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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Smilisca sordida, or the Drab Treefrog, is a small frog with the size varying from 36.2 mm for males to 56.3 mm for females (Duellman 2001). The head is longer than it is wide. Individuals from the Caribbean lowlands have dull and round snouts, while those from the Pacific Lowlands have longer and more pointed snouts. Those observed from the Meseta Central have snout shapes in between those of the Caribbean and Pacific populations (Duellman 2001). Eyes are moderately sized, and the distinct tympanum has a diameter of one-half the diameter of the eye (Savage 2002). A supratympanic fold extends from behind the eye and over the tympanum, and is bordered by a dark line. (Guyer and Donnelly 2005). The lips are slim and flared. The tongue is ovoid and somewhat notched posteriorly. Vomerine tooth patches are on elevated, almost transverse ridges between ovoid to elliptical choanae (McCranie and Wilson 2002). The skin on the throat and chest is coarse and the skin on the belly and ventral surface of the thighs is roughly areolate. (McCranie and Wilson 2002). Warts are present along the posteroventral border of the lower arm (Savage 2002). The fingers are small and stout and finger discs are large. The fingers are one-half webbed and the toes are four-fifths webbed. Both fingers and toes have expanded discs (Duellman 2001). The relative length of fingers is III>IV>II>I. Webbing is basal between fingers I-II, with the remaining webbing formula being II 1-2 1/3 III 2--1 IV. (McCranie and Wilson 2002). The relative length of the toes is IV>III=V>II>I, with the webbing formula for the feet being I 3 / 4-1-II 3 / 4-1 III 3 / 4-1 IV 1-3 / 4 V (McCranie and Wilson 2002). The toe discs are broadly expanded and only slightly smaller than the toe discs on the fingers. The disc covers on the toes are even, and the disc pads on toes broadened. Lateral keels are present on the unwebbed portions of the toes (McCranie and Wilson 2002). This species has an oval-shaped, flat, and elongated inner metatarsal tubercle. (Duellman 2001). Males have paired vocal slits and a light brown nonspinous nuptial pad on the base of each thumb (Savage 2002).

This frog has a gray-brown to tan dorsum, a white ventrum, and a deep purple groin. There is a poorly distinguished black mask around its eyes. (Guyer and Donnelly 2005). Smilisca sordida has weak crossbands on its back legs, as well as dark spots on the head and back (Leenders 2001). The posterior of the thigh is deep purple with small blue, green or tan flecks. Breeding males have a white vocal sac (Duellman 2001). This species has a yellowish brown iris with black net-like veins (Guyer and Donnelly 2005).

The larval body is moderately sized and reaches approximately 32 mm in length. The caudal musculature is beige with light red specks which vary from dark to light areas along the midline. The body is ovoid, the mouth ventral, and the nostrils and eyes are dorsolateral. The large, entire oral disc has well developed beaks with two-thirds denticle rows. The beaks are bluntly serrate and the papillae are in two rows which are sideways and ventral to the mouth. There are numerous extra rows at the corner of the mouth, but none higher than the mouth. The spiracle is lateral and sinistral. The vent tube is dextral. The tail is moderate in length and pointed, with moderately-sized caudal fins (Savage 2002).

The tadpole body is beige and the belly is pale beige with a silver or white tint. The iris is bronze (Savage 2002).

Smilisca sordida is easily confused with two other Smilisca species (Guyer and Donnelly 2005). It is distinguished from Smilisca phaeota by the absence of a white stripe on its upper lip, and it does not have the spot beneath its eye that is characteristic of Smilisca baudinii (Leenders 2001) . Duellman states that specimens taken from Honduras and Nicaragua are like those from the Meseta Central in Costa Rica, having bluish white mottling on the posterior flank and lacking light specks on the posterior surfaces of the thighs. These specimens are smaller and modestly different from those in the Pacific versant in Costa Rica, and indicate that the latter may represent a species different from Smilisca sordida (Duellman 2001).

