Agalychnis lemur Boulenger 1882
Lemur Leaf Frog, Lemur Frog
Agalychnis lemur populations have declined severely in recent years, due at least in part to the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Smith et al 2009). For example, A. lemur was regularly seen in Santa Fe, Panama, until chytrid fungus was detected in 2002 (Brem and Lips 2008). This species has experienced decline in other localities in Panama, including the Fortuna reserve (Chiriqui province, Lips 1999), and Altos de Campana National Park (Cocle province, Woodhams et al 2008).
Species description based on Duellman (2001) and Savage and Heyer (1967) and Savage (2002).
A small slender treefrog with long arms and shorter legs. Males and females similarly sized. Males to 40.8 mm, females to 50.6 mm.
The dorsal skin is smooth. Color ranges from bright yellow-green during the day to red-brown at night. Small, enamel-like white spots are rarely, if ever, present. However, many individuals have dark flecks on the dorsal surface.
The venter is white and granular. Throat color ranges from white to cream.
The flank area is uniform bright yellow or orange, without contrasting bars or patterning.
Iris silver, purplish grey, or pale gold, surrounded by a smoky black ring. Pupil vertical. Lower eyelid not reticulate, as in some other species of Agalychnis.
Hands and feet lack webbing. Hands and feet are yellowish in color with terminal discs.
Breeding occurs from April through July (Duellman 1970). Males call from branches above shallow ponds and seeps (Duellman 1970).
Eggs are deposited in clutches (15-30) on the surfaces of leaves overhanging water (Jungfer and Weygoldt 1994, Schulte 1977, Van Eijsden 1977)). The embryos are light green in color and hatch in 7-14 days (Jungfer and Weygoldt 1994).
Tadpole is almost uniform light brown with some darker brown flecks (Duellman 1970). Tail fin is relatively transparent with some darker brown flecks (Duellman 1970). The mouth is bordered by 2 upper and 3 lower rows of labial papillae (Duellman 1970). Refer to Duellman (1970), for a more extensive description and drawings of the tadpole. Tadpoles develop in water, metamorphosing in 69-98 days (Jungfer and Weygoldt 1994). They are suspension feeders but also rasp food from surfaces such as the bottom of ponds (Savage 2002).
Metamorphs look similar to the adult, with distinctive eye coloration (black ring) developing almost immediately (Hughey pers. obs.). However, the yellowish flank coloration develops later (Jungfer and Weygoldt 1994).
Ecology behavior and evolution
Agalychnis lemur is sometimes infected by a lung parasite (Goldberg and Bursey 2008). Fungus was not successfully inoculated onto the eggs of A. lemur by Villa (1979).
The call is a single, short "tlack" (Duellman 1970) or "tick" (Savage 2002). This species also produces encounter calls (male-male interactions) and a release call (Jungfer and Weygoldt 1994).
Behavior and communication
Upon becoming active in the evening, individuals molt and consume the shed skin (Jungfer and Weygoldt 1994). Males engage in aggressive interactions with other males, grappling opponents and attempting to dislodge them from their branch (Jungfer and Weygoldt 1994).
Peptides isolated from the skin of adult frogs have antibacterial and antifungal properties (Conlon et al 2007).
Manzano et al (2007) described the intercalary elements present on the digits of A. lemur and compared it to other species.
Taxonomy and systematics
Hylomantis lemur, Phyllomedusa lemur
Latin. Lemur refers to the way this species walks, which is similar to that of the mammalian lemurs.
Faivovich et al (2009) found that frogs in the genus Hylomantis are paraphyletic and revived the synonymy of Agalychnis to remedy this problem.
Habitat and distribution
HabitatHumid, low-mid elevation (650-1600 m) forests having consistent rainfall throughout the year (Duellman 1970).
Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama
Distrubution map (IUCN)
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