E. unicolor is a small species, in average 15mm SVL. The color is grayish brown with a pair of light lines from the eyes to the dorsal side of the thighs. The digital disks are very small and the legs are very muscular compared with other Eleutherodactylus of Puerto Rico (Rivero 1998) .
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Puerto Rico
This species is found above 600m only in the Sierra de Luquillo, northeast Puerto Rico. Most of the area is elfin forest. The species lives and calls under the roots, moss and rocks (Rivero, 1998).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The calls has been described as the sound when running a fingernail along the teeth of a comb. It is very abundant in the area. Calls during the afternoon and night. During the hot months the calling activity decreases (Rivero, 1998).
Trends and Threats
Since the species is found only in the Sierra de Luquillo, it is considered threatened due to the limited distribution. It has no risks from urban developments because the whole area is protected as part of the Caribbean National Forest of the United States Forest Service.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
It is not known if E. unicolor was originally restricted to the Sierra de Luquillo or if its distribution included other elfin forests in the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico. The intense agriculture that destroyed most of the forested areas of the island up to the first half of the 20th century may have pushed this species to extinction in the rest of its habitat. The Sierra de Luquillo was protected since the Spanish crown took Puerto Rico as a colony in the 15th century.
Rivero, J.A. (1998). Los Anfibios y Reptiles de Puerto Rico. University of Puerto Rico Press
Originally submitted by: Luis J. Villanueva-Rivera (first posted 2004-11-07)
Edited by: JG (2008-02-03)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Eleutherodactylus unicolor: Puerto Rican Elfin Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/3257> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 22, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.
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