Pleurodema marmoratum
Marbled Four-eyed Frog
family: Leptodactylidae

© 2011 Tiffany Kosch (1 of 4)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None



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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


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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.

Written by Raul E. Diaz (lissamphibia AT, AmphibiaWeb
First submitted 2004-08-27
Edited by Kellie Whittaker, updated by 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 Feb 18, 2020.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 Feb 2020.

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