Eleutherodactylus unicolor
Coquí Duende
Subgenus: Eleutherodactylus
family: Eleutherodactylidae
subfamily: Eleutherodactylinae
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Vulnerable (VU)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

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


View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.
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
Habitat fragmentation

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

Written by Luis J. Villanueva-Rivera (eljvillanueva AT, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus
First submitted 2004-11-07
Edited by JG (2008-02-03)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2008 Eleutherodactylus unicolor: Coquí Duende <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 20, 2019.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 May 2019.

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