AmphibiaWeb - Telmatobius truebae
Telmatobius truebae Wiens, 1993
Trueb's Water Frog
family: Telmatobiidae
genus: Telmatobius
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Telmatobius truebae 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. trubae differs from its congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) premaxillary teeth present, (2) tympanum absent, (3) nuptial spines large, conical, on dorsal surface of thumb – nuptial pad separate from inner palmar tubercle, (4) in life, the dorsum is a dull brown, gray, or olive-green with or without darker spots, (5) skin of dorsum is usually (82%) with warts, (6) ventral coloration is gray, usually (90%) with yellow to lavender mottling on underside of limbs. Some osteological apomorphies are: (1) nasal not slender and not distinctly curved anteriorly (at midlength), (2) zygomatic ramus of squamosal shorter, (3) median processof sphenethmoid absent and does not extend between nasals, (4) median ramus of pterygoid not bent posteiorly or expanded at articulation with prootic, (5) tympanic annulus not reduced to paired vestiges, (6) posterior margin of coronoid process of angulosplenial is convex. Presacral VIII and sacral vertebrae not fused. Max SVL for males is 68.9 mm, for females it is 82.0 mm. The head is as wide or narrower than body. Nostrils are on the anterior terminus of snout and not protuberant. Canthus rostralis is indistinct and concave in dorsal view. Tympanic annulus present. Supratympanic fold usually well developed, often strongly warty; there is a vertical fold posterior to jaw that is thick. Relative length of fingers are: III>I>IV>II. Relative toe lengths: IV>V³III>II>I. Skin of venter, flanks, and limbs smooth. Skin ventral to cloaca pustular. Cloacal opening round and unornamented at mid-upper level of thigh. There is a transverse fold dorsal to the cloaca in some individuals. In life, specimes were a dull olive-green to dark gray with finter spots by day. At night, the olive-green to tan with dark olive-green, brown or black spots. Venter and posterior surfaces of thighs dark gray. Belly gray, iris is gold with black flecks. A tadpole at Gosner (1960) stage 35 was taken from the type locality and has the following characters: total length 75.2 mm, body length 29.5 mm, basal tail muscle height 8.6 mm, body ovoid in dorsal and lateral view. Mouth large, anteroventral, oral disc ovoid, marginal papillae arranged in double row posteriorly, single row laterally and anteriorly. In life, the tadpole’s body and caudal musculature mottled olive-brown with greenish-olive and olive-black flecks. Gray ventral coloration with lavender anteriorly. Fins translucent tan with dark brown flecks; iris pale yellowish.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Known from several localities in the Cordillera Oriental (See Fig. 1 in Wiens, 1993 for map) at elevations from 2150-3470 m. This species is found in humid lower Montane Forest, very humid Montane Forest, and very humid Subalpine Páramo.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Forelimbs pustulate in some males. Specimens were collected under rocks in or along streams by day and in drainage ditches by night (in Pomacochas).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss


Gosner, K. L. (1960). ''A simplified table for staging anuran embryos and larvae with notes on identification.'' Herpetologica, 16(3), 183-190.

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 (2004-09-01)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2004 Telmatobius truebae: Trueb's Water Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Feb 7, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 7 Feb 2023.

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