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Lithobates vibicarius Cope 1894

Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1)

Common name

Rancho Redondo Frog



Species description based on Savage (2002).


Dorsal coloration is variable. Individuals may be golden, greenish or dull brown. Most individuals have at least some darker markings on the dorsum. The dorsolateral folds are typically lined by black on the outer edges. A black face mask is typically present. The upper lip is lined in white.

Concealed surfaces

The concealed surfaces are mostly bright red, including the armpit, groin, as well as the lower and rear surfaces of the thighs.


The iris is green.


Feet are extensively webbed.

Life history

Breeding season

Breeding occurs most during the early parts of the rainy season, but may occur year-round (Zweifel 1964).


The eggs are black and cream (Savage 2002). Eggs are laid in large, round gelatinous masses in the vegetation of shallow bodies of water (Zweifel 1964, Savage 2002).


The tadpole is oval-shaped with a moderately long tail that ends quite bluntly (Savage 2002). Tadpoles are brown, with some dark pigmentation on the tail (Savage 2002).

Metamorph juvenile

Juveniles are usually green (Savage 2002).

Ecology behavior and evolution


Lithobates vibicarius are commonly encountered near ponds in dense forest as well as in more open areas (Savage 2002).


A low, harsh trill (Zweifel 1964, Greding 1972, Savage 2002). Males do not have a vocal sac (Savage 2002).

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia
    • Phylum:Chordata


Cope 1894


Levirana vibicaria, Rana godmani, Rana vibicaria

Type locality

Rancho Redondo, on the divide of the Irazú range (Costa Rica)

Habitat and distribution


Montane forest between 1500-2700 m.


Costa Rica, Panama


Lithobates vibicarius distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


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Dubois, A. 2006. Naming taxa from cladograms: a cautionary tale. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42: 317-330.

Dubois, A. 2007. Naming taxa from cladograms: some confusions, misleading statements, and necessary clarifications. Cladistics 23: 390-402.

Frost, D, T Grant, J Faivovich, R Bain, A Haas, C Haddad, R de Sá, A Channing, M Wilkinson, S Donnellan, C Raxworthy, J Campbell, B Blotto, P Moler, R Drewes, R Nussbaum, J Lynch, D Green, and W Wheeler. 2006. The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 297: 1-370

Hillis, DM and TP Wilcox . 2005. Phylogeny of the New World true frogs (Rana). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34: 299-314.

Hillis, DM. 2007. Constraints in naming parts of the tree of life. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 42: 331-338.

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.

Lips, KR, DE Green, and R Papendick. 2003. Chytridiomycosis in wild frogs from southern Costa Rica. Journal of Herpetology 37(1): 215-218.

Lips, KR. 1998. Decline of a tropical montane amphibian fauna. Conservation Biology 12(1): 106-117.

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.

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.

Villa, J. 1988. Rana vibicaria (Cope). Rana Montañera. Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles 437: 1-2.

Zweifel, RG. 1964. Distribution and life history of the Central American frog Rana vibicaria. Copeia 1964: 300-308.