AmphibiaWeb - Phyllomedusa ayeaye


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Phyllomedusa ayeaye Lutz, 1966
Reticulate Leaf Frog
family: Hylidae
subfamily: Phyllomedusinae
genus: Phyllomedusa
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Critically Endangered (CR)
National Status Threatned
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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P. ayeaye is a small Phyllomedusa (SVL 35-42.6 mm in males, 41.3-46.1 mm in females) (Lutz 1966; Caramaschi et al. 2006) belonging to the hypochondrialis group, with a green body and a reticulated pattern of red-orange blotches encircled by black or deep purple on the concealed surfaces of flanks and limbs. The head occupies the first third of the body; the parotoid glands and vocal sac are indistinct; tympanum small; eyes with vertical pupils; vomerine teeth absent and choanae small. The arms are robust, with forearms slightly hypertrophied. Hands with slender fingers, not webbed or fringed, discs poorly developed, with finger I enlarged at the base and in opposition to the other fingers (nuptial pad of horny asperities evident in males, visible in dorsal view of finger I), subarticular and supernumerary tubercles single, large, round. The legs are short and robust; thigh length slightly longer than tibia length and both smaller than tarsus-foot length; calcar appendix and tarsal fold absent; metatarsal tubercles indistinct. Foot with slender toes, neither webbed nor fringed, and with globose apical discs, poorly developed. Toes I and II in opposition to the others; subarticular and supernumerary tubercles single, large, round. (Caramaschi et al. 2006).

Some populations present regional particularities in the coloration pattern, such as a reticulate stripe in the upper lip, a reticulate pattern on the border of the eyelids, color of ventral surface slightly different (color ranging from whitish to light yellow) and color of the pattern ranging from gray, black to purple. For more details and drawings of some of these pattern variations see Baêta et al. (2010).

The tadpole of P. ayeaye has an ovoid body, slightly wider than deep with a total length of about 44.3 ± 2.0 mm at Gosner stage 37 (Pezutti et al. 2009). Eyes lateral, large. The spiracle is ventral, opening posteriorly, and the vent tube is dextral. Ventral fin beginning anterior to the vent tube and ending in a flagellum (Lutz 1966). The coloration of the body and tail is grayish-yellow with darker gray dots scattered on dorsal and ventral surface of the body and on tail musculature. Venter silver. In lateral view the dorsal portion of the peritoneum is dark bluish. Dorsal and ventral fins transparent with white and black spots scattered mainly on ventral fin. Labial tooth row formula 2(2)/3(1): A1 same length as A2; P3 smaller than P1 and P2 (Pezutti et al. 2009). The oral apparatus is surrounded by one row of marginal papillae as well as submarginal papillae (Cruz 1982). Jaw sheaths darkly pigmented and finely serrated on the margins, with the upper jaw sheath “M” shaped and lower sheath “V” shaped (Pezutti et al. 2009).

The original description of Phyllomedusa ayeaye (Lutz 1966) has some data on natural history of the species (perceptions from the authors about the vocalizations and movement of the species), since Baêta et al. (2009) synonymizes Phyllomedusa itacolomi (Caramaschi et al. 2006) with P. ayeaye, the description of P. itacolomi is a good source of information. Pezzuti et al. (2009) provide a good description of the tadpole of Phyllomedusa ayeaye (treated as P. itacolomi) that complements the original description by Lutz (1966) (which lacks drawings and comparisons with some species in the hypochondrialis group. Cruz (1982) provides the first drawing of the tadpole of P. ayeaye and interesting comparisons with other members of the genus.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil

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Phyllomedusa ayeaye inhabits rivulets and deep pools in open formations in Southeastern Brazil. Its distribution is associated with “Campos Rupestres”along with Cerrado formation and its transition to the Atlantic Semi-deciduous Forest in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and in the Northern region of São Paulo at 1600 m a.s.l. (Araújo et al. 2007; Baêta et al. 2010). Giovanelli et al. (2008) provided an ecological niche modeling analysis, which predicted the geographical distribution of this species well beyond its current known distribution. New distribution data, which appeared in Baêta et al. (2010) agreed with that model.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
There is a lack of information on natural history of this species, but apparently the reproductive activity takes place from October to December (Araújo et al. 2007) when males can be heard calling from bushes (0.5 to 2 m above water) in the marginal vegetation of temporary ponds and rivulets (Caramaschi et al. 2006). Newly metamorphosed individuals can be found in March (Drummond 2006). P. ayeaye reproduces by making leaf nests, which hang over pools in open areas, with dense vegetation inside (Cardoso et al. 1989; Caramaschi et al. 2006). Adults occur at low densities (Baêta et al. 2010; Giaretta and Oliveira 2007) and also at low frequencies (Araújo et al. 2007). This species was found at only one out of 31 sites sampled by Araújo et al. (2007).

Trends and Threats
Its range is within protected areas in Brazil, such as the Parque Estadual das Furnas do Bom Jesus in the state of São Paulo, and the Parque Estadual do Itacolomi, Parque Nacional da Serra da Canastra, and Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural Ovídio Pires, in the state of Minas Gerais. Baêta et al. (2010) and Araújo et al. (2007) argue for the exclusion of P. ayeaye from both the Brazilian and the IUCN Red Lists of endangered species, based on new data about geographic distribution and abundance.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat fragmentation
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants

An updated distribution map can be found in Baêta et al. (2010).


Araújo, C. O., Condez, T. H. and Haddad, C. F. B. (2007). ''Amphibia, Anura, Phyllomedusa ayeaye (B. Lutz, 1966): distribution extension, new state record, and geographic distribution map.'' Check List, 3, 156–158.

Caramaschi, U. (2006). ''Redefinição do grupo de Phyllomedusa hypochondrialis, com redescrição de P. megacephala (Miranda-Ribeiro, 1926), revalidação de P. azurea Cope, 1862 e descrição de uma nova especie (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae).'' Arquivos do Museu Nacional, 64, 159-179.

Caramaschi, U., Cruz, C. A. G. and Feio, R. N. (2006). ''A new species of Phyllomedusa Wagler, 1830 from the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil (Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae).'' Boletim do Museu Nacional, 524, 1-8.

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.

Drummond, L.O. (2006). ''Distribuição espacial e temporal de anfíbios anuros em uma lagoa temporária no Parque Estadual do Itacolomi. .''

Giaretta, A. A. and Oliveira, L. E. (2007). ''Phyllomedusa ayeaye (Reticulate Leaf Frog). Habitat and conservation.'' Herpetological Review, 38(1), 441.

Giovanelli, J. G. R., Araújo, C. O. Haddad, C. F. B. and Alexandrino, J. (2008). ''Modelagem do nicho ecológico de Phyllomedusa ayeaye (Anura: Hylidae): previsão de novas áreas de ocorrência para uma espécie rara.'' Neotropical Biology and Conservation, 3, 59–65.

Lutz, B. (1966). ''Pithecopus ayeaye, a new Brazilian hylid with vertical pupils and grasping feet.'' Copeia, 1966, 236–237.

Originally submitted by: Diogo Borges Provete and Leonardo dos Santos Gedraite (first posted 2010-08-09)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-08-16)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Phyllomedusa ayeaye: Reticulate Leaf Frog <> 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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