Lenca Leopard Frog
|Species Description: Luque-Montes, I., Austin, J.D., Weinfurther, K.D., Wilson, L.D., Hofmann, E.P., Townsend, J.H. 2018. An integrative assessment of the taxonomic status of putative hybrid leopard frogs (Anura: Ranidae) from the Chortís Highlands of Central America, with description of a new species. Systematics and Biodiversity 2018: 1-7|
© 2018 Josiah H. Townsend (1 of 8)
Adult DescriptionRana lenca is a small frog with adult males ranging from 46 mm to 64 mm in length and adult females being slightly larger, ranging from 43 mm to 76 mm. It has a long and broad head. The tympanum is the same relative size between males and females. The fingers are unwebbed and the toes are webbed (Luque-Montes et al. 2018).
There are two other frogs that could be mistaken for R. lenca that live in the same area: R. brownorum and R. forreri. A distinguishing characteristic that sets R. lenca apart from these other frogs is their size; R. lenca is a bit smaller than R. brownorum and R. forreri on average. Another difference between these frogs is that the R. lenca have a longer and broader head than R. brownorum and R. forreri. Another frog in the area that could be mistaken for R. lenca is R. maculata. The difference between them is that R. lenca has a longer head, a larger tympanum, and has distinct spots on its dorsal side (Luque-Montes et al. 2018).
In life, they have a brown-green coloration with well-defined spots on their dorsal side with a light underside. The spots on the dorsum vary quite a bit between individuals, regardless of sex. The color of the specimen after four years in alcohol preservation is altered slightly but its defining characteristics are still visible. The dorsal side is dark brown with irregular dorsal spots that are paler above the dorsolateral ridges than below. The extremities of the specimen in alcohol were paler than the dorsum (Luque-Montes et al. 2018).
The females are usually slightly larger than the males. The dorsal spots and background color vary between individuals. Specifically, the shade of the green-brown coloration varies slightly between individuals depending upon the medium they spend their time on, showing phenotypic plasticity (Luque-Montes et al. 2018).
Larval DescriptionAt Gosner Stage 29, tadpoles are dorsally compressed and are wider than their tall. The snout is in a semicircle shape in the dorsal view and rounded from the lateral view. The tadpoles' eyes are large and directed dorsolaterally. The upper jaw sheath is arched, and the lower jaw sheath is more of a V-shape. Lateral to the lower jaw sheath and between marginal papillae and P-3 tooth row, there are two to three irregular rows of submarginal papillae. The dorsal fin terminates on the tail before reaching the posterior of the body (Luque-Montes et al. 2018).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Rana lenca can be found in sympatry with R. maculatus, Incilius ibarrai, Incilius porteri, Rhinella horribilis, Exerodonta catracha, Ptychohyla salvadorensis, and Tlalocohyla loquax. Tadpoles can also be found with Hypopachus barberi, Leptodactylus silvanimbus, Ptychohyla hypomykter, and Scinax staufferi (Luque-Montes et al. 2018).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
The species epithet, “lenca,” was given in honor of the indigenous Lenca people that were the traditional residents of the southwestern mountainous region of Honduras (Luque-Montes et al. 2018).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2020). "Lithobates lenca (amended version of 2019 assessment)." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T143844904A176621696. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T143844904A176621696.en
Luque-Montes, L., Austin, J. D., Weinfurther, K. D., Wilson, L. D., Hofmann, E. P., Townsend, J. H. (2018). “An integrative assessment of the taxonomic status of putative hybrid leopard frogs (Anura: Ranidae) from the Chortis Highlands of Central America, with description of a new species.” Systematics and Biodiversity 16:340–356. [link]
Skerratt, L. F., Berger, L., Speare, R., Cashins, S., McDonald, K. R., Phillott, A. D., Hines, H. B., and Kenyon, N. (2007). ''Spread of chytridiomycosis has caused the rapid global decline and extinction of frogs.'' EcoHealth, 4, 125-134.
Originally submitted by: John Simas, Deanna Pappas, Mandy Chung (2022-07-12)
Description by: John Simas, Deanna Pappas, Mandy Chung (updated 2022-07-12)
Distribution by: John Simas, Deanna Pappas, Mandy Chung (updated 2022-07-12)
Life history by: John Simas, Deanna Pappas, Mandy Chung (updated 2022-07-12)
Trends and threats by: John Simas, Deanna Pappas, Mandy Chung (updated 2022-07-12)
Comments by: John Simas, Deanna Pappas, Mandy Chung (updated 2022-07-12)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-07-12)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Rana lenca: Lenca Leopard Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/8764> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Dec 5, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 5 Dec 2022.
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