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

  • Duellman, W. E. (2001). The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Leenders, T. (2001). A Guide to Amphibians And Reptiles of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, Miami.
  • McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (2002). ''The Amphibians of Honduras.'' Contributions to Herpetology, Vol 19. K. Adler and T. D. Perry, eds., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Guyer, C., and Donnelly, M. A. (2005). Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica and the Caribbean Slope: A Comprehensive Guide. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • IUCN, Conservation International, and Nature Serve. 2006. Global Amphibian Assessment: Smilisca sordida. www.globalamphibians.org. Accessed on 21 November 2007.
  • Malone, J. H. (2004). ''Reproduction in three species of Smilisca from Costa Rica.'' Journal of Herpetology, 38(1), 27-35.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species ranges from northeastern Honduras to northwestern Panama on the Atlantic slope; and on the Pacific slope in southwestern Costa Rica and adjacent western Panama and El Valle de Anton, Cocle Province, in west-central Panama. There is an isolated record from the middle Magdalena Valley in Santander Department, Colombia (that might eventually prove to be a separate species). It occurs from sea level to 1,525m asl.
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Distribution and Habitat

In northwestern Costa Rica, Smilisca sordida is found in the subhumid Pacific slope gallery forests. From northeastern Honduras to northwestern Panama on the Atlantic slope, and in southwestern Costa Rica and neighboring western Panama and El Valle de Anton, Cocle Province, in west-central Panama, this species occurs in humid lowland and premontane forests. It can be found at up to 1,525 m in elevation (Savage 2002).

This frog lives near creeks and large rivers in riparian zones (Guyer and Donnelly 2005). Smilisca sordida is most commonly found in humid areas in the vicinity of shallow, rocky streams which run through lowland moist and wet forests in the lowland dry forest area and in premontane moist and wet forests. They are also found in low vegetation, and hide in bromeliads when not in streams (Savage 2002).

  • Duellman, W. E. (2001). The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Leenders, T. (2001). A Guide to Amphibians And Reptiles of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, Miami.
  • McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (2002). ''The Amphibians of Honduras.'' Contributions to Herpetology, Vol 19. K. Adler and T. D. Perry, eds., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Guyer, C., and Donnelly, M. A. (2005). Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica and the Caribbean Slope: A Comprehensive Guide. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • IUCN, Conservation International, and Nature Serve. 2006. Global Amphibian Assessment: Smilisca sordida. www.globalamphibians.org. Accessed on 21 November 2007.
  • Malone, J. H. (2004). ''Reproduction in three species of Smilisca from Costa Rica.'' Journal of Herpetology, 38(1), 27-35.
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Countries

Countries

Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Identification

Adult

Species description based on Savage (2002).  A large treefrog (males to 54 mm, females to 64 mm).

Dorsal

The dorsum may be one of many shades of brown, more yellowish, greenish, greyish, or reddish. Darker blotches are often present. The sides are mottled brown and cream. In some individuals, the cream of the flanks appears more green or blue. The arms and legs are barred. The skin of the dorsum is smooth.

Concealed surfaces

The rear surfaces of the thighs are dark with white or light or bold blue flecking or irregular spots.

Eye

Eye color varies, but black reticulations are always present. The eyes may be more silver, golden or bronze.

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Type Information

Syntype for Smilisca sordida
Catalog Number: USNM 30659
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Sipurio, Limon, Costa Rica
  • Syntype: Cope, E. D. 1875. Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2. 8: 103.
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Syntype for Smilisca sordida
Catalog Number: USNM 30658
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Sipurio, Limon, Costa Rica
  • Syntype: Cope, E. D. 1875. Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2. 8: 103.
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Syntype for Smilisca sordida
Catalog Number: USNM 30686
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Pico Blanco (= Cerro Kamuk), Limon, Costa Rica
  • Syntype: Cope, E. D. 1875. Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2. 8: 104, plate 23, figure 7.
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Syntype for Smilisca sordida
Catalog Number: USNM 30685
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Amphibians & Reptiles
Preparation: Ethanol
Locality: Pico Blanco (= Cerro Kamuk), Limon, Costa Rica
  • Syntype: Cope, E. D. 1875. Journ. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, Ser. 2. 8: 104, plate 23, figure 7.
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It inhabits humid lowland and montane forest in the vicinity of rocky streams where it reproduces. It can tolerate substantial disturbance of its habitat, and is found in plantations and urban areas.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Habitat

Lowland and premontane forest to 1525 m.

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General Ecology

Ecology

Ecology

Smilisca sordida is typically encountered near streams, but may also be found hiding in bromeliads by day (Savage 2002).

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Behaviour

Call

A series of "wrinks" repeated up to six times (Savage 2002). The vocal sac is paired, but does not extend very far from the body when inflated (Savage 2002).

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Life Cycle

Life History

Breeding season

Breeding occurs during the dry season when streams are low (Savage 2002). Males call from rocks in streams (Savage 2002). Large numbers of females appear at streams after heavy rains (Savage 2002).

Egg

Eggs are deposited in clumps of 20-50 eggs in shallow pools (James 1944). They are laid singly, but adhere together after oviposition (James 1944).

