AmphibiaWeb - Telmatobufo australis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Telmatobufo australis Formas, 1972
Pelado Mountains False Toad
family: Calyptocephalellidae
genus: Telmatobufo
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Diagnosis: Telmatobufo australis lacks an interocular yellow area, which distinguishes the species from T. bullock. It is also characterized by two yellow paravertebral lines, longer legs, larger choanae, reduced webbing of the toes, dorsal corneal spines in the adult and thinner limbs (Formas 1972).

Description: T. australis is a robust, toad-like frog, with long, slender limbs. Adults attain lengths of about 40 - 77 mm in SVL (Formas 1972; Formas et al. 1979). The head is round in dorsal view, slightly wider than long, and comprises 48% of the SVL. The parotoid glands are large and oval. The pupils are vertical and the tympanum is indistinct. Individuals possess maxillary and premaxillary teeth as well as provomerine teeth. The skin on the back is smooth with various sized and shaped glands. The heel of the adpressed hind limb reaches the middle of parotoid (Formas 1972).

Tadpole morphology: The larvae are of the "mountain stream type" (Orton, 1953), and attain lengths of up to 49 mm in total length with the tail being slightly longer than body length at stage 27. The eyes are situated dorsally. The mouth is broad, as wide as maximum body width, ventrally located, and completely surrounded by 2 or 3 rows of papillae. The dorsal and ventral tail fin is most extensive on the posterior of the tail (Formas 1972). At the completion of metamorphosis, juveniles are around 35 mm SVL. (Formas et al. 2001)

Coloration: Adults have a dark grey dorsum and limbs, with two white or yellow paravertebral lines. The venter is translucent grey. Juveniles are dark green with yellow dorsal stripes. Larvae are dark brown dorsally and white ventrally (Formas 1972).

Variation: The parotoid gland of juveniles is more rounded than in adults and corneal spines are absent. (Formas 1972). Webbing of the toes may also vary (Formas and Pugin 1979).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Chile

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T. australis, is endemic to Chile, and is known only from the western and eastern slopes of the Coastal Range, in Valdivia and Osorno Province in Chile. Ranging from 0-1000 m, it occurs in and around cold, fast-flowing streams (5-10° C) in cool, humid forests dominated by Nothofagus (Southern Beech Tree). Adults can be found under rocks (Formas 1972; Veloso et al. 2004).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Adults have been found beneath rocks and rotten logs during June and August, and in small streams during September and October. Males have been observed, calling from the edges of streams in October, which is speculated to be a warning call (Formas et al. 2001). Tadpoles, present throughout the year, can adhere to submerged rocks with their oral suckers while feeding on algae, and they have been observed swimming upstream against strong currents (Formas 1972).

Males possess nuptial excrescences (prominent warty spines) on the dorsal side of the thumbs (Formas and Pugin 1979), a trait present in March, August, and October, and possibly year round (Formas et al. 2001). Females examined, contained an average of 99 pale yellow oocytes 8.4 mm in diameter.

Other anurans occurring within the range of T. austalis are Eupsophus emiliopugini, E. roseus, E. miguel, E. vertebralis, Batrachyla leptopus, B. taeniata, Pleurodema thaul, Alsodes sp., Rhinoderma darwinii, Insuetophrynus acarpicus, and Bufo variegates (Formas et al. 2001)

Trends and Threats
T. australis is rarely seen, and known only from a few small, disjunct populations, none occurring in protected areas (Stuart et al. 2008). Its main threat is the siltation of streams where tadpoles feed. This is caused by the clear cutting of nearby forests and the introduction of exotic species (Velos et al. 2004).

The IUCN recommends the protection of Valdivian forests (Velos et al. 2004).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Local pesticides, fertilizers, and pollutants


Formas, J. R. and Pugin, E. (1979). ''New observations of Telmatobufo australis (Anura, Leptodactylidae) in southern Chile.'' Journal of Herpetology, 13(3), 359-361.

Formas, J.R. (1972). ''A second species of the Chilean frog genus Telmatobufo (Anura: Leptodactylidae).'' Journal of Herpetology, 6(1), 1-3.

Formas, J.R., Núñez, J.J. and Brieva, L.M. (2001). ''Osteología, taxonomía y relaciones filogenéticas de las ranas del género Telmatobufo (Leptodactylidae).'' Revista Chilena de Historia Natural,

Orton, G.L. (1953). ''Systematics of vertebrate larvae.'' Systematic Zoology, 2, 63-75.

Rabanal, Felipe E. “ Anfibios de Chile”.

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.

Veloso, Alberto, Herman Núñez, Ramón Formas, Jose Núñez 2004. Telmatobufo australis. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.1. Downloaded on 19 May 2010.

Originally submitted by: Sam McNally (first posted 2010-06-24)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Mingna (Vicky) Zhuang (2012-02-16)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Telmatobufo australis: Pelado Mountains False Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jul 19, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 19 Jul 2024.

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