Overview

Brief Summary

Hypsiboas rufitelus is a relatively uncommon nocturnal tree frog. It is light green, speckled with white spots, and has red webbing between its fingers and toes. Males can be heard calling most of the year.

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Comprehensive Description

Description

Diagnosis: A moderately-sized green treefrog with bright red foot webbing, green bones (in life), and a protruding prepollex (Savage 2002).

Description: Adult males measure 39-49 mm in SVL; adult females measure 46-55 mm in SVL. Head is equally wide as long. Snout is rounded to nearly semicircular in dorsal view, and rounded in lateral view. Eyes are moderately-sized. Tympanum is distinct, with a diameter 2/5 to 1/2 that of the eye. Fingers are short and robust with moderately sized discs. The width of the disc on Finger III is equal to the diameter of the tympanum. Fingers have moderate webbing, with only vestigial webbing between Fingers I and II. The distal subarticular tubercle under Finger IV is usually single but can sometimes be bifid. The thenar pad is substantially enlarged. No palmar tubercle is present. Toes have extensive webbing. The inner metatarsal tubercle is moderately sized, elliptical in shape, and low. The outer metatarsal tubercle is small or absent. A weak inner tarsal fold is present, as well as a distinct fleshy flap on the heel. Dorsal surfaces are smooth and the venter is granular. Males have a protuberant prepollex with a spine, in a retractable fleshy sheath; in contrast, females have a prepollex that is reduced to a nub. Adult males also have paired vocal slits and a single moderately distensible subgular vocal sac (Savage 2002).

Coloration in life (adults): Lime green to bluish green dorsal surfaces, with scattered melanophores and (usually) white or light bluish spots. Sometimes a light stripe is present from the tip of the snout to the flank. Flanks are yellowish olive green. Groin may be pale blue, bluish green, or red. Limbs are not barred. Anterior and posterior thigh surfaces are green to bright red. Digital webbing is orange to bright tomato red. Throat and ventral surfaces of limbs are green. Venter is cream (Savage 2002).

Coloration in life (juveniles): shading from lime green at the anterior to yellowish green at the posterior, with a narrow red dorsal line running from the tip of the snout over the upper eyelid down to the level of the vent, on each side, and a broad lateral yellow stripe running along each flank. Limbs are green, with no red markings. Digital webbing of juveniles is red-orange. Iris is silvery bronze (Savage 2002).

Similar species: Can be distinguished from H. palmeri by lack of a heel calcar (vs. present in H. palmeri; and from H. rosenbergi by coloration (H. rosenbergi is tan to gray dorsum, often with a mid-cephalic dark stripe and dark vertical lines on flanks) and lack of finger webbing between Fingers I and II (vs. webbing clearly present in H. rosenbergi) (Savage 2002).

Larval morphology: By stage 25, the body has a depressed, posteriorly truncated oval shape. The snout is rounded to truncated, whether viewed dorsally or laterally. Nares are midway between the eyes and the tip of the snout. In small larvae, the spiracle is sinistral and is pear-shaped but not strongly pigmented; at later stages, the spiracle enlarges and becomes hose-shaped (Fig. 2h and i). The anal tube is long and the opening is slightly on the dextral side. The mouth is ventral with a wide oral disc. The mouth is bordered by a large number of papillae except for a broad gap on the upper lip. Papillae are arranged in a single row on the dorsolateral part of the mouth, while the the ventrolateral and ventral lip areas are surrounded by a double row of papillae. The number of papillae increases from about 30 at larval stage 25 to about 150 papillae at larval stage 38.. LTRF is 2/4. Both upper and lower beaks are pigmented and serrated, with the upper beak being W-shaped and the lower beak V-shaped (Hoffman 2005).

Larval coloration: The body has dark marbling. The dorsum has punctate dermal melanophores, while the ventrolateral parts of the body have dispersed basket-shaped melanophores. Fine silvery shiny iridophores are present in groups on most of the dorsum, the eyeballs, and the ventrolateral parts of the body. The ventral thorax has dense pigmentation laterally, but the center of the thorax has only a few dispersed melanophores. The abdomen is almost completely transparent, with the liver being orange-colored (Hoffman 2005).

A Spanish-language species account can be found at the website of Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad (INBio).

Species authority: Fouquette (1961).

The karyotype is 2n=24 (Duellman 1967).

  • Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Duellman, W. E. (1967). ''Additional studies of chromosomes of anuran amphibians.'' Systematic Zoology, 16(1), 38-43.
  • Fouquette, M. J., Jr. (1961). ''Status of the frog Hyla albomarginata in Central America.'' Fieldiana. Zoology, 39, 595-601.
  • Gentry, A. H. (1993). Four Neotropical Rainforests. Yale University Press
  • Rand, A. S., Ryan, M. J., and Troyer, K. (1983). ''A population explosion in a tropical tree frog: Hyla rufitela on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.'' Biotropica, 15(1), 72-73.
  • Hoffmann, H. (2005). ''The tadpole of Hyla rufitela (Anura: Hylidae).'' Revista de Biología Tropical, 53, 561-568.
  • Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G. and Bolaños, F. 2008. Hypsiboas rufitelus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.3. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 September 2010.
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Hypsiboas rufitelus is a lime green to bluish green tree frog with scattered white or blueish spots on the dorsal surface, and red orange to tomato red webbing on the hands and feet.

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The dorsal surface of Hypsiboas rufitelus is smooth and the ventral surface is granular. The head is about as broad as long, with a rounded snout (semicircular from above, rounded in profile). The head is slightly more narrow than the body and the top of the head is flat. The eyes are moderate in size with a yellow-gray iris; the tympanum is distinct with a diameter two-fifths to one-half of the eye. Males have paired vocal slits and a moderately distensible single external subgular vocal sac.

The fingers are short and robust with moderate finger discs. The width of the disc on finger III is about equal to the diameter of the tympanum. The distal subarticular tubercle under finger IV is usually single, sometimes bifid. The prepollex is protuberant with a definite spine in a retractable sheath in males, reduced to a nub in females. Males do not have nuptial thumb pads. The fingers are moderately webbed, with only a trace of webbing between fingers I and II. The webbing formula is: I 3+-3 II 1½-2+ III 2--1¼ IV. The thenar pad is greatly enlarged, there is no palmer tubercle, the heel has a distinct fleshy flap, and the toes are extensively webbed with a webbing formula of: I 1¼-2 II 1+-2¼ III 1-2¼ IV 2+-1 V.

The arms are moderately short and robust with no axillary membrane. The hind limbs are moderately long and slender.

The dorsal surface is lime green to bluish green with randomly scattered melanophores. It is usually scattered with white or light blueish spots. Individuals occasionally have a light stripe from the tip of snout onto the flank. The groin is pale blue, blueish green, or red. The anterior and posterior surfaces of the thigh are green to bright red and the hand and feet webbing is red orange to tomato red. The throat and undersurfaces of the limbs are green and the venter is creamy.

Juveniles are lime green anteriorly to yellowish green posteriorly and have a narrow red dorsal stripe from the tip of the snout, over the upper eyelid, to the level of the vent on each side. The limbs are green without red markings, the digital webs are red orange, the iris is silvery bronze and a broad lateral yellow strip runs along the flank on each side.

The pigment that produces the green coloration disolves in formalin and alcohol, so preserved specimens are cream colored with brown flecks and small dark brown spots with yellowish olive flanks.

Tadpoles are olive-tan with green and tan lichenous markings on the flanks. The belly is white with silvery flecks. Tadpoles have a robust body that is more wide than deep. Their eyes are moderately large, greatly separated, and directed dorsolaterally, and the iris is bronze. The caudal musculature is slender and extends nearly to the tip of the pointed tail. It is orange-tan with dark-brown markings. The relatively small mouth is ventral. The median part of the upper lip is bare, but the rest of the lip is bordered by a single row of elongate papille. The mouth has an upper and lower beak, both of which are slender and bear short, conical serrations.

The average length of the body at hatching is 2.7 mm., and the tail is 5.0 mm.

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Distribution

Range Description

This species occurs in Eastern Nicaragua to central Panama on the Caribbean slope. In Panama, this species is found in the western cordilleras and western Atlantic lowlands adjacent to southeastern Costa Rica, Cerro Campana, central Panama, and eastern cordilleras adjacent to central Panama. Its elevation is from sea level to 650m asl. Venezuelan specimens previously assigned to Hyla albomarginata are provisionally assigned to Hyla rufitela, and are known from a few localities along the Caribbean Coast and Maracaibo Lake Basin. They are not mapped here pending finally confirmation of their taxonomic identity.
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Distribution and Habitat

Found in eastern Nicaragua to central Panama on the Atlantic slope, 11-650 m above sea level. Lives in moist or wet lowland forests (Savage 2002). It can also be found in open areas adjacent to or close to forests (Solís et al. 2008).

  • Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Duellman, W. E. (1967). ''Additional studies of chromosomes of anuran amphibians.'' Systematic Zoology, 16(1), 38-43.
  • Fouquette, M. J., Jr. (1961). ''Status of the frog Hyla albomarginata in Central America.'' Fieldiana. Zoology, 39, 595-601.
  • Gentry, A. H. (1993). Four Neotropical Rainforests. Yale University Press
  • Rand, A. S., Ryan, M. J., and Troyer, K. (1983). ''A population explosion in a tropical tree frog: Hyla rufitela on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.'' Biotropica, 15(1), 72-73.
  • Hoffmann, H. (2005). ''The tadpole of Hyla rufitela (Anura: Hylidae).'' Revista de Biología Tropical, 53, 561-568.
  • Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G. and Bolaños, F. 2008. Hypsiboas rufitelus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.3. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 September 2010.
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Hypsiboas rufitelus occurs in humid lowlands (elevation of 300 meters and below) along the Atlantic slope of Central America from Eastern Nicaragua to central Panama.