Tadpole

Tadpoles are oval-shaped with a moderately long tail with moderate tail fins (Savage 2002). Tadpoles are pale in coloration (Savage 2002). A pattern of alternating light and reddish brown spots occurs along the upper part of the tail musculature (Savage 2002).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Smilisca sordida

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 11
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
2010

Assessor/s
Frank Solís, Roberto Ibáñez, Gerardo Chaves, Larry David Wilson, Karl-Heinz Jungfer, Federico Bolaños, Javier Sunyer

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 broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

History
  • 2008
    Least Concern
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Population

Population
This is a common species throughout its range.

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

This species is a common and nocturnal treefrog. Breeding occurs in the dry season, when the streams are shallow and clear. Males may call sporadically during the non-breeding season. Often, they will call in succession from a segment of the streambed on rocks or gravel bars (Savage 2002). Their calls are characterized by pulsing, high-pitched notes, which rise in volume at the end. They may be in single or double pairs, and are often called in rapid succession for approximately 5-10 seconds, then followed by silence for a long period of time (Guyer and Donnelly 2005). Females are stimulated by heavy rains to gather in large groups to breed. This may occur a few times at each site during the breeding seasons, depending on the number of rainy days. It is not known whether females lay more than one clutch per breeding season. Amplexus occurs near the shore or in the water. Oviposited eggs adhere to each other in masses of 20 to 50 eggs. The benthic larvae live in shallow, clear water where they use their large oral discs to clamp onto rocks to maintain stability (Savage 2002).

Malone (2004) observed that S. sordida constructs three different types of basins for egg deposition, in addition to laying eggs directly into streams or on substrate over streams. Eggs were either buried beneath substrate, deposited in an open basin with water, or deposited in an open basin with eggs attached to rocks or substrate at the bottom. While amplectant pairs dug to lay eggs beneath substrate, single males continuously attacked them to dislodge the male. Of the five pairs, one male was successfully dislodged. During digging, some females will use a dig/turn method where they will dig a depression, turn 45 to 90 degrees, then continued digging. This created an open basin with edges "delineated by small ramparts." These different methods in egg deposition may be attempts at avoiding cannibalism of the eggs by conspecific tadpoles. At the beginning of the breeding season, tadpoles are scarce and thus females will lay eggs directly in the stream. However, towards the middle and end of the breeding season, eggs were deposited in basins, apparently due to higher tadpole densities in streams (Malone 2004).

  • Duellman, W. E. (2001). The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Leenders, T. (2001). A Guide to Amphibians And Reptiles of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, Miami.
  • McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (2002). ''The Amphibians of Honduras.'' Contributions to Herpetology, Vol 19. K. Adler and T. D. Perry, eds., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Guyer, C., and Donnelly, M. A. (2005). Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica and the Caribbean Slope: A Comprehensive Guide. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • IUCN, Conservation International, and Nature Serve. 2006. Global Amphibian Assessment: Smilisca sordida. www.globalamphibians.org. Accessed on 21 November 2007.
  • Malone, J. H. (2004). ''Reproduction in three species of Smilisca from Costa Rica.'' Journal of Herpetology, 38(1), 27-35.
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Threats

Major Threats
It is not facing any significant threats.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

This species does not appear to be threatened, and is common throughout its range. It can be found in urban areas and plantations and seems to do well even in disturbed habitat (IUCN 2006).

  • Duellman, W. E. (2001). The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Savage, J. M. (2002). The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica. University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London.
  • Leenders, T. (2001). A Guide to Amphibians And Reptiles of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, Miami.
  • McCranie, J. R., and Wilson, L. D. (2002). ''The Amphibians of Honduras.'' Contributions to Herpetology, Vol 19. K. Adler and T. D. Perry, eds., Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.
  • Guyer, C., and Donnelly, M. A. (2005). Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica and the Caribbean Slope: A Comprehensive Guide. University of California Press, Berkeley.
  • IUCN, Conservation International, and Nature Serve. 2006. Global Amphibian Assessment: Smilisca sordida. www.globalamphibians.org. Accessed on 21 November 2007.
  • Malone, J. H. (2004). ''Reproduction in three species of Smilisca from Costa Rica.'' Journal of Herpetology, 38(1), 27-35.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in many protected areas.
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Wikipedia

Veragua cross-banded tree frog

The Veragua cross-banded tree frog, Smilisca sordida, is a species of frog in the Hylidae family found in Colombia, Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, rivers, plantations, rural gardens, urban areas, heavily degraded former forests, and canals and ditches.

References[edit]

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