This species is a member of the subgenus Eleutherodactylus. It is yellowish-brown dorsally without a distinct pattern, although the anterior region is darker brown in some specimens. Occasionally there are darker brown markings on the dorsum and flanks. The concealed surfaces of the hind limbs are similar in color to the dorsum. The venter is pale and lacks distinct markings. A faint brown supratympanic bar is present. The canthus rostralis is slightly concave from a dorsal view; there is no distinct canthal bar. The iris is grayish-bronze.
Its body appears flattened, and the head is wider than the body. The snout is short. While skin of the dorsum is smooth, the venter is moderately areolate. There is no webbing between the toes. The digital disks are large and conspicuous. The vomerine teeth are oval and posterior to the coanes. The chromosome number is 28. Adult size is moderate, averaging 35 mm (max 37.3 mm) in females and 30.7 mm (max 32.8 mm) in males (Hedges et al. 1992).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cuba
This species is endemic to Cuba. It is known only in Eastern Cuba, from an approximate elevation of 300 m to 1200 m, although it has been heard calling at elevations as low as 60 m (Hedges et al. 1992).
This frog is a representative in Cuba of the bromeliad ecomorph (species that live almost exclusively in bromeliads), and it is found in rainforests, pinewoods, disturbed vegetation and on coffee plantations.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
During the day specimens take refuge in arboreal bromeliads, although they can be found under tree bark or sporadically in leaf litter. At night, males vocalize from leaves and branches of trees and shrubs (at least 1 m from the ground) and from bromeliads high in trees (more than 2 m above the ground). Calls are series of hollow and slightly metallic “tocks” (2-10 notes), with the dominant frequency between 2.4-2.7 kHz. This frog is a direct-developing species. Clutches are deposited within the bases of bromeliad leaves (many times in Tillandsia sp.) at 0.6-3 m above the ground. The clutch size is 8-13 eggs, with large eggs ranging from 3 to 6 mm in diameter. The maximum period of incubation under artificial conditions is 20 days. This species exhibits male parental care of the clutch (Estrada 1990, Hedges et al. 1992, Townsend 1996, Fong, unpublished).
Trends and Threats
Some natural areas in Eastern Cuba have been degraded and substituted by pastures, inducing the extinction of this species in its original habitat. Nevertheless, it is able to survive in areas where coffee plantations have substituted natural vegetation (Fong 1999).
Habitat modification is considered the principal threat to this species (Vale et al. 1998).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Etymology- From Spanish: after the classic Cuban song of the same name, in allusion to the distribution of this species. Coincidentally, the five-syllable chorus of the song bears a resemblance to the call of this species (Hedges et al. 1992).
Related species- E. melacara, E. ionthus
Estrada, A.R. (1990). ''Las puestas de Eleutherodactylus varians (Gundlach et Peters).'' Biología, IV(2), 163-167.
Fong, A. (1999). ''Changes in amphibian composition in altered habitats in eastern Cuba.'' Froglog, 36, 2.
Hedges, S.B., Estrada, A.R., and Thomas, R. (1992). ''Three new species of Eleutherodactylus from eastern Cuba, with notes on vocalizations of other species (Anura: Leptodactylidae).'' Herpetological Monographs, 6, 68-83.
Townsend, D. S. (1996). ''Patterns of parental care in frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus.'' Contributions to West Indian herpetology: a tribute to Albert Schwartz, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles. R. Powell and R. W. Henderson, eds., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (Contributions in Herpetology), Ithaca, 229-239.
Vale, M., Alvarez, A., Montes, L., and Avila, A. (1998). Estudio Nacional sobre la Diversidad Biológica en la República de Cuba. CESYTA, Madrid.
Originally submitted by: Ansel Fong G. (first posted 2004-11-17)
Edited by: Anisha Gandhi (2014-02-27)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2014 Eleutherodactylus guantanamera: Guantanamera Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/2951> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 25, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 25 Mar 2023.
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