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Incilius fastidiosus Cope 1875

Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1)

Common name

Pico Blanco Toad



Species description based on Savage (2002). A medium-sized toad (males to 52 mm, females to 60 mm).


The dorsal surface is dark brown or black and covered with warts arranged in a series of longitudinal rows. The warts are dark or may be reddish or pinkish in coloration. A narrow light middorsal stripe is usually present. The cranial crests are well-developed and massive.


The ventral surface is extensively mottled with dark brown or black. The ventral surface is very bumpy.


The iris is brown.


This toad has rather short limbs. The hands and feet are very fleshy, with substantial webbing between fingers and toes.

Life history

Breeding season

Breeding occurs during the dry season after rains in slow moving streams (Lips and Krempels 1995). Breeding is explosive (Lips and Krempels 1995). Numerous (up to 10) males will attempt to amplex a single female, which results in the formation of balls of toads (Lips and Krempels 1995). Females do not always survive (Lips and Krempels 1995). Amplexus is inguinal (Graybeal and de Quieroz 1992).


Females lay 80-90 eggs in strands (a rather small clutch size for toads, Lips and Krempels 1995). The eggs are black and yellow (Lips and Krempels 1995). Eggs hatch after 4-5 days (Lips and Krempels 1995).


The tadpoles of Incilius fastidiosus are small and very dark brown (Lips and Krempels 1995, Savage 2002). The ventral surface is grey and is not transparent (Lips and Krempels 1995). The tail fins are translucent with some dark pigmentation (Lips and Krempels 1995, Savage 2002). The tadpoles tend to aggregate in pools in streams (Lips and Krempels 1995).

Ecology behavior and evolution


Males have no vocal sac and do not produce an advertisement call (Savage 2002). However, males do produce a weak trill as a release call (Lips and Krempels 1995, Savage 2002).

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia
    • Phylum:Chordata


Cope 1875


Bufo caerulescens, Bufo coerulescens, Bufo fastidiosus. Cranophryne fastidiosa, Cranopsis fastidiosa, Cranopsis fastidiosus, Nannophryne coerulescens, Nannophryne fastidiosa, Ollotis coerulescens, Ollotis fastidiosa

Type locality

2500 feet elevation on the slope of the Pico Blanco, in the district of Uren (Costa Rica)

Habitat and distribution


Premontane forest between 760 and 1200 m.


Costa Rica, Panama


Incilius fastidiosus distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


Cope, ED. 1875. On the Batrachia and Reptilia of Costa Rica. Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Series 2 8: 93-154.

Frost, DR, JR Mendelson III, and JB Pramuk. 2009. Further notes on the nomenclature of Middle American toads (Bufonidae). Copeia 2009: 418-419.

Frost, DR, T Grant, and JR Mendeloson, III. 2006. Ollotis Cope, 1875, is the oldest name for the genus current referred to as Cranopsis Cope, 1875. Copeia 2006: 558.

Graybeal, A and K de Queiroz. 1992. Inguinal amplexus in Bufo fastidiosus, with comments on the systematics of bufonid frogs. Journal of Herpetology 26: 84-87.

Ibáñez, R, F Solís, C Jaramillo, and S 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.

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

Lips, KR and DM Krempels. 1995. Eggs and tadpoles of Bufo fastidiosus Cope, with comments on reproductive behaviour. Copeia 1995(3): 741-746.

Lips, KR. 1999. Mass mortality and population declines of anurans at an upland site in western Panama. Conservation Biology 13(1): 117-125.

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.