IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

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Species Abstract

Antelopus carauta is a smallish anuran, like most of its genus; moreover, it lacks a ventral patternation. A. carauta occurs within the middle to upper elevations of the Northwestern Andean montane forests ecoregion (Hogan & World Wildlife Fund. 2012) within Northwestern Colombia. According to the IUCN, A. carauta This species is known from two localities: the type locality of Parque Nacional Natural Las Orquideas, and from Murri in La Blanquita, both in Antioquia Department, on the western slopes of the Andes Range in northwestern Colombia. (Acosta-Galvis et al. 2004) The estimated elevation bracket of taxon occurrence lies between 1300 and 2000 meters above mean sea level. The latitudinal species range limits are approximately from 6.5 to 6.7 degrees North; longitudinal limits are roughly 75.6 to 76.1 West.

This species common name derives from the stream at which the species was first collected, the Rio Carauta, in northwestern Colombia, a river draining a portion of the Pacific slopes of the northern Andes.

Although detailed surveys for A. carauta have not been developed within the preferred elevational range, it is possible that the species range limits extend beyond the locations where A. carauta has been observed. In any case, the range limits of the species are thought to be highly restricted.

This diurnal anuran is considered terrestrial as well as occurring in freshwater streams in habit, dwelling in the humid montane forests on the Pacific facing slopes of the Andean Range.

Generally all the ancestral stock of genus Atelopus was likely present in South America prior to the Tertiary. Species within genus Atelopus adapted to riparian habitats and probably moved into more montane areas with the Andean uplift in the Cretaceous and Early Tertiary. (McDiarmid. 1968) As Andean uplift occurred, corresponding speciation resulted for the medium to higher altitude niche species members including A. carauta; this higher altitude adaptation likely reflected the floral palette and microclimate more than than the air pressure of the altitude itself.

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© C. Michael Hogan

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