IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

Lithodytes lineatus is a leaf-litter frog found primarily in the Amazon. Adult female L. lineatus are have a total length of 38.1 - 52.0 mm and significantly larger than adult males, who range from 34.9 - 47.0mm. When viewed from both the profile and above, its snout is rounded. The distinct tympanum is about the same diameter as its eye. The dorsum skin is finely speckled and the venter skin is smooth. Finger webbing is absent, and its first finger is longer than the second. The snout-vent length of juveniles collected in Rondonia state, northwestern Brazil between April 2001 and March 2002 ranged from 19.6 - 35.9 mm (Duellman 2005; Bernarde and Kokubum 2009).

Tadpoles in Gosner Stage 34 typically have a body length of 18.1 mm. In dorsal view their body is elongated ovoid and is the widest (wider than high) at one-third of its length. It’s a total length of 47.4mm. The snout is bluntly rounded in profile view, but truncate in dorsal view. Its eyes are situated dorsally, are slightly anterodorsally, and directed laterally. The nares are situated about midway between the eyes and the tip of the snout and the spiracle is sinistral below the midline of the body. The interorbital distance is about four times the diameter of the eye. The spiracular tube started slightly posterior to the mid-length of the body and is attached to the body in its entirety. The spiracular tube’s opening is directed posterodorsally. The vent tube is moderately long, medial, and attached to the ventral fin with its tip free. The caudal musculature is highest at about one-third of the length of the tail and is moderately robust. It gradually narrows posteriorly and it ends just before the rounded tip of the tail. The dorsal fin and ventral fin start at the bottom of the tail. The dorsal fin is highest around mid-length while the ventral fin is highest at about one-third the length of the tail and is equal to the height of the dorsal fin at this point. In the middle of the tail, both fins are shallower than the caudal musculature and gradually narrow to come to a rounded tip. The oral disc is anteroventral and the anterior labium is bare; everywhere else there is a single row of long marginal papillae. There are no submarginal papillae. It’s jaw sheaths are finely serrate, broadly arched and sender. The labial tooth row formula (LTRF) is 0/1; the LTRF and the presence of jaw sheaths are variable, 0/0 to 2(2)/3(1) (Duellman 2005).

Lithoydytes and Phyllobates fermoralis are two terrestrial species that may represent a case of amphibian (Batesian and Mullerian) mimicry. They both have yellow dorsolateral lines in almost the same position and have similar dorsal coloration and lash color. Lithodytes lineatus has wider dorsolateral lines than Phyllobates fermoralis (Dendrobatidae). Lithodytes Lineatus also has an orange stripe that starts at the groin and extends to its posterior face. It has dark tan limbs with dark spots on the proximal part of the thigh and black dorsal coloration with a slight tan coloring. Phyllobates femoralis has a black and white mottled venter and a cream ventro-lateral stripe that L. lineatus is missing. Pyllobates is known for having toxic skin secretions while L. lineatus has studded dorsal surfaces and granular tubercles which could suggest that it may also have dermal secretions used for protection (Nelson and Miller 1971).

In life, L. lineatus has a black dorsum and flanks with a thick yellow stripe that extends from their snout to their to the groin. The belly and ventral surfaces of the hind limbs are grey, throat and chest are brown, and the upper arms are tan. Lithodytes lineatus has red spots on the posterior surfaces of thighs and there is a large red spot on the groin. The iris is a dark coppery bronze and fine black reticulations are present (Duellman 2005; Nelson and Miller 1971).

Alive, the L. lineatus tadpole body is bright pink and has a short, white, metallic mid-dorsal stripe. Its fin is translucent pink and the color of the caudal musculature is similar to the body but is less intense distally (Duellman 2005).

Lithodytes lineatus was previously known under the genus Lithodytes (Bernarde and Kokubum 2009). It was also first described as Rana lineata (Schneider 1799).

This species is often considered to be a mimic of some Aromobatids and Dendrobatids because of its coloration and juvenile diurnal activity. The largest male of this species was found in Espigão do Oeste while the largest female was found in Cecília, Ecuador (Bernarde and Kokubum 2009).

Lithodytes lineatus is synonomous with Leptodactylus lineatus (Kwet 2007)

Featured in Amazing Amphibians on 1 April 2013

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