Atelopus franciscus is a species of toad in the Bufonidae family, endemic to the central coastal region of French Guiana; it is sometimes known as the central coast stubfoot toad. It is a locally common, diurnal species found near fast-flowing small streams and creeks in lowland rainforest. Many authors have suggested that this taxon might be a synonym of Atelopus flavescens.
Reproduction and behaviour
To attract females and to defend their territories, male Atelopus franciscus use advertisement calls, not visual displays as typical for Atelopus. This is somewhat unexpected, given that their environment is noisy and that males have to acoustically compete with males of several other frog species (e.g., Allobates femoralis and Otophryne pyburni). Moreover, this species lacks an external vocal sack, and so can only produce low intensity calls that propagate short distances (<8 m). It also lacks an external tympanum and could be considered anatomically deaf. Nevertheless, it has a well developed inner ear and has been shown to respond acoustically to the calls of conspecifics in the field.
Male territories are closely spaced, only 2–4 meters apart on average, and despite the handicaps discussed above, acoustic communication appears sufficiently efficient at these short distances.
- Lescure, J., Marty, C., Born, M., Boistel, R., Reynolds, R., Hoogmoed, M., MacCulloch, R., Gaucher, P. & Lötters, S. (2004). "Atelopus franciscus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Atelopus franciscus Lescure, 1974". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- Boistel, R.; Aubin, T.; Cloetens, P.; Langer, M.; Gillet, B.; Josset, P.; Pollet, N.; Herrel, A. (2011). "Whispering to the deaf: communication by a frog without external vocal sac or tympanum in noisy environments". PLoS ONE 6 (7): e22080. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022080. PMC 3135622. PMID 21779377.
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