AmphibiaWeb - Eleutherodactylus intermedius


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Eleutherodactylus intermedius Barbour & Shreve, 1937
Pico Turquino Robber Frog, Oriente Dark-bellied Frog
Subgenus: Euhyas
family: Eleutherodactylidae
subfamily: Eleutherodactylinae
genus: Eleutherodactylus
Eleutherodactylus intermedius
© 2007 Ansel Fong (1 of 2)
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 intermedius is a tiny frog, with males reaching 17 mm and the larger females measuring up to 20 mm in SVL. The digits are small and the digital discs are absent. There is no webbing between the toes. The vomerine teeth, behind the choanae, are in a rather long series (Barbour and Shreve 1937; Schwartz and Henderson 1985; Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

These frogs are variable in color, from light gray, mottled with brown and darker gray, to very dark brown, variously marbled or mottled. In some individuals there are narrow, whitish dorsolateral streaks or a narrow, whitish mid-dorsal line. Other markings that may be present include a dark interocular bar, a canthal band, and a black band running from the eye along the supratympanic fold, all of them at times poorly defined or absent. Some individuals have a black spot near the groin. The venter is dark brown, densely covered with white or yellowish white spots. (Barbour and Shreve 1937; Schwartz and Henderson 1985; Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cuba

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View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
amphibiandisease logo View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).
This species is endemic to Cuba and it is found only in the Sierra Maestra and Sagua-Baracoa mountains, in eastern Cuba. This is a terrestrial species found in the leaf litter of rainforests at elevations between 500-1974 m (Schwartz and Henderson 1991)

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
These frogs are active by night, by day taking refuge under rocks, logs and other objects. Males seem to attend the clutch (parental care). Males vocalize from ground or very low vegetation. Calls consist of a series of evenly spaced “chirps”, although this frog typically gives a single note per call and only occasionally breaks into multiple-note calls. The dominant frequency is 2.9-3.0 kHz (Schwartz and Henderson 1991; Estrada 1992; Estrada and Hedges 1996).

Trends and Threats
This species is threatened by habitat destruction and deforestation, due to agriculture, woodcutting, disturbance from tourists, and infrastructure development for human settlement (Hedges and Diaz 2004).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

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

Eleutherodactylus intermedius is a member of the subgenus Euhyas (Heinicke et al. 2007).

This species was featured as News of the Week on 9 August 2021:

Amphibians are good study subjects to test whether differences in reproductive phenology may separate niche space and thus allow for increased numbers of co-occurring species given limited resources. Bignotte-Giró et al. (2021) studied five endemic Eleutherodactylus species* that coexist in a mountain rainforest in Cuba to test the hypothesis that in Neotropical humid sites, reproductive activity in sympatric species will vary in the time of occurrence in order to minimize complete temporal overlap. Reproductive phenology was inferred from seasonal variation in the number of sexually active individuals, their gonad developmental stage, and male vocal activity from January 2003 to March 2004. The study found no support for the hypothesis of temporal segregation in reproduction and instead found a prolonged reproductive pattern in all five species, with decreased breeding intensity in the cooler months (November–February). Thus, if niche diversification is occurring, it must be explained along different ecological parameters than reproductive phenology. (*E. auriculatus and E. dimidiatus are widely distributed across the island, whereas E. cuneatus, E. gundlachi, and E. intermedius are known only from the eastern ranges of Cuba.)


Barbour, T., and Shreve, B. (1937). “Novitates Cubanae.” Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology, 80(9), 377-387.

Estrada, A. R. (1992). ''Comentarios sobre Eleutherodactylus intermedius Barbour et Shreve, 1937 de la Región Oriental de Cuba.'' Comunicaciónes Breves de Zoología Academia de Ciencias de Cuba, Havana, 1992, 12-14.

Estrada, A.R. and Hedges, S.B. (1996). ''A new frog of the genus Eleutherodactylus from eastern Cuba (Anura: Leptodactylidae).'' Herpetologica, 52(3), 435-439.

Hedges, S. B. and Díaz, L. M. (2004). Eleutherodactylus intermedius. In: IUCN 2007. 2007 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 11 November 2007.

Heinicke, M. P., Duellman, W. E., Hedges, S. B. (2007). ''Major Caribbean and Central American frog faunas originated by ancient oceanic dispersal.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(24), 10092-10097.

Schwartz, A., and Henderson, R. W. (1985). A Guide to the Identification of the Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies Exclusive of Hispaniola. Milwaukee Public Museum, Inland Press, Milwaukee.

Schwartz, A., and Henderson, R. W. (1991). Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies. Descriptions, Distributions, and Natural History. University of Florida Press, Gainesville, Florida, USA.

Originally submitted by: Ansel Fong G. (first posted 2007-11-07)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2021-08-08)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Eleutherodactylus intermedius: Pico Turquino Robber Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 18, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Jun 2024.

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