Hypsiboas tetete, Caminer, Marcel A. & Ron, Santiago R., 2014

Caminer, Marcel A. & Ron, Santiago R., 2014, Systematics of treefrogs of the Hypsiboas calcaratus and Hypsiboas fasciatus species complex (Anura, Hylidae) with the description of four new species, ZooKeys 370, pp. 1-68 : 38-42

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scientific name

Hypsiboas tetete

sp. n.

Hypsiboas tetete sp. n.

Common name.

English: Tetete’s treefrog; Spanish: Rana arbórea de los Tetetes


(Fig. 14G) QCAZ 40081 (field no. SC-PUCE 23220), adult male from Ecuador, Provincia Napo, Comunidad Santa Rosa, road to Tena (1.0214°S, 77.4782°W), 344 m above sea level, collected by Marcel A. Caminer and Edwin Carrillo Ponce on 28 February 2009.


QCAZ 40060-61, 40079-80, adult males, collected with the holotype.


ECUADOR: PROVINCIA NAPO: Jatun Sacha (1.0649°S, 77.6142°W), 420 m, QCAZ 48094, adult male, 48095-96, adult females, collected by S. R. Ron and Morley Read on 31 March 2010.

Referred specimens.

PERU: REGIÓN LORETO: San Jacinto (2.3125°S, 75.8628°W), 180 m (KU 221864).


Hypsiboas tetete (Figs 8F and 19) is characterized by: (1) mean SVL 31.72 mm in males (range 31.15-32.24; n = 5), 45.59 mm in females (range 45.33-45.85; n = 2); (2) basal webbing on the fingers; (3) tubercle on the heel; (4) dorsal background coloration varying from grayish brown to pale brown, sometimes with dark markings (e.g., diffuse broad transversal bands); (5) faint brown middorsal line often present; (6) flanks creamy white or gray (in life, light blue in large females and white in males) with dark brown irregular spots; (7) hidden surfaces of thighs creamy white or brown with dark brown irregular spots or blotches; (8) ventral surfaces of thighs creamy white or yellowish white; (9) ventral areas creamy white or yellowish white with brown flecks on the head, neck, and chest; (10) webbing on the feet; (11) in life, iris yellow or cream with yellow on its anterior half; (12) prepollical spine present in males.

Hypsiboas tetete differs from Hypsiboas fasciatus , Hypsiboas almendarizae , Hypsiboas calcaratus , and Hypsiboas maculateralis in advertisement call (Figs 12 A–F and 13 A–H) and by having a tubercle on the heel instead of a calcar. Hypsiboas tetete is most similar to Hypsiboas alfaroi from which differs in advertisement call (Fig. 13 C–H). Although with overlapping values, Hypsiboas tetete has a statistically significant larger tympanum than Hypsiboas alfaroi (see Hypsiboas alfaroi diagnosis). Morphological characters useful to differentiate Hypsiboas tetete from other species are shown in Table 6.

Description of holotype.

Adult male, SVL 31.15 mm, foot length 12.01 mm, head length 7.48 mm, head width 10.31 mm, eye diameter 3.51 mm, tympanum diameter 2.25 mm, tibia length 17.76 mm, femur length 16.09 mm, arm length 5.50 mm, eye-nostril distance 1.97 mm, head wider than long and wider than body; snout rounded in lateral view, truncate in dorsal view; distance from nostril to eye shorter than diameter of eye; canthus rostralis indistinct, rounded; loreal region concave; internarial area convex; nostrils not protuberant, directed laterally; interorbital area slightly convex; eye large, strongly protuberant; diameter of eye 1.6 times diameter of tympanic annulus; tympanum concealed beneath skin;tympanic annulus evident, ovoid, longer dorsoventrally and concealed dorsally by supratympanic fold, separated from eye by ca. 1.03 times its diameter; posterior end of supratympanic fold reaches anterior border of arm insertion. Arm slender, axillary membrane absent; indistinct low tubercles present along ventrolateral edge of forearm; relative length of fingers I<II<IV<III; fingers bearing large, oval discs, that of third finger about three fourths of tympanum diameter; subarticular tubercles prominent, round to ovoid, single; supernumerary tubercles present; palmar tubercle small, elongated; prepollical tubercle large, flat, elliptical; prepollex enlarged, claw shaped; nuptial excrescences absent; webbing absent between fingers. Small tubercle on tibiotarsal articulation; ill defined, scattered tubercles on tarsus and along ventrolateral edge of foot; toes bearing discs slightly wider than long, smaller than those of fingers; relative length of toes I<II<V<III<IV; outer metatarsal tubercle ill defined, small, round; inner metatarsal tubercle large, elongated and elliptical; subarticular tubercles single, round, flat; supernumerary tubercles restricted to the soles; webbing formula of toes I2-- 2½ II2-3+III2-3+IV3+-2-V. Skin on dorsum, head, and dorsal surfaces of limbs smooth; skin on flanks smooth with weak longitudinal wrinkles posterior to the arm; skin on venter coarsely granular; skin on ventral surfaces of head and thighs granular, those of shanks smooth. Cloacal opening directed posteriorly at upper level of thighs; short simple cloacal sheath covering cloacal opening; round tubercles below and on the sides of vent. Tongue ovoid, widely attached to mouth floor; vomerine odontophores triangular with arched base, barely separated, posteromedial to choanae, bearing eight vomerine teeth on each side; choanae ovoid.

