IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

Comprehensive Description

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The snout-vent length of the adult tree frog Flectonotus fitzgeraldi is 19-24 mm. The dorsal skin is smooth and the scapular region usually lacks diagonal markings. The head is as long as it is wide. The snout is rounded and the small nasals are widely separated. Upper lips have no spots and no suborbital bar is present. The eyes, separated by an interorbital bar, have diameters of 1.9 to 3.0 mm. The tympanum is smaller than the eye. A brood pouch along the dorsum has a middorsal opening, with lateral folds of skin making up the sides. These folds stick together to enclose the pouch during egg brooding. More often than not, the dorsal thighs are barred, while bars are never present on the anterior and posterior thighs. The tarsus is smooth as opposed to tuberculate, and tibia length in males ranges from 8.8-12.2 mm. Fourth toe webbing is predominately penultimate, although it is sometimes half penultimate and antepenultimate. Fifth toe webbing is mainly distal but can be half distal and penultimate (Duellman and Gray 1983).

Coloration: The dorsum is yellowish brown, while the posterior surfaces are pale brown. The venter is unpigmented, but speckled with white on the chest. Coloration of the iris is varied from a dull pale bronze to golden, and a reddish brown streak exists on either side of the pupil (Duellman and Gray 1983).

Variation: Dorsal patterns are present in three-fourths of individuals. However there is no pattern post-sacrum. The faint dorsal markings of two preserved specimens from Trinidad showed more definite brown markings after preservation (Duellman and Gray 1983).

Tadpole Morphology: Tadpoles are less than 20 mm in length with muscular tails. Their small mouths lack denticles and are oriented anteroventrally. Their snouts are dull, with reduced, weakly cornified beaks (Duellman and Gray 1983).

Diagnosis: The closest known relative of F. fitzgeraldi is F. pygmaeus. F. fitzgeraldi is distinguishable from F. pygmaeus by its smaller size. Foot length in both males and females is a significant means for separating these species. In F. fitzgeraldi, foot length is 5.9-7.9 mm and 7.2-9.6 mm in males and females respectively. In F. pygmaeus foot length is 8.4-11.1 mm in males and 10.6-12.5 mm in females. In addition to foot length, internarial distance, tibia length, eye-to-nostril distance, interorbital distance, nostril-jaw distance, head length, and eye diameter may be useful in distinguishing species among male individuals. Internarial distance, tibia length, eye-to-nostril distance, nostril-jaw distance, head width, and thumb length may be useful in distinguishing species among female individuals (Duellman and Gray 1983).

F. fitzgeraldi was first described by Parker (1934) (Frost 2011).

The primitive number of chromosomes in hylid frogs is 26, however F. fitzgeraldi has 28 (Duellman and Gray 1983).


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