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Hyalinobatrachium valerioi Dunn 1931

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)

Common name

La Palma Glass Frog



Species description based on Savage (2002). A small glass frog (males to 24 mm, females to 26 mm).


The dorsum is spotted yellow, with green reticulations filling the space between the spots. Some small dark spots may be present in the green areas.


The ventral surface is transparent. The heart is covered by white tissue and not visible, and the liver and digestive tract are also white.


The eye is gold.

Life history


Clutches contain no more than 40 eggs (McDiarmid and Adler 1974).


The tadpole is small and fairly flattened, with a long, muscular tail (Savage 2002). The dorsal surface is brownish and the ventral surface appears reddish (the blood inside the body is visible, Savage 2002). The tail fins are clear, but the tail muscle has some darker pigmentation (Savage 2002).

Ecology behavior and evolution


A high-pitched "seet" (Starrett and Savage 1973)

Behavior and communication

Males are territorial and will fight intruding males if necessary (McDiarmid and Adler 1974, McDiarmid 1975). Males attend clutches and may simultaneously guard multiple clutches from multiple females at once (McDiarmid and Adler 1974). Males continue to guard clutches during the day, sleeping next to them, often with one hand resting on the egg mass (Hayes 1991, McDiarmid and Adler 1974, McDiarmid 1978).

Taxonomy and systematics



Dunn 1931


Centrolene valerioi, Cochranella valerioi, Cochranella reticulata

Type locality

La Palma, Costa Rica, 4500 feet

Habitat and distribution


Lowland and premontane forest to 400 m.


Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama


Hyalinobatrachium valerioi distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


Cisneros-Heredia, DF and RW McDiarmid. 2007. Revision of the characters of Centrolenidae (Amphibia: Anura: Athesphatanura), with comments on its taxonomy and the description of new taxa of glassfrogs. Zootaxa 1572: 1-82.

Dunn, ER. 1931. New frogs from Panama and Costa Rica. Occasional Papers of the Boston Society of Natural History 5: 385-401.

Guyer, C and MA Donnelly. 2005. Amphibians and Reptiles of La Selva, Costa Rica and the Caribbean Slope: A Comprehensive Guide. University of California Press, Berkeley.

Hayes, MP. 1991. A study of clutch attendence in the neotropical frog Centrolenella fleischmanni (Anura: Centrolenidae). Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Miami.

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.

Kubicki, B. 2007. Ranas de vidrio Costa Rica = Glass frogs of Costa Rica. Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad, INBio.

Leenders, T. 2001. A Guide to Amphibians And Reptiles of Costa Rica. Zona Tropical, Miami.

Lips, K and JM Savage. 1996. Key to the Known Tadpoles (Amphibia: Anura) of Costa Rica. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 31(1): 17-26

McDiarmid, RW and JM Savage. 2005. The herpetofauna of the Rincon area, Peninsula de Osa, Costa Rica, a Central American lowland evergreen forest site. In: Ecology and evolution in the tropics: a herpetological perspective. Kluge, AG, MA Donnelly, BI Crother, C Guyer, and MH Wake. Eds. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

McDiarmid, RW and K Adler. 1974. Notes on the territorial and vocal behaviour of Neotropical frogs of the genus Centrolenella. Herpetologica 30(1): 75-78.

McDiarmid, RW. 1975. Glass frog romance along a tropical stream. Terra. Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History 13(4): 14-18.

McDiarmid, RW. 1978. Evolution of parental care in frogs. In: Burghardt, GM and M Bekoff. Eds. The Development of Behaviour: Comparative and Evolutionary Aspects. Garland STPM Press, New York.

Pounds, JA, MPL Fogden, JM Savage, and GC Gorman. 1997. Tests of null models for amphibian declines on a tropical mountain. Conservation Biology 11(6): 1307-1322.

Ruiz-Carranza, PM and JD Lynch. 1991. Ranas Centrolenidae de Colombia I. Propuesta de una nueva clasificacion generica. Lozania. Bogota 57: 1-30.

Ruiz-Carranza, PM and JD Lynch. 1998. Ranas Centrolenidae de Colombia XI. Nuevas especies de ranas cristal del género Hyalinobatrachium. Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales 22(85): 571-586.

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.

Savage, JM. 1974. Type locality for species of amphibians and reptiles described from Costa Rica. Revista de Biologia Tropical. San Jose 22: 71-122.

Savage, JM. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna between two Continents, between two Seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Starrett, PH and JM Savage. 1973. The systematic status and distribution of Costa Rica glass frogs, Genus Centrolenella (Family Centrolenidae), with description of a new species. Bulletin of the Southern California 72(2): 57-78.

Taylor, EH. 1958. Notes on Costa Rican Centrolenidae with descriptions of new forms. University of Kansas Science Bullentin 39: 41-68.

Vockenhuber, EA, W Hodl, and A Amezquita. 2009. Glassy fathers do matter: egg attendance enhances embryonic survivorship in the Glass Frog Hyalinobatrachium valerioi. Journal of Herpetology 43(2): 340-344.

Vockenhuber, EA, W Hodl, and U Karpfen. 2008. Reproductive behaviour of the glass frog Hyalinobatrachium valerioi (Anura: Centrolenidae) at the tropical stream Quebrada Negra (La Gamba, Costa Rica). Stapfia 88, zugleich Kataloge der oberosterreichischen Landesmuseen Neue Serie 80: 335-348.

Wild, ER. 2003. La Palma glass frog, Hyalinobatrachium valerioi. In: Hutchins, M, WE Duellman, and N Schlager. Eds. Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, Volume 6, Amphibians. 2nd edition. Gale Group, Farmington Hills, Michigan.