AmphibiaWeb - Gastrotheca andaquiensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Gastrotheca andaquiensis Ruiz-Carranza & Hernández-Camacho, 1976
family: Hemiphractidae
genus: Gastrotheca
Gastrotheca andaquiensis
© 2010 Division of Herpetology, University of Kansas (1 of 1)
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: Gastrotheca andaquiensis can be distinguished by the following combination of characters: lack of co-ossified epicranial skin; short, pointed dermal appendages above the orbits and on the heels; enlarged frontoparietal; distinct tympanum; absence of dorsolateral skin folds; relatively long hind limbs; large digital discs; granulated dorsal surfaces; distinctive coloration; a brooding "pouch" on the back with a longitudinal, medial, posterior external opening; and direct-developing offspring that complete development within the "pouch" (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho, 1976). In contrast to the original description which stated that co-ossification was present, the holotype's lack of co-ossified epicranial skin was noted by Duellman, 1989, and Mueses-Cisneros, 2005).

Description: A large species of Gastrotheca, reaching up to 77 mm SVL (Duellman 1989) The holotype was described as follows by Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho (1976), except where noted. Body is robust, with post-axillary width significantly wider than the head. The epicranial skin is not co-ossified; although co-ossification was stated to be present in the original description by Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho (1976), Duellman (1989) and Mueses-Cisneros (2005) found otherwise in re-examining the holotype). The snout is broadly rounded in dorsal view, almost truncate in lateral profile, with the upper lip projecting just slightly. Canthus rostralis is well-defined; in dorsal view, the canthi form weakly concave arcs. The dorsal surface of the snout is slightly concave between the canthi. The loreal region is also slightly concave. Nares are subcircular and slightly prominent, directed anterolaterally, and nearer to the snout tip than to the eyes. A large pit is present beneath each nostril. Prevomerine dentigerous processes are present between the choanae. The orbit is slightly wider than the eye-nostril distance, and the interorbital width is much greater than the width of the upper eyelid. The tympanum is ovoid and well-defined, with the major axis inclined obliquely and anterodorsally. Prominent supratympanic crest extends only to the scapular region The forearm is significantly more robust than the upper arm. No ulnar fold is present. Finger I is nearly equal in length to Finger II. Finger II reaches the level of the terminal half of the disc of Finger IV, but does not reach as far as the base of the disc of Finger III. Webbing is greatly reduced in the hands. Discs are well-developed. Subarticular palmar tubercles are transversely oblong. Palmar tubercle is bifid. Pectoral skinfold may be absent. Toes IV and V are subequal. Toe II is longer than Toe I, according to the original description, but Duellman (1989) notes that the first and second toes are of equal length. Subarticular plantar tubercles are rounded. Metatarsals each bear a longitudinal row of accessory tubercles. A calcar is present, slightly compressed dorsoventrally. Dorsal skin is conspicuously granular, with irregular alternation of tiny granules and larger granules, including the flanks and limbs but excluding the upper lip and medial nasolabial skin adjacent to the nostrils. Gular region has large granules. Upper eyelid has a small blunt skin process ca. 1 mm long and a row of slightly larger granules. A pouch is present on the suprascapular region, with the opening longitudinal, medial, posterior, and deeply sunken. Ventral surfaces (excluding limbs) have granular skin, with the largest and most prominent granules on the belly and thigh. Upper arms and forearms have finely granulated ventral surfaces. Anal ridge has four protrusions. Two conspicuously larger granules are present on each side of the posterior end of the pubic symphysis, forming an arc of posterior convexity (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976).

In life, this species is sexually dimorphic in coloration, with males being brown and females green according to Lynch (pers. comm., cited in Hoffman and Blouin 2000). However, a smaller male (49.5 mm) was noted by Duellman and Lynch (1988) as being pale green with a suffusion of bronze on the dorsolateral part of the body and on the upper arms and the thighs. Toepads are jade green and the iris is pale green (Duellman and Lynch 1988). Duellman (1989) also notes that the dorsal coloration is extremely variable, ranging from uniform green to reddish spots on a green background, and that the tongue and buccal cavity are blue.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia, Ecuador

