AmphibiaWeb - Allophryne relicta


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Allophryne relicta Caramaschi, Orrico, Faivovich, Dias & Solé, 2013
family: Allophrynidae
genus: Allophryne
Species Description: Caramaschi U, Orrico VGD, Faivovitch J, Dias IR, Sole M. 2013 A new species of Allophryne (Anura: Allophryidae)from the Atlantic rain forest biome of Eastern Brazil. Herpetologica 69: 480-491.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None



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Allophryne relicta has a male the snout vent length range of 19.9 - 21.9 mm. No females were collected at the time of discovery. The heads are large with a width generally around 35% of the snout vent length. The head length is smaller than the head width. The eyes are large and placed laterally and oriented forward. The snout is truncated and does not protrude out. There is a visible and distinct tympanum, which is small and circular. The dorsal margin contains a supratympanic fold. These frogs have slender bodies and smooth dorsal surfaces with small rounded tubercles. They have robust forelimbs with forearms that are slightly wider than the upper arm. The large hands have well-developed elliptical inner and outer carpal tubercles and fringed, unwebbed fingers. The order of the finger size is II < III < V < IV. The fingers also have adhesive discs that are transversally elliptical and are bigger on the 4th and 5th fingers. The second finger has a nuptial pad on its internal base. The single subarticular tubercle is large and round and there are a few supernumerary tubercles. The prepollex is indistinct. The hindlimbs that are short and slender with the total leg length being shorter than the snout-vent length. There is a weak posteroventral boarder on the tarsus. The foot is shorter than either the thigh or tibia. The ventral surface of the foot has a few small and aligned supernumerary tubercles and a large round inner metatarsal tubercle. There is no outer metatarsal tubercle. The toes are rounded, short, and fringed. The discs on the 4th and 5th toes are larger than those on the first three toes but all toe discs are smaller than the finger discs. The subarticular tubercles are rounded. The webbing formula on the toes is: I 0+ - 2 ½ II 1 – 2 III 1 ½ - 2 ½ IV 3 ½ - 2 V. The males have vocal sacs that are singular and poorly developed (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

Allophryne relicta is differentiated from A. ruthveni by its loftier head, which is about 35% of the snout vent length compared to 30% in A. ruthveni. There is also a difference in the eyes and the dorsum. In A. relicta there are larger eyes and a dorsum that has many dispersed spots and covered by fewer tubercles. In comparison the A. ruthveni has many tubercles that contain keratinized spikes and an absence of black spots. Allophryne relicta can also be distinguished because it has longer legs, ulnar tubercles, and longer calls with a lower dominant frequency, more pulses per note, and a larger pulse repetition rate when compared to A. ruthveni. Allophryne relicta can be distinguished from A. resplendens in many ways. Allophryne relicta has bigger eyes, ulnar tubercles (which A. resplendens does not have), and a smaller tympanum. There is also less advanced webbing on the feet of the A. relicta than on the A. resplendens. Additionally, there is a prominent difference in coloration with the A. relicta having cream to light brown dorsal skin with dark brown spots compared to the dark brown to black dorsal skin with right large and glossy yellow spots in A. resplendens. Allophryne relicta can also be differentiated from A. ruthveni and A. resplendens because the latter two have dark bronze irises with black reticulations, which are vastly different from the red-orange eyes with a black transversal stripe on the iris that the A. relicta has (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

In life, the dorsum is a cream to yellow color with a few dark brown spots. Some these spots are minute and scattered and others are more densely scattered in an hourglass shape. The flanks of the species are dark brown to gray and have yellow spots, which are irregular. The venter is a dirty white color. The eyes are clearly distinguishable being a red-orange color with the iris containing a black transversal stripe (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

When preserved, the dorsum of A. relicta is a cream color with a darker brown area located beginning in the interorbital region and lasting to the urostyle region on each side of its body. From this dark area there are irregular dark brown stripes that extend out as well as spots. There are also dark brown spots on the head that extend throughout the body and increase in size near the posterior end of the body. The flank of the frog is a dark brown color and has irregular silver spots, which are scattered. Anteriorly, the arms are dark brown and, posteriorly, are white. The forearms are described as a cream color and contain asymmetrical dark brown spots. The legs are found to have dark brown spots on the dorsum and are bronze colors containing white spots on the posterior surfaces of the thighs and the knee. Allophryne relicta also has a white gular region and a clear gray venter. The chest has asymmetrical small white spots as well and a belly with white tubercles. The eyes of the preserved specimen are a silver color with a transversal black stripe on the iris.

There may be a slight variation in the dorsal color patterns between frogs in this species (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
This species is only known from its type locality in the forests of Urucuca in Bahia, eastern Brazil. It is normally found at 90 m elevation. It was found in remnant forests and cacao plantations. During breeding, it has can be found on vegetation that are one to three meters above temporary streams and on the banks of the stream (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
These frogs are nocturnal and are only active when there is heavy rainfall at which time they explosively breed. During breeding, small groups of 10 - 20 individuals can be found on leaves of shrubs or on the banks of small temporary streams after heavy rainfall. The frogs do not remain at the site for very long and the streams become smaller puddles within a day (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

The males in the species call from the shrubby vegetation usually on the bank of a stream. Calls recorded at temperatures between 23.0 and 23.8 degrees celcius consisted of multiple pulsed note of 0.509 +/- 0.029 seconds in length with notes composed of 28.58 +/- 1.84 pulses. The frequencies of the calls were 3828 +/- 82.28 Hz. Their call notes were found to have emission rates of 34.46 notes/min and pulse emission rates of 56.13 +/- 1.25 seconds (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

Trends and Threats
It is unclear how tolerant the species is to habitat disturbance. The area in which the species was found was substantially modified due to agriculture for cacao plantations. There were pastures mixed with areas of consisting of thick mantles of leaf-litter and many bromeliads in trees. There are no large fragments of forest near the type locality.

The species was discovered in 2013 during environmental licensing surveys for planned construction of a port complex and a railway. These projects will lead to major habitat modifications in this region of southern Bahia. The authors of the species description urged the preservation of the type locality (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat
Habitat fragmentation

The species authority is: Caramaschi, U., Orrico, V.G.D., Faivovich, J., Dias, I.R., Sole, M. (2013) "A New Species of Allophryne (Anura: Allophrynidae) from the Atlantic Rain Forest Biome of Eastern Brazil." Herpetologica 69, 4: 480-91.

Based on maximum parsimony of 12S and 16S trimmed for tRNA’s phenylalanine and valine sequences there is evidence for the placement of A. relicta as a sister taxon to the clade formed by A. ruthveni and A. resplendens (Caramaschi et al. 2013).

The species epithet “relicta” is a Latin adjective meaning “abandoned” or “forsaken” in reference to the fact that the area it was found, Hileia Bahiana of the Atlantic rain forest, use to be connected to the Amazon rain forest and, as a relic, is still biologically similar (Caramaschi et al. 2013).


Caramaschi, U., Orrico, V.G.D., Faivovich, J., Dias, I.R., Sole, M. (2013). ''A New Species of Allophryne (Anura: Allophrynidae) from the Atlantic Rain Forest Biome of Eastern Brazil.'' Herpetologica , 69(4), 480-91.

Originally submitted by: Vanikaa Keswani (first posted 2017-06-30)
Distribution by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-03-19)
Comments by: Michelle S. Koo (updated 2021-03-19)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2021-03-19)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Allophryne relicta <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 17, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 17 Apr 2024.

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