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Countries

Countries

Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama

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Physical Description

Size

Adult males are 39-49 mm in snout-vent length and adult females are 46-55 mm snout-vent length.

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Diagnostic Description

Hypsiboas rufitelus is a moderately sized green tree frog with bright red digital webs, green bones and a protruding prepollex (the rudimentary additional digit on the preaxial side of the thumb).

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Identification

Adult

Species description based on Ibanez et al (1999) and Duellman (2001).  A medium-sized treefrog (males to 43 mm, females to 53 mm). Males have a sharp spine at the base of the thumb.

Dorsal

The dorsal surface is green with some lighter or darker spots or flecking.

Concealed surfaces

The armpit and groin are greenish-blue. The rear surfaces of the thighs are green but turn reddish near the knees.

Eye

The eye is silvery-bronze.

Extremities

The hands and feet are extensively webbed. The red webbing and the presence of a spine at the base of the thumb distinguishes this hylid from similar species.

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Look Alikes

Hyla palmeri is a similar looking species, but has a heel calcar. Hyla loquax and Hyla pseudopuma infucata also have red webbing, but do not have a projecting prepollex and are brown or gray dorsally. Hyla miliaria has a projecting prepollex, but also has extensive dermal fringes on the limbs and fully webbed hands and feet.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits humid lowland forest and tolerates some disturbance.It can be found in open areas, but this needs to be close to forest (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007). It reproduces in swamps surrounded by trees.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Hypsiboas rufitelus inhabits lowland tropical rain forests.

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Habitat

Lowland forest to 650 m.

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Associations

The young tadpoles of Hypsiboas rufitelus are bottom feeders that ingest mud for nutrients. As they get older, they feed on plant material (such as rotting mallow leaves of Piper auritum).

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Population Biology

Rand et al. (1983) discovered a dramatic increase in the abundance of Hypsiboas rufitelus on Barro Colorado Island, Panama in the 1980's. Studies of the island in the 1930's and 1960's reported only one location where H. rufitelus occurred. In the 1980's, H. rufitelus had spread to many sites, all over the island. It is unknown what may have caused this population expansion. There was no obvious change in the habitat to suggest an increase in breeding sites or suitable habitat, or signs that predator/prey abundances changed.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Males give a call composed of a series of high-pitched clucks. Call groups consist of nine to twenty-one notes repeated 22 to 63 times a minute. The note duration is about 50 milliseconds with a dominant frequency of about 1.6 kHz, but there are usually two other harmonies out of a total of seven to nine that are emphasized (Duellman 1970).

Males have prepollical spines that are thought to be used in male agonistic interactions. The spines are concealed by a retractile sheath.

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Behaviour

Call

A series of clucks (Fouquette 1961, Ibanez et al 1999).

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Life Cycle

Hypsiboas rufitelus is an egg-laying species with a tadpole stage.

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Life History

Breeding season

Males appear to call throughout the year (Duellman 2001). Breeding occurs in swampy forested areas (Duellman 2001).

Egg

Black and cream eggs are laid in a film on the surface of shallow water (Duellman 2001).

Tadpole

The tadpole body is wider than deep, with a weakly muscular tail (Duellman 2001). The upper tail fin is deeper than the lower (Duellman 2001). Tadpoles are mottled with shades of brown and olive green, turning to orange on the tail musculature (Duellman 2001). The ventral surface is silvery white (Duellman 2001). The mouth is small (Duellman 2001).

Metamorph juvenile

Recently-metamorphosed juveniles are pale green with dark flecks (Duellman 2001). The eyelids are brown (Duellman 2001). The hands and feet are yellow, rather than red (Duellman 2001). The ventral surfaces are pale greenish white (more green on the throat, Duellman 2001).

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Reproduction

Reproduction is thought to occur year-round, and may peak in late August to October. Males call from dense vegetation near standing water within the forest. Amplexus takes place in shallow ponds and muddy pools. The eggs are laid in a single layer in a clear, thin surface film. The eggs are blackish gray and are about 1.8 mm in diameter. The egg plus vitelline membrane is about 2.1 mm in diameter. Metamorphosed frogs are 19-22 mm in standard length.

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hypsiboas rufitelus

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 2
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Frank Solís, Roberto Ibáñez, Gerardo Chaves, Federico Bolaños

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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Hypsiboas rufitelus has not been reviewed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

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Population

Population
It is locally common in the appropriate habitat.

