IUCN threat status:

Vulnerable (VU)

Comprehensive Description

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The dendrobatid frog Andinobates tolimense is very small with maximum adult SVL ranging from 17.39 to 18.91 mm. The skin is granular on the venter, flanks, dorsum, and dorsal limb surfaces, while on the forelimbs the skin is less granular. Fingers and toes are neither webbed nor fringed. Finger discs are expanded, with the third finger disc in adults being 1.5 to 2 times wider at the distal end than that of the adjacent finger. Toes lack expanded discs. The second finger is longer than the first, and the second toe is also longer than the first toe. This poison frog species is sexually dimorphic. Males can be reliably distinguished by the presence of vocal slits. Males are also smaller in SVL on average, and have a wider disc on the third finger. The testes and eggs are dark brown in color (Bernal et al. 2007).

This frog is brown to dark brown with a metallic yellow-bronze color on the head (particularly the jaw), shoulders, upper back, and proximodorsal surface of the arm; the yellow fades into brown gradually in the posterior body. A dark brown stripe proceeds from the eye through the tympanum, and connects with the insertion of the forelimb. Ventral surfaces are dark brown with or without bluish-green spotting. The iris is dark brown (Bernal et al. 2007).

Andinobates tolimense is syntopic with Andinobates dorisswansonae, but distinguishable by color and toe morphology. In contrast to the dark brown/metallic yellow-bronze coloration of A. tolimense, A. dorisswansonae is dark brown to black with irregular red spots. In addition, Andinobates tolimense lacks fused toes, whereas A. dorisswansonae has partially or completely fused toes I and II (Bernal et al. 2007).

Andinobates tolimense tadpoles are dark brown and globular in shape when viewed dorsally, and have lighter, translucent venters. The head and body are depressed, much wider than deep. At stage 25, a tadpole collected from the adult male's back measured 4.4 mm in head-body length and 13.1 mm in total length,with a tail length of 8.7 mm. Eyes and nostrils are placed dorsally and oriented in a dorsolateral direction. The larval mouth is anteroventrally placed and has a massive, serrated beak. The oral disc has a lateral indentation, with a wide median gap on the posterior edge. The spiracle is sinistral while the vent is dextral. The tail tip is rounded and relatively transparent (Bernal et al. 2007).

The species name means “from Tolima”, referring to the department of Colombia where it is found (Bernal et al. 2007).

Because of a possible larval synapomorphy (the presence of a wide median gap in the fringing papillae on the posterior edge of the oral disc) A. tolimense is hypothesized to be a member of the monophyletic Andean dendrobatid clade, along with A. abdita, A. bombetes, A. opisthomelas, and A. virolinensis (Bernal et al. 2007).

In 2011, the genus Dendrobates was subdivided into seven genera, including the genus Andinobates by Brown et al (2011).


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