IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Adult males range from 51 to 81 mm in SVL, and adult females measure from 61 to 87 mm. The head is broader than it is long. Pupils are vertically elliptical (McCranie and Wilson 2002). Eyes are large and eyelids are not reticulate. The snout is truncate from above and acute in profile. A large, distinct tympanum is present. Vomerine teeth are present in transverse ridges behind the choanae (Duellman 2001). The body is relatively robust (Savage 2002). The dorsal surface is smooth to weakly granular and the skin surrounding the vent is granular to coarsely areolate. Skin on the ventral surface of the thighs is coarsely areolate. A weak supratympanic fold is present. A vertical dermal fold is present on the elbow and a dermal ridge extends along the posterior ventrolateral edge of the forearm. A weak transverse dermal fold is present on the upper surface of the wrist. A distinct dermal ridge extends along the posterior ventrolateral edge of the tarsus. A weak inner tarsal fold extends almost the full length of the tarsus. There is a large, triangular dermal flap on the heel, which helps to distinguish this species from others in the genus. The upper arm is slender and the forearm is moderately robust. The finger discs are broadly expanded and the disc covers on the fingers are rounded. Subarticular tubercles on fingers are round and globular. Relative length of the fingers is III>IV>II>I (Savage 2002). Fingers are about ¾ webbed (Duellman 2001). Toe discs are broadly expanded, with rounded disc covers on toes are rounded. The subarticular tubercles on toes are round and globular. Plantar tubercles are small and barely raised. Relative length of toes is IV>III>II>I (Savage 2002). Toes are about ¾ webbed. A brown spinous nuptial pad is present at the base of the thumb in adult males. Small paired vocal slits and a slightly distensible single subgular vocal sac are also present in adult males (Duellman 2001).

The dorsum is dark green with orange flanks and thighs marked by black bars. Dorsal surfaces of the body, forearms, shanks, tarsi, fourth fingers, and fifth toes are also dark green. The throat, flanks, and narrow dorsal surfaces of the upper arms and thighs are yellow. All but the dorsal surfaces of the upper arms are deep orange, as are the hands and feet with the exception of the fourth finger and fifth toe. The ventral surfaces are deep orange. A yellow stripe runs along the sides and the posterior edge of the anal sheath. The iris is a pale lavender-gray medially, and yellow on the periphery. (Duellman 2001).

Tadpoles of this species have an ovoid body. Eyes and nostrils are dorsolateral and directed laterally. The spiracle is ventral and sinistral (Donnelly et al. 1987). The vent tube is dextral (McCranie and Wilson 2002). The oral disc is anteroventral. Papillae are in a single row dorsally and laterally, and two rows ventrally. (Donnelly et al. 1987). Keratinized jaw sheaths are present, bearing short, blunt serrations (McCranie and Wilson 2002). Denticles are present in two anterior and three posterior rows. Body color is dark olive (Donnelly et al. 1987).

Etymology: The specific name calcarifer refers to the triangular dermal flap on the heel (from the Latin calcar, or spur, and fero, to carry) (Duellman 2001).

A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).


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