AmphibiaWeb - Atelopus nanay


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Atelopus nanay Coloma, 2002
family: Bufonidae
genus: Atelopus
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Critically Endangered (CR)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Females measure around 36 mm SVL and males measure around 25 mm SVL. The head is as wide as it is long, with a triangular skull. The snout is truncate in dorsal view. The eyelid and canthus rostralis are flared. Tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus are absent. Vocal slits are present. Dorsal surfaces are smooth with a few wrinkles on the head and limbs. Warts are present in temporal area. The flanks has a few scattered and barely raised spiculae. The throat, chest, belly, and undersides of the forearm are rugose. Cloacal opening with surrounding skin is heavily wrinkled. Males have vocal slits and keratinized nuptial pads covering the dorsal and lateral surfaces of the thumb and the second finger. Fingers lack webbing and lateral fringes. Relative finger length is III>IV>II>I, with rounded pads on the digit tips. No folds are present on the distal end of the inner tarsus. Webbing covers all of the toes except for a portion of the fourth toe. Relative toe length is IV>V=III>II>I. While the thenar, palmar, and subarticular tubercles are distinct, the supernumerary palmar tubercle is absent.

The dorsum is black, with white spiculae on the flanks. The palmar and plantar tubercles are cream. The gular region has brown marks while the venter is black to cream with green and brown marks.

Tadpoles are Orton type IV and gastromyzophorous. They measure 16.2 mm in total length at stage 28. The body is elongately ovoid, and compressed dorsoventrally. The body is also constricted at the level of the eyes and at the spiracle. The eyes are dorsal and directed dorsolaterally. The tip of the tail is rounded. The spiracle is sinistral and half-free, while the vent is short and medial. Labia form an oral disc and surround the ventrally located mouth. Both marginal and submarginal papillae are present. Labial tooth row formula is 2/3. A large ventral suctorial disc covers the area from the posterior labium to the end of the body. The tadpole bodies are entirely black while the fins are clear with black specks.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Ecuador

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Atelopus nanay was found at Las Tres Cruces at an elevation of 4000 m in the Provincia Azuay, in Ecuador. The type locality is herbaceous paramo habitat in the Cordillera Occidental, with annual mean precipitation of 1000–2000 mm and annual mean temperature of 3–6 degrees C. The type locality has numerous interconnected pools, with some frogs active close to streams and springs and others found sheltering under rocks.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species was last seen alive in 1989. It is diurnal, like other Atelopus. Atelopus nanay was found syntopically with several other species of frogs: Eleutherodactylus cryophilius, Telmatobius niger, and Gastrotheca pseustes.

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.


The specific name nanay means sadness in Quechua, deriving from the extinction of many species of Atelopus frogs in the Ecuadorian Andes.


Coloma, L. (2002). ''Two new species of Atelopus (Anura: Bufonidae) from Ecuador.'' Herpetologica, 58(2), 229-252.

Originally submitted by: Keith Lui (first posted 2008-10-09)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2008-11-18)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Atelopus nanay <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 19, 2024.

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

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