AmphibiaWeb - Rhinella pombali


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Rhinella pombali (Baldiserra, Caramaschi and Haddad, 2004)
sapo-cururu, sapo-amarelo
family: Bufonidae
genus: Rhinella
Species Description: Baldisera,Caramaschi & Haddad,2004 Arquivos do Museu Nacional,Rio de Janeiro 62(3): 255-282
Rhinella pombali
© 2009 Felipe Gomes (1 of 5)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status Not listed (
Regional Status None


Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

This recently described species belongs to the Bufo crucifer species group (Baldissera Jr. et al. 2004; Frost 2007). The SVL varies from 55-93 mm in males and 75-119 mm in females. Snout rounded in dorsal view, long in lateral view; parotoid glands usually ovoid, enlarged on anterior portion and extending past the lateral edges of the body. Cranial crests are present. Tympanum distinct, small, rounded when free, elliptical when associated with supratympanic ridge or with a skin fold on posterior border. Forelimbs long. Ventral surface of tarsus fringed (Baldissera Jr. et al. 2004).

The color in life varies, but almost all the specimens display a brown or whitish dorsal stripe, from the tip of the head to the cloaca. The dorsal surface is granulated, and its color varies from dark to light brown, and reddish in life. Dark gray stripes on limbs, varying from complete to a faint pattern. A yellow blotch (whitish in preserved specimens) appears on the posterior surface of the thighs, and yellow marks near the cloaca (Baldissera Jr. et al. 2004).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil

Berkeley mapper logo

View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

The species is distributed along the Atlantic Rain Forest and in its transitional areas with the Cerrado, in the Minas Gerais State, Brazil. It is found from 700-1,500 m above sea level. Bufo pombali lives on leaf litter inside woodlands, under rocks near small rivulets when resting (pers. obs.) and in open areas, such as grasslands and rice fields with Poaceae and Cyperaceae (Baldissera Jr, et al. 2004).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Bufo pombali can be found year-round, either by day or night, inside both forested or open areas, or even near man-made facilities (Sacramento 2004). Males of this species call at night from roadside puddles and temporary ponds. Bufo pombali is apparently an explosive breeder (pers. obs.). Shortly after heavy rains we found several amplectant pairs, as well as egg strings, frequently in lentic water such as roadside puddles, or less often in running waters with low turbulence (Eterovick and Barata 2006; pers. obs.).

The general population biology is unknown but the species is locally abundant throughout its range (Feio et al. 1998; Feio and Ferreira 2005; pers. obs.). Abundance increases between September and March (Sacramento 2004).

The tadpole remains formally undescribed, but resembles those from the B. crucifer species group (see photo by Mario A. Sacramento on CalPhotos).

Eterovick (2000) carried out field experiments on the feeding ecology of B. pombali tadpoles and pointed out that there was a difference in the number and volume of food items eaten by aggregated vs. isolated tadpoles. This result was mainly related to the amount of cyanophytes and heterotrophic organisms, which can result in differences in growth rate; aggregated tadpoles may thus have some advantage in food ingestion (Eterovick 2000).

Trends and Threats
Its range is within protected areas, like the Nova Baden State Park, at Lambari-MG, (Sacramento 2004), Ibitipoca State Park, at Lima Duarte-MG (Feio 1990), Rio Doce State Park (Feio et al. 1998) and Reserva Particular do Patrimônio Natural da Serra do Caraça, at Catas Altas-MG (Eterovick and Barata 2006).

Bufo pombali can apparently withstand some habitat modification, and seems to be able to live even in areas near man-made facilities (pers. obs.).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Disturbance or death from vehicular traffic
Drainage of habitat
Habitat fragmentation
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants
Long-distance pesticides, toxins, and pollutants

The epithet of this species was given in honor of the Prof. José Perez Pombal Jr., Ph.D. (Museu Nacional-RJ, Brazil).

For additional resources, see:

Pereyra, M. O., B. L. Blotto, D. Baldo, J. C. Chaparro, S. R. Ron, A. J. Elias-Costa, P. P. Iglesias, P. J. Venegas, M. T. C. Thomé, J. J. Ospina-Sarria, N. M. Maciel, M. Rada, F. Kolenc, C. Borteiro, M. Rivera-Correa, F. J. M. Rojas-Runjaic, J. Moravec, I. De la Riva, W. C. Wheeler, S. Castroviejo-Fisher, T. Grant, C. F. B. Haddad, and J. Faivovich. 2021. Evolution in the genus Rhinella: A total evidence phylogenetic analysis of Neotropical True Toads (Anura: Bufonidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 447: 1–156 [link]

Thomé, M.T.C., et al. 2010. Phylogeography of endemic toads and Post-Pliocene persistence of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 55: 1018–1031. [link]

Thomé, M.T.C., K.R. Zamudio, C.F.B. Haddad, and J. Alexandrino. 2012. Delimiting genetic units in Neotropical toads under incomplete lineage sorting and hybridization. BMC Evolutionary Biology 12: 242. [link]


Baldissera Jr, F. A., Caramaschi, U. and Haddad, C.F.B. (2004). ''Review of the Bufo crucifer species group, with descriptions of two new related species (Amphibia, Anura, Bufonidae).'' Arquivos do Museu Nacional, 62, 255-282.

Eterovick, P. C. (2000). ''Effects of aggregation on feeding of Bufo crucifer tadpoles (Anura, Bufonidae).'' Copeia, 2000, 210-215.

Eterovick, P. C., and Barata, I. M. (2006). ''Distribution of tadpoles within and among Brazilian streams: the influence of predators, habitat size and heterogeneity.'' Herpetologica, 62, 365-377.

Feio, R. N. (1990). Aspectos ecológicos dos anfibios registrados no Parque Estadual do Ibitipoca, MG. (Amphibia, Anura). Master's Thesis, UFRJ-MN, Rio de Janeiro.

Feio, R. N., Braga, U. M. L., Wiederhecker, H., and Santos, P. S. (1998). Anfíbios do Parque Estadual do Rio Doce (Minas Gerais). The Universidade Federal de Viçosa Press and Instituto Estadual de Florestas, Viçosa-MG, Brazil.

Feio, R. N., and Ferreira, P. L. (2005). ''Anfíbios de dois fragmentos de Mata Atlântica no municipio de Rio Novo, Minas Gerais.'' Revista Brasileira de Zoociências, 7, 121-128.

Frost, D. R. (2007). Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.1 (10 October 2007). Electronic Database accessible at American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA.

Sacramento, M. A. (2004). Análise da Diversidade de Anfí­bios do Parque Estadual Nova Baden, Lambari-MG. Research Report, UNIFAL-MG, Alfenas-MG, Brazil.

Originally submitted by: Diogo Borges Provete and Mario Antonio Sacramento (first posted 2008-07-30)
Comments by: Ann T. Chang (updated 2024-02-20)

Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2024-02-20)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2024 Rhinella pombali: sapo-cururu <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 15, 2024.

Feedback or comments about this page.


Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 15 Jun 2024.

AmphibiaWeb's policy on data use.