AmphibiaWeb - Telmatobius atahualpai


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Telmatobius atahualpai Wiens, 1993
family: Telmatobiidae
genus: Telmatobius
Species Description: Wiens, J.J. 1993. Systematics of the leptodactylid frog genus Telmatobius in the Andes of northern Peru. Occ. Papers of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas 162: 1–76.

© 2009 Alessandro Catenazzi (1 of 2)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
National Status None
Regional Status None



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Telmatobius atahualpai belongs to a clade where there are no proposed synapomorphies supporting the monophyly of Telmatobius, Telmatobiini, Telmatobinae, or Leptodactylidae, though the presumptive synapomorphies for the group are (1) frontoparietals fused posteriorly, and (2) nuptial excresence on Finger 1 only (which are not universal across all Telmatobius). T. atahualpai has been placed within Telmatobius based on the presence of long, recurved, fanglike teeth on the maxilla, premaxilla, and vomer, a condition Wiens (1993) has found in all the Telmatobius in his study. This character is also found in the closely related Alsodes and Insuetophrynus. T. atahualpai is located closer to the rest of the Telmatobius in the northern Andes (rather than the other two Patagonian genera) and is thus placed within the genus (not a very strong argument for taxonomic placement). This species can be differentiated from its congeners based on the following characters (1) premaxillary teeth present, (2) tympanum present, (3) dorsum, in life, is black with green flecks, (4) ventral coloration is an unpatterned gray, (5) dorsal skin is smooth.

Head is slightly narrower than the body; head is wider than long (head width is 34.2-36.6% SVL). Nostrils are not protuberant and are located at the anteriormost portion of the snout. Snout is short and bluntly rounded. Tympanum is absent. Relative lengths of fingers are as follows: III>I³IV>II; webbing and lateral fringes absent. Relative toe lengths: V>IV=III>II>I. Cloacal opening is round, unornamented and located at upper level of thigh.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Restricted to the westernmost ridge of the Cordillera Central between 3450 and 3600 m. The habitat is very humid Sub-alpine Páramo.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
All specimens were found under rocks during the day at the edge of streams.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss


Wiens, J. J. (1993). ''Systematics of the leptodactylid frog genus Telmatobius in the Andes of Northern Peru.'' Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History of the University of Kansas, (162), 1-76.

Originally submitted by: Raul E. Diaz (first posted 2004-08-27)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2023-02-26)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Telmatobius atahualpai <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 27, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 27 Sep 2023.

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