© 2018 Mauro Teixeira Jr (1 of 4)
Rhinella jimi is likely a species within the Rhinella schneideri species complex; R. schneideri is largely distributed around South America. Rhinella jimi is sympatric with R. schneideri in the northeastern region of Brazil, but they clearly represent differentiated species. Because both R. jimi and R. schneideri both have tibial glands and a similar parotoid gland shape, implying a close phylogenetic relationship. However, R. jimi has a forearm gland, an external gland on its feet, and gland conglomerates on either side of its cloaca, all of which are absent in R. schneideri. Rhinella jimi has slightly shorter eyelids, a smaller eye diameter, smaller hands, and a slightly larger metatarsal fold length (Stevaux 2002).
Rhinella icterica does not have the tibial glands that R. jimi does, but they share similar osteological, reproductive, and morphological traits. Rhinella marina and R. poeppigii represent a more basal clade, and, along with R. rubescens and R. arenarum, have smaller parotoid glands and more elongated skulls (Stevaux 2002).
In preservation, the dorsum of R. jimi is a grayish-beige and dappled with almost-symmetrical dark brown spots from the parotoid glands to the posterior region on both sides of the body. The parotoid glands appear orange. While most of the body is beige, the ventral surface is lighter than the dorsum. The head is very dark, and is almost black in some individuals. Brown spots are more concentrated around the head and are scarcely present along the back (Stevaux 2002).
The species displays sexual dimorphism. Males have spines on the keratinized spikes on their skin, while females do not. This is most evident in the smoother skin texture of females (Stevaux 2002).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Rhinella jimi stores bufotoxins in its parotoid glands; when ingested, these toxins can cause paralysis, tremors, and death in predators. One of the main predators of R. jimi is Athene cunicularia, a burrowing owl that can be found in North and South America. Because there have been few other observed predators of R. jimi, it is thought that its bufotoxins are an effective defensive mechanism (Protázio et. al 2011).
Trends and Threats
Current conservation efforts in Brazil include designated conservation sites and protected areas of R. jimi's habitats (Andrade and Carnaval 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Disturbance or death from vehicular traffic
As of 2020, no known molecular analysis of R. jimi and its relatives has been conducted. However, R. jimi is considered a member of the R. marinus group. Other species in this group include R. arenarum, R. icterica, R. marina, R. poeppigii, R. rubescens, and R. schneideri. The tibial glands and parotoid gland shapes indicate that R. jimi and R. schneideri share a clade. Osteological, reproductive, and morphological features suggest that R. icterica is related at an immediately higher level. Comparatively, R. marina and R. poeppigii seem to compose a basal clade within the R. marinus group. Prior experiments indicate that the clade composed of R. arenarum and R. rubescens would join a clade containing R. schneideri, R. jimi, and R. icterica (Stevaux 2002).
This species is named after Dr. Jorge Jim because of his many contributions to Brazilian herpetology, hence the species epithet “jimi” (Stevaux 2002).
Rhinella jimi was initially categorized as Bufo jimi at the time of its description (Stevaux 2002).
Andrade, G., Carnaval, A. C. (2004). “Rhinella jimi.” The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T54674A11184744. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T54674A11184744.en. [link]
Dornas, R. A.P., Teixeira, F.Z., Gonsioroski, G., Nóbrega, R.A.A. (2019). ''Strain by the train: Patterns of toad fatalities on a Brazilian Amazonian railroad.'' Science of The Total Environment, 660, 493-500. [link]
Protázio, A., Carvalho, S., Protázio, A., Mesquita, D. (2011). ''Rhinella jimi (Cururu Toad) Predation.'' Herpetological Bulletin, 118, 40-41. [link]
Stevaux, M. N. (2002). ''A new species of Bufo Laurenti (Anura, Bufonidae) from northeastern Brazil.'' Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 19, 235–242. [link]
Written by Ash Reining (areining AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley URAP
First submitted 2020-10-30
Edited by Ann T. Chang, Michelle Koo (2020-12-02)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2020 Rhinella jimi <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6024> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jan 15, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Jan 2021.
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