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Hemiphractus fasciatus Peters 1862

Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)
Hemiphractus fasciatus
Adult Hemiphractus fasciatus

Common name

Banded Horned Treefrog



Species description based on Duellman (2001). A fairly large treefrog with a distinct triangular-shaped helmet on the head (males to 56 mm, females to 59 mm).

Hemiphractus fasciatus Adult 1


The dorsal surface is light brown (sometimes yellowish or greyish), with or without some darker markings. The thighs are often barred.

Hemiphractus fasciatus Dorsal 1 Hemiphractus fasciatus Dorsal 2


The ventral surface is brown, darkening to black on the throat and chest.

Concealed surfaces

The rear surfaces of the thighs are dark brown. A narrow yellow stripe often separates the dark coloration from the lighter coloration of the dorsum.

Distinguishing characteristics

The tongue is bright yellowish orange (Duellman 2001).

Hemiphractus fasciatus Distinguishing characteristics 1 Hemiphractus fasciatus Distinguishing characteristics 2


The eye is grey, with some yellow tint to the upper half and reddish tint to the lower half. A thin dark line separates the upper and lower halves of the eye.

Hemiphractus fasciatus Eye 1 Hemiphractus fasciatus Eye 2

Life history

Breeding season

Breeding likely occurs nearly year-round (Duellman 2001).


Eggs are carried on the back of the female until hatching (Duellman 2001). They adhere to the surface of the skin (Duellman 2001).


Eggs undergo direct development; there is no tadpole stage in this species.

Metamorph juvenile

Juveniles are paler than adults, or may be orangeish in color (Duellman 2001). The upper portion of the iris of juveniles may be yellow or green (Duellman 2001).

Ecology behavior and evolution


Hemiphractus fasciatus is nocturnal, and may be encountered at night on the ground or on low vegetation (Duellman 2001).


Although Hemiphractus fasciatus will emit noises when disturbed, they are not known to call (Duellman 2001).

Behavior and communication

The defensive behavior of Hemiphractus fasciatus involves throwing back the head and opening the mouth to reveal the brightly colored tongue and interior of the mouth (Myers 1966, Duellman 2001). They will readily bite (Myers 1966, Duellman 2001).

Hemiphractus fasciatus Behavior communication 1 Hemiphractus fasciatus Behavior communication 2

Taxonomy and systematics



Peters 1862


Cerathyla panamensis, Ceratohyla fasciata, Hemiphractus panamensis

Type locality

Pastassa-Thal, an der Ostseite der Anden in Ecuador (but see Trueb 1974)

Habitat and distribution


Lowland to montane cloudforest to 2000 m.


Colombia, Ecuador, Panama


Hemiphractus fasciatus distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


Altig, R and RW McDiarmid. 2007. Morphological diversity and evolution of egg and clutch structure in amphibians. Herpetological Monographs 21(1): 1-32.

Duellman, WE. 1970. The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Volume 1. Monograph of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas 1: 1- 753.

Duellman, WE. 2001. The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Faivovich, J, CFB Haddad, PCO Garcia, DR Frost, JA Campbell, and WC Wheeler. 2005. Systematic review of the frog family Hylidae, with special reference to Hylinae: Phylogenetic analysis and taxonomic revision. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History: 1-240.

Gagliardo, R, P Crump, E Griffith, J Mendelson, H Ross, and K Zippel. 2008. The principles of rapid response for amphibian conservation, using the programmes in Panama as an example. International Zoo Yearbook 42(1): 125-135.

Hödl W and A Amézquita. 2001. Visual signaling in anuran amphibians. In Ryan, MJ. Ed. Anuran Communication. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC.

Ibáñez, R, F Solís, C Jaramillo, and AS Rand. 2000. An overwiew of the herpetology of Panama. In: Johnson, JD, RG Webb, and OA Flores-Villela. Eds. Mesoamerican Herpetology: Systematics, Zoogeography and Conservation. The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas.

Lynch, JD and SB Arroyo. 2009. Risks to Colombian amphibian fauna from cultivation of coca (Erythroxylum coca): a geographical analysis. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part A 72(15-16): 974-985.

Mendelson, JR III, HR Da Silva, and AM Maglia. 2000. Phylogenetic relationships among marsupial frog genera (Anura: Hylidae: Hemiphractinae) based on evidence from morphology and natural history. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 128(2):125–148.

Peters, WCH. 1862. Über die Batrachier-Gattung Hemiphractus. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussische Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1862: 144-152.

Ruiz-Carranza, PM, MC Ardila-Robayo, and JD Lynch. 1996. Lista actualizada de la fauna de Amphibia de Colombia. Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales: 365-415.

Sheil, CA, JR Mendelson III, and HR da Silva. 2001. Phylogenetic relationships of the species of Neotropical Horned Frogs, genus Hemiphractus (Anura: Hylidae: Hemiphractinae), based on evidence from morphology. Herpetologica 57(2): 203-214.

Stejneger, L. 1917. A new species of horned tree-toad from Panama. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 30: 31-34.

Trueb, L. 1974. Systematic relationship of neotropical horned frogs, genus Hemiphractus (Anura: Hylidae). Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History of the University of Kansas: 1-60.

Additional resources