AmphibiaWeb - Pristimantis pteridophilus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pristimantis pteridophilus (Lynch & Duellman, 1997)
family: Strabomantidae
genus: Pristimantis
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Eleutherodactylus pteridophilus is a member of the E. unistrigatus group. It is unique among west Ecuadorian frogs in lacking secondary sex characters and in having an extremely long fifth toe. The head is slightly narrower than body and is as wide as it is long. The snout is about as long as the eye’s diameter. Nostrils are weakly protuberant and directed dorsolaterally. The canthus rostralis is slightly angular and concave. The loreal region is flat and slopes abruptly to the weakly flared lips. The interorbital space is flat with the upper eyelid possessing low tubercles. The supratympanic fold and postrictal tubercles are indistinct. Vomerine odontophores lay posteromedially to the choanae and are separated medially by the width of one odontophore in males to one half width of odontophore in females.

Dorsal skin in males is smooth except for the few small warts on the upper flanks; in females there are small warts in the occipital region and the posterior part of the dorsum and larger warts on the flanks. The discoidal fold is well anterior to the groin. A pair of cloacal warts are present. The palmar tubercle is bifid (with inner lobe being the largest) and is much larger than the oval thenar tubercle. The fingers are long and slender. Fleshy fringes are present on the outer edge of the palm and finger IV. Discs on toes equal in size to those on fingers. Tip of toe V extends to distal edge of distal subarticular tubercle of toe IV.

In preservative the dorsum is pale to medium brown with dark marking consisting of interorbital bar, a W-shaped occipital mark, sacral chevron, suprainguinal spots, canthal-supratympanic stripe, and labial bars. In life, specimens had a green, tan, yellowish brown, or reddish brown dorsum with brown markings. Sides of the head, flanks and concealed regions of the limbs were yellowish.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Ecuador

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Individuals were found on ferns at the edge of the road at night in cloud forests. Their perch heights ranged from .2-2.5 m above the ground.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Males lack vocal slits. The call is a single “whoop.”

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss


Lynch, J. D. and Duellman, W.E. (1997). Frogs of the Genus Eleutherodactylus in Western Ecuador. The University of Kansas Natural History Museum, Lawrence, Kansas.

Originally submitted by: Raul E. Diaz (first posted 2004-12-14)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2005-09-06)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2005 Pristimantis pteridophilus <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 23, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 23 Jun 2024.

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