Color of holotype in preservative. Dorsum grayish brown with scattered minute black dots; faint brown narrow middorsal line extends from the tip of the snout to the mid-sacrum; dorsal surfaces of hindlimbs and forelimbs grayish brown with narrow transversal brown bars (one or two on each forearm and three or four on each thigh, shank, and tarsus); flanks creamy white with dark brown irregular spots; hidden surfaces of thighs grayish brown with dark brown irregular spots; venter creamy white with brown flecks on the neck, chest, and lips; ventral surfaces of hindlimbs and forelimbs yellowish white with a narrow to wide brown stripe on the outer edge of the hands, forearms, thighs, tarsal folds, and feet; bones white.

Color of holotype in life. (Fig. 14G). Dorsum pale yellowish tan with four narrow pale brown longitudinal lines; a dark brown middorsal line extends from the tip of snout to mid-sacrum; dorsal surfaces of hindlimbs yellowish tan with pale brown transversal bars; scattered minute dark brown dots on the dorsal surfaces of limbs and dorsum; flanks white with well-defined dark brown irregular spots; hidden surfaces of thighs pale yellowish tan with dark brown spots; venter creamy white with yellowish white belly; ventrally, scattered brown flecks on the chest, gular region, and jaw margin; ventral surfaces of hindlimbs and forelimbs creamy white; discs and webbing pale yellow tan; iris cream with faint yellow coloration on its upper half; bones white.


The specific name is a noun and refers to the Tetete, a Western Tucanoan indigenous group that inhabited the Colombian and Ecuadorian Amazon. It was decimated by the rubber exploitation and became extinct during the 1970s ( Wasserstrom et al. 2011). Its recent disappearance parallels the destruction of increasingly large areas of forest in the Ecuadorian Amazon with the ensuing decline of biodiversity.


Variation in dorsal and ventral coloration of preserved specimens is shown in Figure 19. Background dorsal coloration varies from grayish brown (e.g., QCAZ 48094) to pale grayish brown (e.g., QCAZ 48096) or pale brown (e.g., QCAZ 48094). Irregular dorsal marks may be present in diverse patterns. A faint middorsal line extends from the tip of snout to mid-dorsum (e.g., QCAZ 40079), mid-sacrum (e.g., QCAZ 40060) or to the cloaca (e.g., QCAZ 48095-96). There is variation in the number, size and shape of the dorsum marks. Five to seven broad transversal bands (sometimes interconnected) may be present on the dorsum; the dorsal surfaces of the limbs have brown transversal bars (one or two each on upper arm and forearm and three to five each on thigh, shank, and foot) (e.g., QCAZ 40080). Some individuals have scattered black or white dots on the dorsum (e.g., QCAZ 40060). The coloration of flanks varies from creamy white to gray with conspicuous dark brown irregular spots distributed from the groin to mid-flank. In some individuals, similar spots can also be present on the hidden surfaces of shanks and dorsal surfaces of feet (e.g., QCAZ 48096). The coloration of the hidden surfaces of thighs varies from creamy white to brown, with dark brown spots (e.g., QCAZ 40060) or blotches (QCAZ 48096).

