Anotheca spinosa Steindachner 1864
Crowned Hyla, Spiny-headed Treefrog, Spine-headed Treefrog, Spinyhead Treefrog, Coronated Treefrog
Anotheca spinosa lays its eggs in water-filled cavities of trees and bromeliads. Once the tadpoles hatch, the mother returns to the site to feed her offspring unfertilized eggs (Taylor 1954, Robinson 1961, Jungfer 1996). The tadpoles would probably not survive without these eggs as a food resource in this nutrient-poor environment.
Species description based on Duellman (2001) and Savage (2002).
A large frog with many, sharp, pointed projections on the head and dorsal surface. All individuals have a large tympanum. Males 59-69 mm, females 58-80 mm.
Patterning is variable, but consists of small to large black, brown or tan blotches or spots on a creamy gray to tan background.
Ventral surface is smooth and dark brown or black.
Iris bronze to copper in color. Pupil round.
Hands without webbing and feet with a small amount of webbing.
Males call from water-filled treeholes and bromeliads (Jungfer 1996). Mating behavior has been observed in captivity. Following amplexus, the pair dives into the water and with the cloacae pointing out of the water, affix eggs to the sides of containers above the surface of the water (Jungfer 1996).
Eggs are dark grey and white (Jungfer 1996). White larvae hatch in 6-7 days (Jungfer 1996).
Tadpoles are dark brown. The tail is lighter in color with some mottling. Mouth contains a large beak and 2 teeth rows on top and bottom (Savage 2002). Tadpoles develop in water-filled cavities of trees and bromeliads (Robinson 1961, Jungfer 1996). .
Juveniles have similar coloration as adults, but lack the spines (Robinson 1961, Duellman 2001, Savage 2002).
Ecology behavior and evolution
Males have no vocal slits, but produce a very loud "boop, boop, boop" call (Duellman 2001, Savage 2002).
Behavior and communication
Females return to the site and deposit unfertilized eggs for their offspring to consume (Jungfer 1996). They are stimulated to deposit these eggs by contact from tadpoles (Jungfer 1996).
2N = 24 (Sessions 1978)
Smith et al (2007) studied the evolution of novel characteristics in some Central American treefrogs. The study demonstrates the presence of a "hot spot" of origin of novel cranial features within the treefrogs, including Anotheca spinosa.
Taxonomy and systematics
Anotheca coronata, Gastrotheca coronata, Hyla spinosa, Nototrema marsupiatum, Nototrema coronatum, Opisthodelphys ovifera
Latin spinosa = thorny
Habitat and distribution
HabitatPremontane cloud forest and occasionally upper lowland rainforest between 300 and 1800 m.
Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama
Distrubution map (IUCN)
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