IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

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Hypiboas geographicus, the map treefrog, is an abundantly occurring hylid frog distributed across tropical South America east of the Andes in the countries of Colombia, Venezuela, Trinidad island, the Guianas, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Brazil.  Usually found below 500m (1640 feet) asl, it occurs up to 1200 m (3900 feet) in Ecuador.  It is closely related to Hypiboas calcarata and H. fasciata, the three of them comprise the H. geographicus group.  The map treefrog lives in many different habitats, including streams, rivers, ponds and lakes in primary forest and forest gaps, flooded savannahs, disturbed areas, Pantanal and Cerrado habitats of Brazil and are recently reported in “restinga environments” in the Maranhão state, Brazil (Matavelli 2014; Iwaki 2004).

Adult males map treefrogs reach up to 55 mm (2.2 inches) in snout vent length, smaller than the females, which grow to 75 mm (3 inches) svl.  They are smooth-skinned with tan sides, reddish brown iris and eyelid with reticulated pattern.  Hypiboas geographicus may represent a species complex, as adults are highly variable in coloration across its range, especially of throat, belly and webbing.  In addition, over the course of development these frogs undergo coloration change: tadpoles are all black, froglets are tan with black flecks, in adults, the black flecks coalesce to create patterns on the dorsal surface and legs, and their bellies turn from grey to white or orange, some (especially females) develop black splotches (Iwaki 2004; Duellman 1973).

Nocturnal and terrestrial, male Hypsiboas geographicus call during the rainy season from vegetation near permanent and non-permanent water bodies, and sound like “a moaning sound interrupted with chuckles.”  There is much variation in call length (Iwaki 2004).  A nice video recording of the vocalization of frogs from Reserva Florestal Adolpho Ducke, Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil can be viewed at this link: https://ppbio.inpa.gov.br/sapoteca/hypsiboas_geographicus (recording by W. E. Magnusson).

Females lay up to 2000 eggs in still water pools or ponds.  Tadpoles are unpalatable to fish due to skin toxins, but susceptible to predation by dragonfly larvae.  Tadpole behavior is complex and has been studied and described by Caldwell (1989).  Adult frogs are too slow to escape predators but feign death, emit odors, and give out a distress call to deter them (Iwaki 2004).


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© Dana Campbell

Supplier: Dana Campbell

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