AmphibiaWeb - Pristimantis zorro


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pristimantis zorro Rivera-Correa & Daza, 2020
family: Strabomantidae
genus: Pristimantis
Species Description: Rivera-Correa M, and JM Daza. 2020. Out of the blue: A new rain frog species of the genus Pristimantis (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the northern Cordillera Central in Colombia. Zootaxa 4838: 83-101.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Pristimantis zorro (also known as El Zorro) is a smooth frog described from five males that have snout-vent lengths of 19.5 - 21.5 mm. The snout has a small rostral papilla, and is sub-acuminates in the dorsal view, and truncate in the profile. The upper eyelid has tubercles, but there are no cranial crests present. Pristimantis zorro has a tympanic membrane, tympanic, and a tympanum that is 23 - 33% of eye diameter. There is no discoidal nor dorsolateral fold. The hand length is 31% of the snout-vent length, while the radio-ulna is 20% compared to the snout-vent length. The first finger is shorter than the second finger and the discs are broadly expanded, while the tubercles on the heel are small. There is no inner tarsal fold as the fingers are as wide as the toes and there are circumvaginal grooves in all discs with no nuptial pads (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020). For more description, please see Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020.

Pristimantis zorro has a light green to green-yellow dorsum and a dark spot that covers the mouth and nostrils that makes the frog appear to have a mask. These characteristics help distinguish it from other species in its genus, however, P. moro and P. schultei also have a mask like a blotch. They can be further differentiated by P. moro having bright orange-red in the area of the upper eyelids and snout, which P. zorro does not have, and P. schultei has tubercles on the upper eyelids and flanks while P. zorro does not (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).

In life, P. zorro can range from light green to green-yellow. It has an unique and clearly visible, brown canthal stripe that extends to the nostril area forming a face mask. The copper-colored irises have brown reticulation. There is also an interorbital bar and supratympanic stripe that extends along the flanks posteriorly until the middle of the body. Both the flanks and limbs have scattered brown spots with a particularly strong concentration at the wrists. The venter is immaculate with the body being white while the throat, axillae, limbs, and palms and planters being light yellow. In preservative, the whole body becomes cream colored and the stripes and spots darken to almost black (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).

The variation that comes with this amphibian includes a spectrum of light green-yellow color with brown pigmented spots, and a unique, big spot in the between the nostrils (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
At the time of the species description, P. zorro was only known from the type locality near the Peñol-Guatape hydroelectric reservoir, on the northeastern Cordillera Central, in Antioquia, Colombia at elevations of approximately 1860 m a.s.l. They are found in habitats that consist of humid forest with open roads (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The species was observed to be active in the evenings between the hours of 1830 - 2100 on shrubs 1 - 4 m above the ground, in open areas, and on the side of the road in a mature forest. However, females were not observed (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).

Pristimantis zorro is very vocal and can be heard frequently at night having a one pulse, short note that has a call duration of 0.062–0.155 sec and intervals of 0.179–3.763 seconds, leading to call rates ranges from 34 to 68 calls per min. The dominant frequency is 2.842–3.186 kHz with a note amplitude that increases rapidly then falls into a funnel (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).

The species is sympatric with P. factiosus, P. helvolus, P. lemur, and P. permixtus and presumed to be sympatric with P. paisa P. suetus, and P. viejas (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).

Trends and Threats
The population trends of P. zorro is unclear. Despite frequent herpetological surveys from 1994 - 2004 and the species having a striking coloration, the species was not found. However, it was later found in abundance. This trend may be more common with canopy inhabiting species (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).


Maximum Likelihood analysis of 12S, 16S, COI, and Tyr mitochondrial genes showed that P. zorro is a member of the P. lacrimosus group, and is sister to the clade made up of P. olivaceus, P. pluvialis, P. pulchridormientes, and one undescribed Pristimantis ​​(Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).

The species epithet, “zorro”, is a reference to the character, El Zorro, meaning “the fox” in Spanish, from the 1919 pulp fiction novel and later TV series, Zorro. The character wears a black coat, hat, and mask that covers everything but his eyes. The facemask and rostral spot of Pristimantis zorro is reminiscent of that outfit (Rivera-Correa and Daza 2020).


Rivera-Correa M., Daza, J.M. (2020) “Out of the blue: A new rain frog species of the genus Pristimantis (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the northern Cordillera Central in Colombia” Zootaxa 4838 (1): 083–101 [link]

Originally submitted by: Amy D Conde (2022-11-29)
Description by: Amy D Conde (updated 2022-11-29)
Distribution by: Amy D Conde (updated 2022-11-29)
Life history by: Amy D Conde (updated 2022-11-29)
Trends and threats by: Amy D Conde (updated 2022-11-29)
Comments by: Amy D Conde (updated 2022-11-29)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-11-29)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Pristimantis zorro <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 16, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 Apr 2024.

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