Telmatobius degener belongs to a clade where there are no proposed synapomorphies supporting the monophyly of Telmatobius, Telmatobiini, Telmatobinae, or Leptodactylidae, though the presumptive synapomorphies for the group are (1) frontoparietals fused posteriorly, and (2) nuptial excresence on Finger 1 only (which are not universal across all Telmatobius). T. degener can be differentiated from its congeners by the following combination of characters: (1) premaxillary teeth absent, (2) tympanum absent, (3) nuptial spines are moderately large, distinctly conical on thumb, (4) dorsal coloration is gray to brown, (5) ventral coloration is yellowish cream with gray speckling, (6) dorsal skin is smooth. T. degener members are small, males reaching 48.9 mm SVL, females reaching 49.6 SVL. The following osteological characters aid in identification: (1) palatine reduced, (2) crista parotica short, (3) otic capsule large, (4) sphenethmoid poorly ossified, (5) jaw articulation at (not posterior to) level of crista parotica, (6) zygomatic ramus of squamosal very short, (7) columella reduced to small spherical nubbin, (8)transverse processes of posterior presacral vertebrae very short and thick. Head is equal to or slightly narrower than the body. Head width is 31.1-34.3% of SVL. Canthus rostralis is indistinct when viewed dorsally and slightly elevated when viewed laterally. Supratympanic fold is weakly developed. Relative length of fingers: III>IV³I>II. Relative toe lengths: IV>III>V>II>I. Color in life is unknown.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru
Known only from its type locality in the Cordillera Occidental.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The type series were collected in a densely vegetated marsh in an open pasture adjacent to the road. The habitat was very humid Sub-Alpine Forest. Frogs were abundant and active during the day. It is sympatric with Telmatobius thompsoni.
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Wiens, J. J. (1993). ''Systematics of the leptodactylid frog genus Telmatobius in the Andes of Northern Peru.'' Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History of the University of Kansas, (162), 1-76.
Originally submitted by: Raul E. Diaz (first posted 2004-08-27)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2004-09-01)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2004 Telmatobius degener <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/6297> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 16, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 Oct 2021.
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