AmphibiaWeb - Pleurodema marmoratum


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pleurodema marmoratum (Duméril & Bibron, 1840)
Marbled Four-eyed Frog
family: Leptodactylidae
subfamily: Leiuperinae
genus: Pleurodema

© 2011 Tiffany Kosch (1 of 4)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Vulnerable (VU)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (24 records).

Pleurodema marmoratum is a moderately large member of the genus (maximum SVL reached is 27.9 mm for males and 31.8 mm for females). The species was formerly known as Phrynopus spectabilis, with the specific epithet spectabilis being Latin for showy, remarkable and notable. This refers to a very unique quality of this species, and that is the incredibly large size of the testes (often taking up to one-third of the body cavity). Skin on dorsum is shagreen while the ventral is smooth. The first finger is longer than the second. Toes lack basal webbing but have lateral fringes. There are two metatarsal tubercles present, with the inner being approximately twice the size of the outer. The tarsus lacks tubercles but bears low folds distally. Dorsal coloration is tan with pattern of large and small dark brown markings. Vetran coloration is tan with or without small brown spots posterolaterally.

The head of P. marmoratum is narrower than the body but is slightly wider than long. The snout is acutely rounded in dorsal view while sloping anteroventrally from lateral view. Supratympanic fold moderately heavy,obscuring upper and posterodorsal edges of tympanum. The length of the tympanum is 50-59.3% length of the eye. Vocal slits extend from midlateral base of the tongue toward angle of jaws. Vocal sac is single, median, and subgular. Toes moderately short, unwebbed, bearing narrow lateral fringes; toes III and IV are equal in length. In life the species is a dull green above and bright yellow below.

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bolivia, Chile, Peru


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (24 records).
Known only from the type locality in the Rio Santa Valley between the Cordillera Negra and the Cordillera Blanca in northern Peru. Frogs were found under stones in a grassy meadow.

High elevation tropical environments are experiencing rapid change as a consequence of climate warming, and their glaciers are melting quickly. The ongoing deglaciation is opening up new aquatic habitats for pond-breeding amphibians. Seimon et al. (2017) describe the vertical migration of Pleurodema marmoratum, Rhinella spinulosa and Telmatobius marmoratum to newly deglaciated ponds up to elevations of 5400 m in the Andean Cordillera de Vilcanota of Peru.

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Frogs were found under stones in a grassy meadow.

Trends and Threats
Over the past decade, the newly established anuran populations have endured chytrid epizootics, changes in pond hydrology, and sharp reduction in the abundance of T. marmoratus. Despite these challenges, the three species continue to breed in this system of connected wetlands, and populations of T. marmoratus have recently recovered, possibly because individuals have acquired greater resistance to chytridiomycosis.

This account was originally for Phrynopus spectabilis which is now a synonym of Pleurodema marmoratum.


Duellman, W. E. (2000). ''Leptodactylid frogs of the genus Phrynopus in northern Peru with descriptions of three new species.'' Herpetologica, 56(3), 273-285.

Seimon TA, Seimon A, Yager K, Reider K, Delgado A, Sowell P, Tupayachi A, Konecky B, McAloose D, Halloy S (2017). ''Long-term monitoring of tropical alpine habitat change, Andean anurans, and chytrid fungus in the Cordillera Vilcanota, Peru: Results from a decade of study.'' Ecology and Evolution, 7(5), 1527–1540.

Originally submitted by: Raul E. Diaz (first posted 2004-08-27)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Alessandro Catenazzi and Sierra Raby (2017-04-25)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2017 Pleurodema marmoratum: Marbled Four-eyed Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 14, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 14 Apr 2024.

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