IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Eleutherodactylus turquinensis, the Turquino robber frog, is a critically endangered, mostly aquatic frog endemic to southeastern Cuba, found only in streams of a fragmented 100 square km (40 square miles) habitat in the high altitude Sierra Maestra cloud forest.  Discovered by Philip J. Darlington in 1936, E. turquinensis species was not seen again until a collecting expedition in 1994 (Hedges et al. 1995).  While the species occurs in two national parks, they are not managed for conservation and the habitat is declining due to human development and agricultural expansion (Hedges and Dias 2004). Eleutherodactylus turquinensis is parasitized by the nematode Physalopteroids valdesi.  It may also be susceptible to chytridiomycosis, a widely spread amphibian disease caused by the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Turquino robber frog are small with green and brown mottled dorsal patterning, a white stomach, and sometimes showing brick red coloration on the top of its head and legs. Females grow up to about 50 mm (2 inches) long, males are smaller (up to 40 mm, or 1.5 inches long). Males have a “chirpy” call characteristic of the family, and attract females to terrestrial sites for laying their direct-developing eggs - all 185 species in of Eleutherodactylus frogs have reduced the tadpole stage and young hatch from eggs as tiny froglets (Hedges et al. 1995; Fong 2007).


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