Main Banner
Browse Species

Isthmohyla zeteki Gaige 1929

Near Threatened (IUCN 3.1)
Isthmohyla zeteki
Adult Male Isthmohyla zeteki

Common name

Zetek's Treefrog



Species description based on Duellman (2001) and Savage (2002). A small treefrog (males to 24 mm, females to 27 mm).

Isthmohyla zeteki Adult 1


Dorsal coloration varies from yellowish tan to green.


The ventral surface is translucent white.

Distinguishing characteristics

The wrist has a thin, dark band across the front.


The iris is dull red, red-brown or bronzy pink.


The undersurfaces of the limbs are yellowish or greenish.

Life history

Breeding season

Breeding occurs in bromeliads (Dunn 1937).


Eggs are laid on leaves of bromeliads, just above the water of the central cup (Dunn 1937). Gravid females contain up to 24 eggs (Taylor 1958, Duellman 1970).


The tadpole is very unique. The body is flattened dorsally and appears guitar-shaped from above (Savage 2002). The tail is moderately long, with poorly developed fins (Savage 2002). Coloration is grey above and below (Savage 2002). Conspecific eggs have been found in the stomachs of preserved tadpoles (Dunn 1937).

Ecology behavior and evolution


Isthmohyla zeteki is found in association with bromeliads in the forest canopy (Dunn 1937).


The call is unknown (Duellman 2001, Savage 2002).

Behavior and communication

Females may provide nutritive eggs for their offspring, but this behavior has not been confirmed (Savage 2002).

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia


Gaige 1929


Hyla zeteki

Type locality

from a bromeliad in the Caldera Valley, above Boquete, Chiriqui Province, Panama

Habitat and distribution


Premontane forest between 1200-1804 m.


Costa Rica, Panama


Isthmohyla zeteki distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


Duellman, WE. 1966. The Central American herpetofauna: an ecological perspective. Copeia 1966 (4): 700-719

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.

Dunn, ER. 1937. The amphibian and reptilian fauna of bromeliads in Costa Rica and Panama. Copeia 1937: 163-167.

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.

Gaige, HT. 1929. Three new tree-frogs from Panama and Bolivia. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 207: 1-6.

Gerald, GW. 2006. Isthmohyla zeteki. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 805: 1-3.

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.

Kohler, G, J Sunyer, M Ponce, and A Batista. 2008. Noteworthy records of amphibians and reptiles in Panama (Amphibia: Hylidae, Leptodactylidae, Plethodontidae; Reptilia: Polychrotidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 88: 329-333.

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

Martin, AA and GF Watson. 1971. Life history as an aid to generic delimitation in the family Hylidae. Copeia 1971(1): 78-89.

Robinson-Clark, DC. 1977. Herpetofauna bromelícola costarricense y renacuajos de Hyla picadoi Dunn. Historia Natural de Costa Rica. Biología de las Bromeliáceas 1: 31-44.

Savage, JM and WR Heyer. 1968. The tree-frogs (Family Hylidae) of Costa Rica: diagnosis and distribution. Revista de Biologia Tropical 16(1): 1-127.

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

Smith, SA, A Saad, A Nieto Montes de Oca, and JJ Wiens. 2007. A phylogenetic hot spot for evolutionary novelty in Middle American treefrogs. Evolution 61(9): 2075–2085.

Starrett, P. 1960. Descriptions of tadpoles of Middle American frogs. Miscellaneous Publications Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 110: 5-37.

Taylor, EH. 1958. Additions to the known herpetological fauna of Costa Rica with comments on other species. No. III. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin 39 (1): 3-40.

Wiens, JJ, CH Graham, DS Moen, SA Smith, and TW Reeder 2006. Evolutionary and Ecological Causes of the Latitudinal Diversity Gradient in Hylid Frogs: Treefrog Trees Unearth the Roots of High Tropical Diversity. American Naturalist 168: 579–596.

Additional resources