This species is endemic to Panama.
Species description based on Ibanez et al (1995). Medium-sized frog (males to 30 mm, females to 40 mm).
Dorsal surface smooth and typically dark brown or black with variable bright green markings. The dorsal surface of females may be solid olive-brown.
Males have a thin dark line running the length of the body along the lateral surface. The line may be clearly defined in some specimens, whereas in others it is less prominent or broken. No females have been observed with this feature.
Habitat and Ecology
Primary rainforest in the lowlands of central Panama to 730 m.
This species is active during the day and may be found among the rocks and debris of streams in primary forest (Ibanez et al 1995). Ibanez et al (1995) observed that the skin color of the frogs resembled the color of the silt covering the surface of rocks and the streambed, making detection of the frogs difficult.
Life History and Behavior
A sonogram of the advertisement and release calls of A. limosus can be found in Ibanez et al (1995).
An amplectant pair was observed in November (Ibanez et al 1995).
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Barcode data: Atelopus limosus
No available public DNA sequences.
Download FASTA File
Statistics of barcoding coverage: Atelopus limosus
Public Records: 21
Specimens with Barcodes: 21
Species With Barcodes: 1
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Atelopus limosus (common name limosa harlequin frog, sapo limosa in Spanish), is an endangered species of toad in the Bufonidae family. It is endemic to Panama and was described by Ibáñez, Jaramillo and Solís in 1995.
Its natural habitats are stream banks in tropical moist lowland forests and rivers of the Chagres watershed in central Panama.
Atelopus limosus has two color forms. A lowland color form is brown with a yellow nose and finger tips, while the upland color form is green with black chevron markings on its back. Males and females of both color forms are sexually dimorphic. Males are smaller with a white belly speckled with black spots, while females tend to have a red or orange belly.
Little is known of their diet in the wild, but it is presumably similar to that of other Atelopus species that forage on beetles, ants, flies and mites. In captivity the frogs readily accept large fruit flies, small meal-worm larvae and small crickets.
Atelopus limosus is threatened by chytridiomycosis and habitat loss. Atelopus species have been rapidly declining throughout their range. 75% of all known species from highland sites above 1000 metres have disappeared, while 58% of lowland species have declined and 38% have disappeared. Worried about the effects of chytridiomycosis on this endemic Panamanian frog, the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project targeted Atelopus limosus as a priority rescue species to be taken into captivity as a captive assurance colony at the Summit Municipal Park in Panama City. When the rescue team arrived at one of the last known upland sites at Cerro Brewster, they found that many of the frogs were already infected with chytridiomycosis. The captive breeding program has been successful. While the upland region seems to have been hard-hit by chytrid fungus, the fate of lowland populations of this species is uncertain, as chytridiomycosis appears to have more pronounced effects at upland sites.
- Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Jaramillo, C. & Fuenmayor, Q. (2004). "Atelopus limosus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Ibáñez, R., C. A. Jaramillo, and F. A. Solís (1995). "Una especie nueva de Atelopus (Amphibia: Bufonidae) de Panama". Caribbean Journal of Science 31 (1-2): 57–64.
- Lindsay Renick Mayer (22 March 2013). "Rescue Project Successfully Breeds Endangered Frog Species". Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Atelopus limosus Ibáñez, Jaramillo, and Solís, 1995". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
- P Durant, JW Dole (1974) Food of Atelopus oxyrhynchus (Anura: Atelopodidae) in a Venezuelan cloud forest Herpetologica 30:183-187
- La Marca, E.; Lips, K. R.; Lotters, S.; Puschendorf, R.; Ibanez, R.; Rueda-Almonacid, J. V.; Schulte, R.; Marty, C.; Castro, F.; Manzanilla-Puppo, J.; Garcia-Perez, J. E.; Bolanos, F.; Chaves, G.; Pounds, J. A.; Toral, E.; Young, B. E. (2005). "Catastrophic population declines and extinctions in Neotropical harlequin frogs (Bufonidae: Atelopus)". Biotropica 37 (2): 190–201. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2005.00026.x.
- "Panama amphibian rescue challenged by rapid spread of chytrid fungus". Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2014.
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