IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Comprehensive Description

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P. ayeaye is a small Phyllomedusa (SVL 35-42.6 mm in males, 41.3-46.1 mm in females) (Lutz 1966; Caramaschi et al. 2006) belonging to the hypochondrialis group, with a green body and a reticulated pattern of red-orange blotches encircled by black or deep purple on the concealed surfaces of flanks and limbs. The head occupies the first third of the body; the parotoid glands and vocal sac are indistinct; tympanum small; eyes with vertical pupils; vomerine teeth absent and choanae small. The arms are robust, with forearms slightly hypertrophied. Hands with slender fingers, not webbed or fringed, discs poorly developed, with finger I enlarged at the base and in opposition to the other fingers (nuptial pad of horny asperities evident in males, visible in dorsal view of finger I), subarticular and supernumerary tubercles single, large, round. The legs are short and robust; thigh length slightly longer than tibia length and both smaller than tarsus-foot length; calcar appendix and tarsal fold absent; metatarsal tubercles indistinct. Foot with slender toes, neither webbed nor fringed, and with globose apical discs, poorly developed. Toes I and II in opposition to the others; subarticular and supernumerary tubercles single, large, round. (Caramaschi et al. 2006).

Some populations present regional particularities in the coloration pattern, such as a reticulate stripe in the upper lip, a reticulate pattern on the border of the eyelids, color of ventral surface slightly different (color ranging from whitish to light yellow) and color of the pattern ranging from gray, black to purple. For more details and drawings of some of these pattern variations see Baêta et al. (2010).

The tadpole of P. ayeaye has an ovoid body, slightly wider than deep with a total length of about 44.3 ± 2.0 mm at Gosner stage 37 (Pezutti et al. 2009). Eyes lateral, large. The spiracle is ventral, opening posteriorly, and the vent tube is dextral. Ventral fin beginning anterior to the vent tube and ending in a flagellum (Lutz 1966). The coloration of the body and tail is grayish-yellow with darker gray dots scattered on dorsal and ventral surface of the body and on tail musculature. Venter silver. In lateral view the dorsal portion of the peritoneum is dark bluish. Dorsal and ventral fins transparent with white and black spots scattered mainly on ventral fin. Labial tooth row formula 2(2)/3(1): A1 same length as A2; P3 smaller than P1 and P2 (Pezutti et al. 2009). The oral apparatus is surrounded by one row of marginal papillae as well as submarginal papillae (Cruz 1982). Jaw sheaths darkly pigmented and finely serrated on the margins, with the upper jaw sheath “M” shaped and lower sheath “V” shaped (Pezutti et al. 2009).

The original description of Phyllomedusa ayeaye (Lutz 1966) has some data on natural history of the species (perceptions from the authors about the vocalizations and movement of the species), since Baêta et al. (2009) synonymizes Phyllomedusa itacolomi (Caramaschi et al. 2006) with P. ayeaye, the description of P. itacolomi is a good source of information. Pezzuti et al. (2009) provide a good description of the tadpole of Phyllomedusa ayeaye (treated as P. itacolomi) that complements the original description by Lutz (1966) (which lacks drawings and comparisons with some species in the hypochondrialis group. Cruz (1982) provides the first drawing of the tadpole of P. ayeaye and interesting comparisons with other members of the genus.

An updated distribution map can be found in Baêta et al. (2010).


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