Ventral areas of preserved specimens vary from creamy white (e.g., QCAZ 48094, 48096) to yellowish white (e.g., QCAZ 40079) with scattered flecks on the head and chest. In some individuals, the flecks are also present on hindlimbs, forelimbs, and belly (e.g., QCAZ 48095). Some individuals (e.g., QCAZ 48096) have a narrow to wide brown stripe on the outer edge of the hands, forearms, thighs and tarsal folds. Coloration of webbing and discs vary from brown to gray. Vomerine odontophores are triangular (with arched base in some specimens). Bones white.

In the adult type series, the largest male has a SVL of 32.24 mm, and the largest female 45.85 mm; mean male SVL = 31.72 mm (n = 5; SD = 0.42), female SVL range is 45.33 to 45.85 mm (n = 2). Inter-population variation in size and other morphometric variables are shown in Tables 1 and 2.

Coloration in life.

(based on photographs; Fig. 8F). Dorsal surfaces vary from pale yellowish tan (e.g., QCAZ 40060) to reddish brown (e.g., QCAZ 40079), with a brown middorsal line (e.g., QCAZ 48096); narrow pale brown longitudinal lines (e.g., QCAZ 40060, 48094) may be present. Some individuals have pale brown transversal bars on the dorsal surfaces of hindlimbs (e.g., QCAZ 40080); scattered minute black dots can be present on the dorsal surfaces of limbs and dorsum (e.g., QCAZ 40060); flanks are white (light blue in large females) with dark brown irregular marks with rounded (e.g., QCAZ 40060) or elongated shapes (e.g., QCAZ 48096); hidden surfaces of thighs are white or gray with dark brown spots (e.g., QCAZ 40060); in some specimens, the hidden surfaces of the shanks and dorsal surfaces of feet also have dark brown irregular spots (e.g., QCAZ 48096); venter creamy (e.g., QCAZ 48096) or yellowish white (e.g., QCAZ 40080) with scattered brown flecks on the ventral surfaces of the head and chest (e.g., QCAZ 48094); ventral surfaces of hindlimbs and forelimbs creamy white (e.g., QCAZ 40060) or yellowish white (e.g., QCAZ 40061); discs and webbing pale yellow tan; iris bronze (e.g., QCAZ 48096) or cream with faint yellow coloration on its upper half (e.g., QCAZ 40060); bones are white (e.g., QCAZ 40080).


We recorded the calls of four malesat Comunidad Santa Rosa (Provincia Napo) on 28 February 2009, in flooded areas of secondary forest. Call parameters are shown in Table 7. Two call types were recorded. Type one (Fig. 13 E–F) was the most common and consisted of a beep-like note with a mean duration of 0.10 s (SD = 0.02), average rise time 0.03 s (SD = 0.02) and average dominant frequency 1938.47 Hz (SD = 26.24). Type two (Fig. 13 G–H) consisted of a single pulsed note with a mean duration of 0.11 s (SD = 0.02), mean rise time 0.05 s (SD = 0.02), and mean dominant frequency 1829.12 Hz (SD = 12.61). Call type two was alternated between calls of type one. Only males QCAZ 40060, 40080-81 produced this type of call.

Distribution and ecology.

Hypsiboas tetete is distributed in the Ecuadorian (Provincia Napo) and Peruvian Amazon basin ( Región Loreto) (Fig. 15). Known localities range in elevation from 180 m (San Jacinto) to 420 m (Jatun Sacha). It is likely to have a larger distribution. Unfortunately, the lack of distinctive morphological characters relative to Hypsiboas alfaroi , preclude the unequivocal identification of museum specimens not associated with advertisement calls or genetic data. All specimens from Comunidad Santa Rosa and Jatun Sacha were found in flooded areas, in secondary forest, roosting on vegetation, 50 to 80 cm above ground.

Vegetation type for the Ecuadorian localities is Amazonian Lowland Evergreen Forest characterized by high plant alpha-diversity and a canopy of 30 m with emergent trees that reach 40 m.

Vegetation type at the Peruvian locality is Napo Moist Forest.

Conservation status.

The distribution polygon has 2,950 km2 of which 106 (3.5%) have been degraded by human activities (estimated from Ministerio de Ambiente del Ecuador 2013). Because its known distribution range is small with less than five localities and habitat degradation is increasing, Hypsiboas tetete is assigned to the Endangered category under criteria B1ab(iii).













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