecológica do Tripuí, at Ouro Preto-MG, APA da Serra de São José, at Tiradentes-MG, and Floresta Nacional de Silvânia, at Silvânia-GO. It is locally abundant along its range (see Nascimento 1991 and Silvano 1999). Population stable.

Relation to Humans
This species has been recorded in great abundance in suburban areas (Silvano 1999) and near human settlements (Giaretta et al. 2008).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

The diploid number is equal to 22 (Savage and Cei 1965).


Bastos, R. P., Motta, J. A., Lima, L. P., and Guimaraes, L. D. (2003). Anfíbios da Floresta Nacional de Silvânia, Estado de Goiás. Stylo Gráfica e Editora, Goiânia.

Canelas, M. A. S., and Bertoluci, J. (2007). ''Anurans of the Serra do Caraça, southeastern Brazil: species composition and phenological patterns of calling activity.'' Iheringia, 97, 21-26.

Cei, J. M. (1980). ''Amphibians of Argentina.'' Monitore Zoologica Italiano, New Series Monografia, Firenze, 2, 1-609.

Cochran, D. M. (1955). ''Frogs of southeastern Brazil.'' Bulletin of the U.S. National Museum, 206, 1-423.

Giaretta, A. A., Menin, M, Facure, K. G., and de C. Kokubum, M. N. (2008). ''Species richness, relative abundance, and habitat of reproduction of terrestrial frogs in the Triângulo Mineiro region, Cerrado biome, southeastern Brazil.'' Iheringia, 98, 181-188.

Nascimento, L. B. (1991). Bioecologia dos anfíbios anuros do Parque das Manguabeiras (Belo Horizonte MG).. MN-UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro.

Pedralli, G., Guimarães Neto, A.S., and Teixeira, M.C.B. (2001). ''Diversidade de anfíbios na região de Ouro Preto.'' Ciência Hoje, 30, 70-73.

Savage, J. M. and Cei, J. M. (1965). ''A review of the leptodactylid frog genus Odontophrynus.'' Herpetologica, 21(3), 178-195.

Silvano, D.L. (1999). Padrões de Distribuição Espacial e Temporal e Potencial Indicador de Qualidade Ambiental dos Anuros (Amphibia) na Região da APA São José e entorno, MG, Brasil. UFMG, Belo Horizonte-MG.

Toledo, L. F., Giovanelli, J. G. R., Giasson, L. O. M., Prado, C. P. A., Guimarăes, L. D., Bastos, R. P., and Haddad, C. F. B. (2007). Guia interativo dos Anfíbios Anuros do Cerrado, Campo Rupestre e Pantanal. Audio CD, Editora Neotropica (Bilingual: Portuguese and English versions),

Originally submitted by: Diogo B. Provete (first posted 2008-11-29)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2022-08-16)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Odontophrynus cultripes: Rio Grande Escuerzo <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 18, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Jul 2024.

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