Telmatobius gigas Vellard, 1969
© 2014 Arturo Munoz (1 of 4)
Large, low head, rounded in profile, with a moderately long snout that is slightly subacuminate. Nares are dorsolateral and not protuberant, positioned either halfway between eye and snout tip, or closer to eyes. Eyes are moderately large and oriented anteriorly. Canthus rostralis is not very distinct. Loreal region is concave. Lips are thick and flared. Vomerine teeth are located between the choanae, with each ridge bearing three small, pointed teeth. Tympanum is lacking. Supratympanic fold is present but short and weakly defined. Postcommissural gland is absent. Fingers are not webbed. Fingertips are slightly enlarged. Finger II has slight lateral fringe. Hindlimbs are relatively short and toes are webbed. Skin is rugose and bears small rounded and flattened pustules. Ventral discoidal fold present. Posterior thigh skin slightly loose. Males have nuptial excrescences consisting of thick pads of small black spicules on the inner surface of Finger I. One male had small keratinized spicules on the chest (de la Riva 2002).
Dorsal surfaces are olive-green with tiny dark spots on small green pustules (two females), or brown with dark irregular lichenous blotching (males). Flanks shade to beige with pale beige-yellowish pustules. Venter is cream with small gray dots (de la Riva 2002).
Telmatobius gigas females differ from sympatric T. marmoratus females in having larger size (T. gigas maximum female SVL is 109 mm, vs. 69 mm in T. “marmoratus” (Vellard, 1953), more robust bodies and shorter hindlimbs, mottled ventral coloration (cream with gray mottling in T. gigas vs. uniformly cream in T. “marmoratus”), dorsal coloration (olive-green with tiny dark spots in female T. gigas vs. gray to brown with or without pattern in female T. "marmoratus") and eyes placed frontally (vs. eyes frontolateral in T. "marmoratus"). Telmatobius gigas males have longer snouts and more flared lips than sympatric T. "marmoratus". In addition, Telmatobius gigas can be distinguished from T. culeus (the other giant form of Telmatobius) by a greater head height, larger eyes, less pointed snout, lack of baggy skin on flanks and limbs, and smaller maximum size (109 mm SVL in female T. gigas vs. 134 mm SVL in female T. culeus) (de la Riva 2002).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bolivia
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Drainage of habitat
Stuart, S., Hoffmann, M., Chanson, J., Cox, N., Berridge, R., Ramani, P., Young, B. (eds) (2008). Threatened Amphibians of the World. Lynx Edicions, IUCN, and Conservation International, Barcelona, Spain; Gland, Switzerland; and Arlington, Virginia, USA.
Vellard, J. (1970). ''Contribución al estudio de los batracios andinos.'' Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, 10, 1-21.
Vellard, J. 1968 (1969). ''Les Telmatobius du group marmoratus.'' Bulletin du Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, 40, 1110–1113.
de la Riva, I. (2002). ''Rediscovery and taxonomic status of Telmatobius marmoratus gigas Vellard, 1969 ''1968'' (Anura: Leptodactylidae).'' Herpetologica, 58, 220-228.
Originally submitted by: Kellie Whittaker (first posted 2009-11-01)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2023-05-27)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Telmatobius gigas <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/5975> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 29, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 29 May 2023.
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