Population Trend
Stable
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

It is a relatively uncommon nocturnal treefrog (Savage 2002). It reproduces in swamps within forests (Solís et al. 2008). Reproduction occurs on suitable rainy nights during the wet season, peaking during the heaviest rainy period in late August to October (Savage 2002). Males can be heard calling throughout the year, but are rarely seen outside the reproductive period (Savage 2002). Calling takes place in dense vegetation near standing water within the forest (Savage 2002), from perches about 70 cm above the water or up to 1.2 m above ground just adjacent to the water (Hoffman 2005). H. rufitelus males do not join mixed-species choruses near the large temporary ponds found at many lowland sites (Savage 2002). The prepollical spines are thought to be used in male-male combat (Savage 2002).

Amplexus occurs in shallow vegetation-choked ponds and muddy pools. Black-and-cream eggs are laid in a clear surface film. Eggs measure 1.8 mm in diameter, or 2.1 mm including the vitelline membrane. Metamorphs are 19 to 22 mm in standard length (Savage 2002).

Calls are a series of high-pitched clucks. Call groups consist of 9 - 21 notes repeated 22 - 63 times a minute. Note duration is approximately 50 msec with a dominant frequency of 1.6 kHz (Savage 2002).

  • Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Duellman, W. E. (1967). ''Additional studies of chromosomes of anuran amphibians.'' Systematic Zoology, 16(1), 38-43.
  • Fouquette, M. J., Jr. (1961). ''Status of the frog Hyla albomarginata in Central America.'' Fieldiana. Zoology, 39, 595-601.
  • Gentry, A. H. (1993). Four Neotropical Rainforests. Yale University Press
  • Rand, A. S., Ryan, M. J., and Troyer, K. (1983). ''A population explosion in a tropical tree frog: Hyla rufitela on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.'' Biotropica, 15(1), 72-73.
  • Hoffmann, H. (2005). ''The tadpole of Hyla rufitela (Anura: Hylidae).'' Revista de Biología Tropical, 53, 561-568.
  • Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G. and Bolaños, F. 2008. Hypsiboas rufitelus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.3. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 September 2010.
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Threats

Major Threats
Major threats include habitat loss by the destruction of natural forests.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

H. rufitelus is locally common, and the population appears to be stable. It is a somewhat adaptable species and can tolerate some habitat disturbance, although habitat loss is a threat. The range overlaps with several protected areas (Solís et al. 2008).

On Barro Colorado Island, Panama, a population explosion was reported during 1980, probably due to favorable wet conditions during 1979-1980 (Rand et al. 1983). However, by 1983, number and distribution of calls heard had declined (Gentry 1993).

  • Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Duellman, W. E. (1967). ''Additional studies of chromosomes of anuran amphibians.'' Systematic Zoology, 16(1), 38-43.
  • Fouquette, M. J., Jr. (1961). ''Status of the frog Hyla albomarginata in Central America.'' Fieldiana. Zoology, 39, 595-601.
  • Gentry, A. H. (1993). Four Neotropical Rainforests. Yale University Press
  • Rand, A. S., Ryan, M. J., and Troyer, K. (1983). ''A population explosion in a tropical tree frog: Hyla rufitela on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.'' Biotropica, 15(1), 72-73.
  • Hoffmann, H. (2005). ''The tadpole of Hyla rufitela (Anura: Hylidae).'' Revista de Biología Tropical, 53, 561-568.
  • Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G. and Bolaños, F. 2008. Hypsiboas rufitelus. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.3. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 22 September 2010.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in several protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Canal Zone tree frog

The Canal Zone tree frog, Hypsiboas rufitelus, is a species of frog in the Hylidae family found in the Caribbean lowlands of eastern Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and central Panama, as well as the Pacific lowlands of Colombia, although the latter records are uncertain and may refer to Hypsiboas rosenbergi.[3]

Description[edit]

Hypsiboas rufitelus is a medium-sized tree frog. Males measure 39–44 mm (1.5–1.7 in) in snout–urostyle length and females 46–48 mm (1.8–1.9 in). It is green above, with profuse, tiny, dark punctations and usually scattered dark spots. Fingers are about one-half and toes three-fourths webbed. Males have a distinct pollex rudiment bearing a spine.[2]

Habitat[edit]

Its natural habitats are humid lowland forests. It tolerates some disturbance and can be found in open areas close to forest. Breeding takes place in swamps surrounded by trees. It is a locally common tree frog in the appropriate habitat.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Solís, F., Ibáñez, R. & Chaves, G. (2008). "Hypsiboas rufitelus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Fouquette, M. J., Jr. (1961). "Status of the frog Hyla albomarginata in Central America". Fieldiana. Zoology 39: 595–601. 
  3. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Hypsiboas rufitelus (Fouquette, 1961)". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 27 June 2014. 
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