AmphibiaWeb - Atelopus andinus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Atelopus andinus Rivero, 1968
family: Bufonidae
genus: Atelopus
Species Description: Rivero, J.A. 1968. More on the Atelopus (Amphibia, Salientia) from western South America. Caribbean Journal of Science: 19-29.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Endangered (EN)
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).

Atelopus andinus is a slender toad; the type male of this species reaches 28 mm in total length and type female 34.9 mm. The head is approximately as long as it is wide. Total leg length is slightly shorter than snout vent length. And the foot is about a third of the snout vent length. Their skin is highly granular with a spiny texture that is concentrated on their eyelids, dorsolatera area, and posterior end. The limbs are less granular. Otherwise the description is similar to that of Atelopus spumarius (Rivero 1968).

Atelopus andinus can be differentiated from other Atelopus species by its grandular skin and color pattern. Specifically, Atelopus andinus is differentiated from Atelopus spumarius by having more dense tubercles, especially on the eyelid, dorsolateral area, and posterior end. Additionally, the dorsolateral band and dorsal spots are tan instead of ranging from green to green-yellow in Atelopus spumarius (Rivero 1968).

Atelopus andinus has a black dorsum with a tan dorsolateral band and tan dorsal spots (Rivero 1968). They exhibit bright colors, which serve as visual warnings that these frogs do secrete toxins in their skin (Lotters 2003).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
View Bd and Bsal data (1 records).
Atelopus andinus species is found in the upper the Río Pisqui, (Departamento Loreto), Río Biabo Valley (northern versant of the Cordillera Azul) (Departamento de San Martín), and Río Cachiyacu (on the border of Departamentos San Martín and Loreto), Peru. The toad’s recorded altitudinal range is between 1,000 - 2,000 m. This is a terrestrial species that inhabits submontane tropical forests. Breeding is thought to take place in streams. This species is thought to be heavily affected by habitat change, therefore it is unlikely to be found in altered or degraded habitats (Lotters et al. 2004).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Atelopus andinus is diurnal. The frogs prey primarily on small insects and other small organisms (Lotters 2003). When these frogs lay eggs, they come out in stringed clusters that are unpigmented in torrential streams.

Based on the study of other Atelopus tadpoles, it is likely tadpoles of this species possess a large ventral mouth, suctorial disk, a median anal tube, and breathe by using buccal pumping (Duellman and Lynch 1969).

Trends and Threats
The main threats to Atelopus andinus species are habitat degradation, destruction, and disease. Currently the population is declining. This species is present in the Parque Nacional Cordillera Azul. A disease management program is likely needed for successful conservation due to this species vulnerability to chytridiomycosis (Lotters et al. 2004).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss

The species authority is: Rivero, J.A. 1968. More on the Atelopus (Amphibia, Salientia) from western South America.Caribbean Journal of Science: 19-29.

Atelopus andinus was originally described as a subspecies to Atelopus spumarius (Rivero 1968) and elevated to species by Lötters and De la Riva (1998).


Duellman, W.E., Lynch, J.D. (1969). ''Description of Atelopus Tadpoles and Their Relevance to the Atelopoid Classication.'' Herpetologica, 25(4), 231-240.

Lotters, S. (2003). ''On the Systematics of the Harlequin Frogs (Amphibia: Bufonidae: Atelopus) From Amazonia. III: A New, Remarkably Dimorphic Species From the Cordillera Azul, Peru.'' Salamandra, 39(3/4), 169-180.

Lötters, S., De La Riva, I. (1998). ''Redescription of Atelopus tricolor Boulenger from southeastern Peru and adjacent Bolivia, with comments on related forms.'' Journal of Herpetology, 32(4), 481-488.

Lötters, S., Salas, A., Angulo, A., Icochea, J., Reynolds, R., La Marca E. (2004). Atelopus andinus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. Downloaded on 11 April 2014.

Rivero, J.A. (1968). ''More on the Atelopus (Amphibia, Salientia) from western South America.'' Caribbean Journal of Science, 8(1-2), 19-29.

Originally submitted by: Taylor Bonnet (first posted 2015-01-19)
Comments by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2022-07-12)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang, Michelle S. Koo (2023-08-04)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Atelopus andinus <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 20, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 Apr 2024.

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