IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Comprehensive Description

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Diagnosis: This frog can be distinguished from all other Honduran hylids as follows: by having uniformly green dorsal surfaces in life, a white labial stripe, a white, poorly developed lateral stripe, and in preservative, pale to dark brown dorsal surfaces with many tiny white spots visible when examined under magnification (McCranie and Wilson 2002; McCranie and Wilson 1986).

Description: The SVL of adult males is 25.1-28 mm and the SVL of adult females is 34 mm. The snout on this frog is moderately short, semicircular to truncate in dorsal view and rounded to vertical in lateral view. The top of the head is flattened. Nostrils are directed laterally and are located at about 2/3 the length of the snout. The canthus rostralis is rounded to nearly angular, while the loreal region is slightly concave. A well-developed supratympanic fold usually obscures the upper edge of the tympanum. The tongue is ovoid and slightly free at the posterior. Vomerine tooth patches are present on elevated posteromedially-inclined ridges between the ovoid to elliptical-shaped choanae. Maxillary teeth are spatulate. Forearm is moderately robust and the posterior ventrolateral edge of the forearm bears a row of low tubercles that form a dermal ridge. The wrist bears a well-developed transverse dermal fold on its upper surface, while the elbow lacks any vertical dermal fold. Finger discs are broadly expanded and are rounded. Subarticular tubercles of both fingers and toes are round, and globular to conical in shape. The palmar tubercle is low, elliptical, and commonly bifid. The prepollex is slightly enlarged and rounded. In breeding males, the distal end of the prepollex and the mid-thumb have poorly cornified patches of tiny nuptial excrescences. Relative finger lengths are I< II< IV< III, and there is basal webbing between Fingers I and II. Feet are webbed and the toes bear expanded, rounded discs that are smaller than the finger discs. Unwebbed portions of toes have lateral keels. Vent opening is directed posteroventrally near the upper level of the thighs. Skin below the vent is granular to coarsely areolate. Skin of dorsal surfaces is smooth. The skin of the belly and throat is coarsely areolate. Skin of ventral surfaces of thighs is granular to coarsely areolate. The pupil of this frog is horizontally elliptical. The palpebral membrane is translucent and is either unpatterned or shows scattered pale flecks. Males have a single, median subgular vocal sac with paired vocal slits, and, in breeding season, small nuptial excrescences on the prepollices (McCranie and Wilson 2002).

Coloration of the frogs is lime green to olive green or dark leaf-green on the dorsal surfaces of the body, head, and limbs as well as the plantar surfaces of the feet. The venter is pale yellow. The upper jaw has a thin white labial stripe that expands below the eye. and continues onto the body as a pale, poorly developed flank stripe. A large, cream-colored spot is present just above the groin. A poorly developed stripe is present above the vent. Tubercles below the vent have white tips. The posterior tarsal edges have a thin white stripe. Thighs are pale yellow on the anterior and posterior surfaces. The iris is blood red (McCranie and Wilson 2002).

A typical stage 36 tadpole has a body length of 13.4 mm. The body is slightly depressed and slightly wider than it is high. The snout is semicircular in dorsal view but rounded in lateral profile. The spiracle is sinistral, directed posterior and situated slightly below midline. The tail is robust, with the dorsal fin terminating at the posterior end of the body. Oral discs are very large and funnel-shaped, and are directed anteroventrally, continuously bordered by a single row of papillae. A row of larger, well-spaced submarginal papillae encircles the oral disc immediately inside the row of marginal papillae (McCranie and Wilson 1990; McCranie and Wilson 2002).

Tadpoles have brown bodies with scattered silver flecks. The tail musculature is brown and is slightly mottled with cream. Tail fins are transparent with heavy brown mottling. The inside of the oral disc is flecked with brown. The iris of the tadpole is reddish orange and heavily reticulated with black (McCranie and Wilson 1990; McCranie and Wilson 2002).

Species authority: McCranie and Wilson (1986). The specific name salvavida is a Spanish word that means lifesaver. The name alludes to the Honduran beer named Salvavida (McCranie and Wilson 1986).


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