AmphibiaWeb - Osornophryne puruanta


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Osornophryne puruanta Gluesenkamp & Guayasamin, 2008
Spanish: Osornosapo gigante
family: Bufonidae
genus: Osornophryne
Species Description: Gluesenkamp AG, Guayasamin JM 2008 A new species of Osornophryne (Anura: Bufonidae) from the Andean highlands of northern Ecuador. Zootaxa 1828:18-28
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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To date, this frog species is only known from Ecuador (Glusenkamp and Guayasamin 2008), so the Anfibios del Ecuador account covers all basic diagnostic characters and descriptions.

Paéz-Moscoso and Guayasamin (2012) note that this species differs from others in the genus mostly due to its large size and primarily smooth dorsal skin, with large pustules, some of which form ridges. In addition, O. puruanta females are much larger than females from other described species of the genus (40.5 – 47.1 mm while other species tend to be smaller than 40 mm); data from males are not available (Glusenkamp and Guayasamin 2008, Paéz-Moscoso and Guayasamin 2012).

See the Anfibios del Ecuador account for further information on coloration and variation. See Páez-Moscoso et al. 2011 for a taxonomic key for the genus.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Ecuador

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This species is only known from Ecuador (Glusenkamp and Guayasamin 2008) in the Pichincha and Imbabura provinces, from 3000 to 3500 m.a.s.l.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

Diet likely consists of arthropods, similar to other species of the genus (Glusenkamp and Acosta 2001); one individual’s stomach contained a beetle (Chrysomelidae), hymenopteran, a beetle larva, and some plant material (Glusenkamp and Guayasamin 2008).

See the Anfibios del Ecuador account for more information on other aspects of this species life history.


This species presumably has direct development like others in this genus (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976).

Trends and Threats

In an analysis of conservation status, geographic range, and planned municipal developments in Pichincha, Ecuador, O. puruanta was noted to be “low priority” relative to other local amphibian species because of its proximity to protected areas and distance from the highest impact developments (dams; Salazar Naranjo 2018). Agriculture and cattle ranching are some of the major threats in the region where O. puruanta is found with an estimate of 340 hectares of land being deforested annually (Rosero 2019). The species was ranked as "Endangered" by the IUCN when it was described due to its small range and local habitat degradation (IUCN 2022).

Relation to Humans

None documented.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Habitat fragmentation
Loss of genetic diversity from small population phenomena


This genus was originally thought to share close ancestry with Atelopus given their phenotypic similarity (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976), but phylogenetic assessments have incomplete support for the placement of the genus (Pyron and Wiens 2011, Paéz-Moscoso and Guayasamin 2012) or have not included any members of the genus in its sampling (Feng et al. 2017, Hime et al. 2020).


Feng, Y., Blackburn, D. C., Liang, D., Hillis, D., Wake, D. B., Cannatella, D. C., and Zhang, P. (2017). Phylogenomics reveals rapid, simultaneous diversification of three major clades of Gondwanan frogs at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(29), E5864–E5870. [link]

Gluesenkamp, A. G., and Acosta, N. (2001). Sexual dimorphism in Osornophryne guacamayo with notes on natural history and reproduction in the species. Journal of Herpetology, 35, 148–151. [link]

Gluesenkamp, A. G., and Guayasamin, J. M. (2008). A new species of Osornophryne (Anura: Bufonidae) from the Andean highlands of northern Ecuador. Zootaxa, 1828, 18–28. [link]

Hime, P. M., Lemmon, A. R., Moriarty Lemmon, E. C., Prendini, E., Brown, J. M., Thomson, R. C., Kratovil, J. D., Noonan, B. P., Pyron, R. A., Peloso, P. L. V., Kortyna, M. L., Keogh, J. S., Donnellan, S. C., Mueller, R. L., Raxworthy, C. J., Kunte, K., Ron, S. R., Das, S., Gaitonde, N., Green, D. M., Labisko, J., Che, J., Weisrock, D. W. (2021). Phylogenomics reveals ancient gene tree discordance in the amphibian tree of life. Systematic Biology, 70(1), 49–66. [link]

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2022. Osornophryne puruanta. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022: e.T18435557A86895684. Accessed on 19 April 2023. [link]

Páez-Moscoso, D. J., Guayasamin, J. M., and Yánez-Muñoz, M. H. (2011). A new species of Andean toad (Bufonidae, Osornophryne) discovered using molecular and morphological data, with a taxonomic key for the genus. ZooKeys, 108, 73–97. [link]

Páez-Moscoso, D. J, and Guayasamin, J. M. (2012). Species limits in the Andean toad genus Osornophryne (Bufonidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 65(3), 805–822. [link]

Pyron, R. A., and Wiens, J. J. (2011). A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of advanced frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 61, 543–583. [link]

Rosero Chamorro, E. G. (2019). Estudio multitemporal de uso del suelo y cobertura vegetal de la subcuenca del río Ambi, provincia Imbabura, Ecuador. (Master’s Thesis), Universidad Técnica del Norte, Ibarra, Ecuador. [link]

Ruiz-Carranza, P. M., and Hernández-Camacho, J. I. (1976). Osornophryne, genero nuevo de anfibios bufonidos de Colombia y Ecuador. Caldasia, 11, 93–148. [link]

Salazar Naranjo, D. A. (2018). Análisis del estado de conservación de anfibios en zonas con diferentes niveles de disturbio en la provincia de Pichincha (Bachelor's thesis) Universidad Politécnica Salesiana, Quito, Ecuador. [link]

Originally submitted by: Rebecca D. Tarvin (2023-04-19)
Description by: Rebecca D. Tarvin (updated 2023-04-19)
Distribution by: Rebecca D. Tarvin (updated 2023-04-19)
Life history by: Rebecca D. Tarvin (updated 2023-04-19)
Larva by: Rebecca Tarvin (updated 2023-04-19)
Trends and threats by: Rebecca D. Tarvin (updated 2023-04-19)
Relation to humans by: Rebecca D. Tarvin (updated 2023-04-19)
Comments by: Rebecca D. Tarvin (updated 2023-04-19)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-04-27)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Osornophryne puruanta: Spanish: Osornosapo gigante <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 23, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Jul 2024.

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