The only member of the genus Phyllomedusa to be completely terrestrial and overall dark brown in coloration. The genus Phyllomedusa is collectively known as the Leaf-frogs/monkey tree frogs due to their cataleptic movements as they move across trees. Duellman et al. (1988) express their surprise at finding a member of this genus to be terrestrial. A small species in which the male measures 37.4 mm and the female 44.6 SVL. This species differs from its congeners by the following characters: 1) dorsum brown with scattered metallic green flecks, 2) tympanum large (65-82% of eye diameter), 3) limbs short (tibia length 36-40% of SVL), 4) subarticular tubercles large, prominent, 5) phalanges and metatarsals (especially 4th toe) short and robust, 6) frontoparietals fused medially (no frontoparietal fontanelle visible dorsally), 7) palatines absent. Head tends to be large, slightly wider than body and lsightly longer than wide; 37.9-42.8% of SVL. Pupils elliptical. Order of fingers from shortest to longest 2-1-4-3. Nuptial excrescences weakly developed in breeding males. Limbs relatively short, tibia length is 36.8-40.5% SVL. Skin smooth dorsally; ventral skin surfaces granular. Purplish-brown dorsal coloration both day and night with green metallic flecks scattered. Lacks characteristic flash coloration in inguinal region. Iris pale creamy bonze with minute black flecks, eye-shine red-orangeVocal slits in males extend from the posterolateral base of the tongue to corner of mouth, vocal sac single, medial, and subgular. Well developed parotoid glands are present in this species, although they are not visible externally. Sacrum and coccyx are fused and vomerine teeth are absent (variable characters within Phyllomedusine frogs).
Tadpoles were collected at Orton Stage 27 (at 8 days): body length 7.5-9.0 mm, total length 22.5-25.5 mm. Spiracular tube short, flaplike, ventral, sinistral to midline opening at the center of the body. Snout is pale lime green and rest of body black wieth silvery blue belly and an elongate orange blotch on dorsal part of anterior half of dorsal fin.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil, Peru
Known from only two localities which are separated by approximately 270 km. Cuzco Amazonico (a reserve) on the Rio Madre de Dios, and the Rio Manu in the Parque Nacional Manu. Both are of seasonally dry rainforest habitat.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Individuals found during rainy season, individuals were found from 2230 and 0030 h on nights which were after overcast days with light rains of 20.0, 15.0, and 1.2 mm and temperatures of 18-32C. The majority of the captured specimens had been found on the wet leaf litter covered floor while one individual was found 10 cm above the ground on a stick. An amplectant pair was found while they were depositing eggs on a leaf above the ground at the edge of a shallow pool. Eggs of this species are enclosed in a leaf which the female wraps around the clutch. One clutch contains 20 unpigmented eggs 3 mm in diameter and many unembrionated capsules of clear jelly. Male calls are a soft "wort" lasting .2 s and a dominant frequency of 1150 Hz, and 180 pulses/s
Duellman, W. E., Cadle, J.E., and Cannatella, D.C. (1988). ''A new species of terrestrial Phyllomedusa (Anura: Hylidae) from southern Peru.'' Herpetologica, 44(1), 91-95.
Originally submitted by: Raul E. Diaz (first posted 2004-06-04)
Edited by: Tate Tunstall (2004-09-01)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2004 Phyllomedusa atelopoides <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/639> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Nov 27, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 27 Nov 2022.
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