Atelopus limosus

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Limosa harlequin frog
Atelopus limosus female.jpg
Atelopus limosus female
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Bufonidae
Genus: Atelopus
Species: A. limosus
Binomial name
Atelopus limosus
Ibáñez, Jaramillo & Solís, 1995[2]

Atelopus limosus, the limosa harlequin frog[3] or sapo limoso in Spanish,[1] is an endangered species of toad in the family Bufonidae endemic to Panama.[4] Its natural habitats are stream banks in tropical moist lowland forests and rivers of the Chagres watershed in central Panama.


Lowland color form of A. limosus male left, female right

Atelopus limosus has two color forms. A lowland color form is brown with a yellow nose and finger tips, while the upland color form is green with black chevron markings on its back. Males and females of both color forms are sexually dimorphic. Males are smaller with a white belly speckled with black spots, while females tend to have a red or orange belly.

Little is known of their diet in the wild, but it is presumably similar to that of other Atelopus species that forage on beetles, ants, flies, and mites.[5] In captivity, the frogs readily accept large fruit flies, small meal-worm larvae and small crickets.


Female on a log, looking for a mate

Atelopus limosus is threatened by chytridiomycosis and habitat loss. Species have been rapidly declining throughout their range. About 75% of all known species from highland sites above 1000 m have disappeared, while 58% of lowland species have declined and 38% have disappeared.[6] Worried about the effects of chytridiomycosis on this endemic Panamanian frog, the Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project targeted A. limosus as a priority rescue species to be taken into captivity as an assurance colony at the Summit Municipal Park in Panama City. When the rescue team arrived at one of the last known upland sites at Cerro Brewster, they found many of the frogs were already infected with chytridiomycosis.[7] The captive-breeding program has been successful.[3] While the upland region seems to have been hard-hit by chytrid fungus, the fate of lowland populations of this species is uncertain, as chytridiomycosis appears to have more pronounced effects at upland sites.


  1. ^ a b Solís, F.; Ibáñez, R.; Jaramillo, C. & Fuenmayor, Q. (2004). "Atelopus limosus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Ibáñez, R.; C. A. Jaramillo & F. A. Solís (1995). "Una especie nueva de Atelopus (Amphibia: Bufonidae) de Panama" (PDF). Caribbean Journal of Science. 31 (1-2): 57–64. 
  3. ^ a b Lindsay Renick Mayer (22 March 2013). "Rescue Project Successfully Breeds Endangered Frog Species". Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  4. ^ Frost, Darrel R. (2014). "Atelopus limosus Ibáñez, Jaramillo, and Solís, 1995". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 14 September 2014. 
  5. ^ P Durant, JW Dole (1974) Food of Atelopus oxyrhynchus (Anura: Atelopodidae) in a Venezuelan cloud forest Herpetologica 30:183-187
  6. ^ La Marca, E.; Lips, K. R.; Lotters, S.; Puschendorf, R.; Ibanez, R.; Rueda-Almonacid, J. V.; Schulte, R.; Marty, C.; Castro, F.; Manzanilla-Puppo, J.; Garcia-Perez, J. E.; Bolanos, F.; Chaves, G.; Pounds, J. A.; Toral, E.; Young, B. E. (2005). "Catastrophic population declines and extinctions in Neotropical harlequin frogs (Bufonidae: Atelopus)". Biotropica. 37 (2): 190–201. doi:10.1111/j.1744-7429.2005.00026.x. 
  7. ^ "Panama amphibian rescue challenged by rapid spread of chytrid fungus". Panama Amphibian Rescue and Conservation Project. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 14 September 2014.