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Occurs in southern Colombia (Departamentos Caquetá, Huila, and Putumayo, on the Amazonian slopes of the Andes: Lutz 1977, as G. humbertoi; Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1979; Duellman 1989; Ruiz-Carranza et al. 1996; Mueses-Cisneros 2005) and Ecuador (Provincias Sucumbios, Napo, Pastazo, Morona Santiago: Duellman 1988; Duellman and Lynch 1988), at elevations of 1,100-2,000 m asl. The type locality is in the Suaza River Valley (a tributary of the upper Río Magdalena), in the Parque Nacional Cueva de los Guácharos, Departamento de Huila, Colombia, at 2,000 m (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976). Habitat is cloudforest with abundant epiphytes (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species is a member of the group known as marsupial frogs, which carry their developing embryos in specialized brood pouches on the back (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976). Development is directly into froglets, bypassing the tadpole stage; this species produces a clutch of about 10 large eggs, each 9 mm in diameter (Elinson et al. 1990). G. andaquiensis is arboreal and is found on vegetation adjacent to water bodies within cloudforest (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976).

Trends and Threats
Although the species is classified as Near Threatened, the population trend appears to be stable. Major threats include deforestation due to increased livestock ranching and agriculture (both legal and illegal), logging, and increasing human settlement, as well as agricultural pollution due to spraying of illegal crops (Stuart et al. 2008).

It is not clear whether this species might be able to adapt to disturbed habitat; there is one report of a smaller male specimen (49.5 mm SVL) collected from cloudforest with more open canopy and abundant treefalls, in a flat area on a ridge of the Cordillera de Cutucú, Ecuador, at 1,700 m (Duellman and Lynch 1988).

The type locality is within the Parque Nacional Cueva de los Guácharos, Huila, Colombia (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976), and Gastrotheca andaquiensis is included in the park's 2005-2009 management plan. In Ecuador the range of G. andaquiensis overlaps with five protected areas: Parque Nacional Sumaco Napo-Galeras, Parque Nacional Llanganates, and Parque Nacional Sangay, Reserva Ecológica Cayambe-Coca and Reserva Ecológica Antisana (Stuart et al. 2008).

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

The specific epithet refers to the indigenous Andaquíes tribe (Chibcha linguistic family). This tribe inhabits the slopes of the southern part of the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia, where the type locality for G. andaquiensis is found (Ruiz-Carranza and Hernández-Camacho 1976).

G. humbertoi was synonymized with G. andaquiensis by Duellman (1989).


Duellman, W. E. (1989). ''Lista anotada y clave de los sapos marsupiales (Anura: Hylidae: Gastrotheca) de Colombia.'' Caldasia, 16, 105-111.

Duellman, W. E., and Lynch, J. D. (1988). ''Anuran amphibians from the Cordillera de Cutucú, Ecuador.'' Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 140, 125-142.

Elinson, R. P., del Pino, E. M., Townsend, D. S., Cuesta, F. C., and Eichhorn, P. (1990). ''A practical guide to the developmental biology of terrestrial-breeding frogs.'' Biological Bulletin, 179, 163-177.

Hoffman, E., and Blouin, M. (2000). ''A review of colour and pattern polymorphisms in anurans.'' Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 70, 633-665.

Lutz, B. (1977). ''New Hylidae (Amphibia-Anura) from Colombia.'' Boletim do Museu Nacional. Nova Serie, Zoologia, 290, 1-12.

Mueses-Cisneros, J. J. (2005). ''Fauna anfibia del Valle de Sibundoy, Putumayo-Colombia.'' Caldasia, 27, 229-242.

Plan de Manejo 2005-2009, Parque Nacional Natural Cueva de los Guácharos. Ministerio de Ambiente Vivienda y Desarrollo Territorial, Unidad Administrativa Especial del Sistema de Parques Nacionales Naturales, 2005. Available online.

Ruiz-Carranza, P. M., and Hernández-Camacho, J. I. (1976). ''Gastrotheca andaquiensis, nueva especie de la Cordillera Oriental de Colombia (Amphibia, Anura).'' Caldasia, 11, 149-158.

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.

Originally submitted by: Kellie Whittaker (first posted 2010-08-01)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-08-11)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Gastrotheca andaquiensis <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 21, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Jun 2024.

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