Phasmahyla cochranae is a small leaf-frog; SVL varies from 28 mm to 37 mm in males and 41-46 mm in females. Snout outline rounded. Tympanum distinct below, hidden above, measuring 1/2 of the eye diameter. Eyes moderately large, directed foward. Pupils vertical. Supratympanic fold distinct only from posterior edge of tympanum to sholder. Vocal sac is subgular or absent. Nostrils at the tip of snouts, placed laterally and directed backward. Finger discs distinct. Fingers free, webbing absent. Finger subarticular tubercles moderately developed. Nuptial pad is present in males, on inner side of the first finger. Forearm fold distinct, glandular, not scalloped. Subarticular tubercles presents. General dorsal texture smooth-glandular; throat and chest weakly glandular; belly glandular. Toe discs distinct. Inner metatarsal tubercle ovoid; heel with small calcar. Dorsal color pattern bright green, but can vary depending on the day time, to brown or redbrick, with scattered small white spots. Concealed surface of sides, arms, legs, finger and toes orange or yellowish with irregular rounded purple or red chocolate spots.
This species shows some sexual size dimorphism, with males being lighter and smaller than females (Bokermann 1966; Heyer et al. 1990). Cruz (1990) described the cranial osteology of a closely related species, P. guttata.
The tadpole was described by Bokermann (1966), Cruz (1982) and Heyer et al. (1990): LTRF 1/2(1) or 0/1(1). Total length 43 mm at Gosner stage 36. Body sub-cylindrical in dorsal view and triangular in lateral view. Snout broad in dorsal outline. Eyes dorsolateral, laterally directed. Nares dorsolateral, small and rounded. Spiracle ventral, with elliptical opening, directed posteriorly. Vent tube long and dextral, not fused with the fin. Tail slightly higher than body. Dorsal fin originates at the posterior third of the body. Dorsal and ventral fins arched. Oral apparatus anteroventral, with a semicircular funnel-shaped dermal fold superiorly bilobed, showing two distinct sizes of papillae. Jaw sheaths moderately developed and finely serrated, upper jaw sheath V-shaped. Caudal muscle reaching tail tip. General coloration gray-brownish, fins transparent, with flecks (Altig and McDiarmid 1999).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil
Phasmahyla cochranae is found in Brazil, within eastern Minas Gerais, Southwestern Rio de Janeiro and eastern São Paulo states. It occurs along forest streams associated with the Atlantic Rainforest at elevations up to 800 m asl.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Phasmahyla cochranae lives along riparian vegetation of forest streams (Ribeiro et al. 2005). It is commonly found at very low abundance, usually no more than 3 individuals in a chorus (Heyer et al. 1990), it occurs from October to April (Cardoso et al. 1989). The eggs are deposited in a gelatinous mass inside envelopes of folded leaves over swift streams; hatchling tadpoles drop into the currents and drift downstream to deeper and quieter pools along montane streams, where frequently they form schools near the water surface at night (Bokermann 1966; Haddad and Sazima 1992, reproductive mode 25 of Haddad and Prado 2005). The development takes about 5 months (Bertoluci 1997; Provete pers. obs.). The mean number of eggs in the clutch is 32, the general color is cream white (Bokermann 1966; Haddad 1991).
Tadpoles of this species are neustonic and forage at the water surface (Altig and McDiarmid 1999). The tadpoles are found with highest abundance between September and December (Bertoluci 1997). During the day they take refuge under stones, logs and other debris (Bokermann 1966).
Trends and Threats
Its range is within protected areas, like the Parque Estadual Nova Baden, Parque Estadual de Ibitipoca, in the state of Minas Gerais, and Parque Nacional da Serra da Bocaina, Parque Municipal do Itapetinga, Serra do Japi and, Estação Biológica de Boracéia, in the state of São Paulo, and in Parque Nacional de Itatiaia, in the state of Rio de Janeiro. Decreasing according to IUCN (2008).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Subtle changes to necessary specialized habitat
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.
The diploid number is equal to 26 (Duellman 1968).
The genus is named in reference to the typical walking, resembling that of the insects of the order Phasmatodea (Cruz 1990). The specific epithet cochranae is in homage to Dr. Doris. M. Cochran (USNM) (Bokermann 1966). D´heursel (2004) described the internal oral features of the larva of this species.
Anne D´heursel (2004). ''.''
Bertoluci, J. A. (1997). Fenologia e Seleção de Hábitat em Girinos da Mata Atlântica em Boracéia, São Paulo (Amphibia, Anura). Ph.D. Dissertation, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo.
Bokermann, W. C. A. (1966). ''A new Phyllomedusa from southeastern Brazil.'' Herpetologica, 22, 293-297.
Cardoso, A. J., Andrade, G. V., and Haddad, C. F. B. (1989). ''Distribução espacial em comunidades de anfíbios (Anura) no sudeste do Brasil.'' Revista Brasileira de Biología, 49, 241-249.
Cruz, C. A. G. (1982). ''Conceituação de grupos de espécies de Phyllomedusinae Brasileiras com base em caracteres larvários (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae).'' Arquivos da Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, 5, 147-171.
Cruz, C. A. G. (1990). ''Sobre as relações intergenéricas de Phyllomedusinae da floresta atlântica (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae).'' Brazilian Journal of Biology, 50, 709-726.
Duellman, W. E. (1968). ''The genera of Phyllomedusine frogs.'' University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History, 18, 1-10.
Haddad, C. F. B. (1991). Ecologia reprodutiva de uma comunidade de anfíbios anuros na Serra do Japi, sudeste do Brasil. Ph.D. Dissertation, UNICAMP, Campinas.
Haddad, C. F. B., and Prado, C. P. A. (2005). ''Reproductive modes in frogs and their unexpected diversity in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.'' BioScience, 55, 207-217.
Haddad, C. F. B., and Sazima, I. (1992). ''Anfíbios anuros da Serra do Japi.'' História Natural da Serra do Japi: Ecologia e Preservação de uma Área Florestal no Sudeste do Brasil. P. C. Morellato, eds., Unicamp, Campinas.
Heyer, W. R., Rand, A. S., Cruz, C. A. G., Peixoto, O. L., and Nelson, C. E. (1990). ''Frogs of Boracéia.'' Arquivos de Zoologia Sao Paulo, 31, 231-410.
Ribeiro, R. S., Egito, G. T. B. T., and Haddad, C. F. B. (2005). ''Chave de identificação: anfíbios anuros da vertente de Jundiaí da Serra do Japi, Estado de São Paulo.'' Biota Neotropica, 5(2), 235-247.
Originally submitted by: Diogo B. Provete (first posted 2008-10-03)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2009-03-19)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2009 Phasmahyla cochranae: Chocolatefoot Leaf Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/628> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 22, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
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