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Lithobates warszewitschii Schmidt 1857

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Lithobates warszewitschii
Lithobates warszewitschii (Warszewitschs frog)

Common name

Warszewitsch's Frog



Species description based on Savage (2002). A medium-sized frog with a pointed snout (males to 52 mm, females to 63 mm). In males, the undersurfaces are mottled with grey or black.


Dorsal coloration consists of large or small green patches on a golden brown background. The coloration darkens to brown along the sides, and this coloration extends forward onto the face in the form of a mask. The dorsolateral folds are lighter, usually golden or yellow. The upper surfaces of the thighs are barred. A light lip line is present.

Lithobates warszewitschii Dorsal 1


The ventral surface is yellow or orangeish, darkening to red on the undersurfaces of the limbs.

Lithobates warszewitschii Ventral 1 Lithobates warszewitschii Ventral 2

Concealed surfaces

The rear surfaces of the thighs have bright yellow spots.

Lithobates warszewitschii Concealed surfaces 1 Lithobates warszewitschii Concealed surfaces 2 Lithobates warszewitschii Concealed surfaces 3 Lithobates warszewitschii Concealed surfaces 4 Lithobates warszewitschii Concealed surfaces 5


The upper portion of the iris is golden, darkening to brown on the lower half.


The feet are extensively webbed.

Life history


Tadpoles have a large, oval-shaped body and a rather short tail with small fins (Savage 2002). The mouth is very small (Savage 2002). The general coloration is dark brown, with heavy dark pigmetation on the tail (Savage 2002). The tadpoles of LIthobates warszewitschii grow quite large (Savage 2002).

Lithobates warszewitschii Tadpole 1 Lithobates warszewitschii Tadpole 2 Lithobates warszewitschii Tadpole 3

Metamorph juvenile

Juveniles are generally a metallic shade of green (Savage 2002).

Ecology behavior and evolution


Lithobates warzsewitschii is commonly encountered along small streams in the forest (Savage 2002).


A low, soft trill (Greding 1972).

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia
    • Phylum:Chordata


Schmidt 1857


Chilixalus warszewiczii, Hylarana chrysoprasina, Hylarana coeruleopunctata, Ixalus warszewitschii, Rana caeruleopunctata, Rana chrysoprasina, Rana coeruleopunctata,Rana warszewitschii, Rana zeteki, Ranula chrysoprasina, Ranula coeruleopunctata, Trypheropsis chrysoprasinus

Type locality

Unweit des Vulcanes Chiriqui, zwischen 6000′ und 7000′ Höhe, in einem feuchten, nie trockenen Klima von 12-14°R (Panama)

Habitat and distribution


Lowland, premontane, and lower montane forest to 1740 m.


Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama


Lithobates warszewitschii distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


Brem, FMR and KR Lips. 2008. Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis infection patterns among Panamanian amphibian species, habitats and elevations during epizootic and enzootic stages. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 81: 189–202.

Bursey, CR and DR Brooks. 2010. Nematode parasites of 41 anuran species from the Area de Conservación Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Comparative Parasitology 77(2): 221-231.

Bursey, CR and SR Goldberg. 2007. New species of Hedruris (Nematoda: Hedruridae), Anuracanthorhynchus lutzi (Hamann, 1891) n. comb. and other helminths in Lithobates warszewitschii (Anura: Ranidae) from Costa Rica. Caribbean Journal of Science 43(1): 1-10.

Colón-Gaud, C, MR Whiles, KR Lips, CM Pringle, SS Kilham, S Connelly, R Brenes, and SD Peterson. 2010. Stream invertebrate responses to a catastrophic decline in consumer diversity. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 29(4): 1185-1198.

Colon-Gaudi, C, MR Whiles, R Brenes, SS Kilham, KR Lips, CM Pringles, S Connelly, and SD Peterson. 2010. Potential functional redundancy and resource facilitation between tadpoles and insect grazers in tropical headwater streams. Freshwater Biology 55(10): 2077–2088.

Conlon, JM, MA Meetani, L Coquet, T Jouenne, J LePrince, H Vaudry, J Kolodziejek, N Nowotny, and JD King. 2009. Antimicrobial peptides from the skin secretions of the New World frogs Lithobates capito and Lithobates warszewitschii (Ranidae). Peptides 30(10): 1775-1781.

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Goldberg, SR and CR Bursey. 2008. Helminths from fifteen species of frogs (Anura, Hylidae) from Costa Rica. Phyllomedusa 7(1): 25-33.

Goldberg, SR and CR Bursey. 2008. Helminths from ten species of Brachycephalid frogs (Anura: Brachycephalidae) from Costa Rica. Comparative Parasitology 75(2):255-262.

Greding, EJ, Jr. 1972. Call specificity and hybrid compatibility between Rana pipiens and three other Rana species in Central America. Copeia 1972: 383-385.

Heinen, JT. 1992. Comparisons of the leaf litter herpetofauna in abandoned cacao plantations and primary rain forest in Costa Rica: Some Implications for Faunal Restoration. Biotropica 24(3): 431-439.

Heyer, WR. 1967. A herpetofaunal study of an ecological transect through the Cordillera de Tilarán, Costa Rica. Copeia 1967(2): 259-271

Hillis, DM and De Sa, R. 1988. Phylogeny and taxonomy of the Rana palmipes Group (Salientia: Ranidae). Herpetological Monographs 2: 1-26.

Hillis, DM and SK Davis. 1986. Evolution of ribosomal DNA: fifty million years of recorded frog history in the genus Rana. Evolution 40: 1275-1288.

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León-Azofeifa, PE. 1970. Report of the chromosome numbers of some Costa Rican anurans. Revista de Biología Tropical 17(1): 119-124.

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

Scott, NJ, Jr. 1976. The abundance and diversity of the herpetofaunas of tropical forest litter. Biotropica 8(1): 41-58.

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Verburg, P, SS Kilham, CM Pringle, KR Lips and DL Drake. 2007. A stable isotope study of a neotropical stream food web prior to the extirpation of its large amphibian community. Journal of Tropical Ecology 23(6): 643-651.

Villa, J. 1972. Anfibios de Nicaragua. Instituto Geografico Nacional and Banco Central de Nicaragua, Nicaragua.

Villa, JD. 1990. Rana warszewitschii (Schmidt). Catalogue of American Amphibians and Reptiles. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles 459: 1-2.

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Additional resources