Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
A medium size leaf-frog belonging to the P. hypochondrialis species group (31-44 mm SVL). Snout truncate in dorsal and lateral view. The space between the eyes is flat. The eyes are large and prominent, located antero-laterally; their diameter is equal to the length of the snout. The tympanum is little evident and rounded. Parotoid glands faintly developed, not entering the upper eyelid but bordering the tympanum. The vocal sac is not discernable. Fingers free, with weak roundish subarticular tubercles and with a large palmar tubercle. Short legs. Toes free, first toe opposable and larger than the second. A large, rounded inner metatarsal tubercle is present; the outer metatarsal tubercle is absent. A brown nuptial pad is present in males. Skin smooth, ventrally closely rugose, with larger granulations on the lower surface of thighs (Cei 1980; Caramaschi 2006).
Dorsal color bright green, but can change to light brown by daytime; belly whitish, immaculate. A wide green stripe along the dorsal surface of thighs. Phyllomedusa azurea bears a narrow white stripe in the upper labium, which does not reach the edge of the lower eyelid. Wide red or orange bands with black transversal bars, regularly distributed on the anterior and posterior surface of the thighs, tibia, and tarsus (Cei 1980; Caramaschi 2006).
The tadpole of P. azurea has a slender, ovoid body, slightly wider than deep. Total length about 40 mm at Gosner stage 38. Eyes lateral, large. The spiracle is ventral, opening posteriorly. Vent tube dextral. Ventral fin curving in the posterior half of the tail and with a very acuminate tip. The enlarged portion of the ventral fin is finely marbled with small dark spots. Labial tooth row formula 2(2)/2(1). The oral apparatus is surrounded by one row of marginal papillae as well as submarginal papillae. The upper jaw sheath is broad and finely serrated (Cei 1980). Budgett (1899) meticulously described the early development of the embryo and tadpoles of P. azurea (treated as P. hypochondrialis) from Paraguayan chaco.
A distribution map can be found in Caramaschi (2006) and an updated version with a new record in Prado et al. (2008).