Main Banner
Browse Species

Dendropsophus microcephalus Cope 1886

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus
Sections
Links

Common name

Yellow Treefrog, Small-headed Treefrog, Yellow Cricket Treefrog

Identification

Adult

Species description based on Duellman (2001) and Savage (2002). A small yellow treefrog--males to 25 mm, females to 31 mm. The head is rather narrow when the animal is viewed top-down .

Dendropsophus microcephalus Adult 1

Dorsal

Dorsal surface pale to bright yellow with two fairly distinct light brown lines running in parallel down the length of the dorsum. Upper surfaces of the thighs with dark markings. The dorsal surface is smooth.

Dendropsophus microcephalus Dorsal 1 Dendropsophus microcephalus Dorsal 2

Ventral

Ventral surface pale cream or white and granular in texture. The throat may be more yellowish.

Concealed surfaces

Concealed surfaces of the thighs are yellow, with no additional patterning. The lateral surface is darker than the dorsum; a white line typically separates this dark lateral striping from the yellow dorsal coloration.

Eye

Iris bronze in color.

Dendropsophus microcephalus Eye 1

Extremities

Hands have little webbing, but feet are extensively webbed. All digits end in large terminal discs characteristics of treefrogs.

Life history

Breeding season

Dendropsophus microcephalus breeds throughout the rainy season (Ibanez et al 1999). Breeding occurs in small ponds and temporary wetlands (Savage 2002).

Egg

Small clutches of eggs are laid in water, attached to vegetation near the surface (Savage 2002).

Tadpole

Tadpoles are small with a tan, oval-shaped body (Savage 2002). A dark bar extends from the mouth to the eye (Savage 2002). The tail is rather short with a high upper fin and a more shallow lower fin (Savage 2002). Tail color is deep orange, fading to translucent at the rear (Savage 2002).Tadpoles have no denticles nor oral papillae (Savage 2002).

Ecology behavior and evolution

Call

An insect-like "creek" followed by a series of "eeks" (Savage 2002). This species also produces an aggressive call (Schwartz and Wells 1985).

Dendropsophus microcephalus Call 1

Behavior and communication

Males increase call rates in the presence of both con- and hetero-specifics (including D. ebraccatus and D. phlebodes, Schwartz and Wells 1984, Schwartz and Wells 1985).

Karyotype

2N = 30 (Bogart 1973)

Evolotion

This species may actually be a complex of several species, but the taxonomy of the group is currently unresolved.

Taxonomy and systematics

Taxonomy

  • Kingdom:Animalia

Authority

Cope 1886

Synonyms

Hyla microcephala, Hyla underwoodi, Hyla cherrei, Hyla misera,

Etymology

Greek mikros = small kephale = head

Type locality

Chiriqui

Habitat and distribution

Habitat

Lowland and premontane forest to 1300 m.

Countries

countries
Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela

Map

Dendropsophus microcephalus distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)

Bibliography

Altig, R. 1987. Key to the Anuran Tadpoles of Mexico. The Southwestern Naturalist 32(1): 75-84

Armesto, O, JB Esteban, and R Torrado. 2009. Fauna de anfibios del municipio de Cúcuta, Norte de Santander, Colombia. Herpetotropicos 5: 57-63.

Backwell, PRY and MD Jennions. 1993. Mate choice in the Neotropical frog, Hyla ebraccata - Sexual selection, mate recognition and signal selection. Animal Behaviour 45:1248-1250.

Barrio Amorós, CL. 2004. Amphibians of Venezuela Systematic List, Distribution and References, An Update. Review of Ecology in Latin America: 1-48.

Bevier, CR. 1995. Biochemical correlates of communication activity in neotropical frogs. Physiological Zoology 68:1118-1142.

Bevier, CR. 1997. Utilization of energy substrates during communication activity in tropical forests. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 41:343-352.

Bolivar-Garcia, W, JJ Ospina-Sarria, J Mendez-Narvaez, and CE Burbano-Yandi. 2009. Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae, Dendropsophus microcephalus (Boulenger, 1898): Distribution extensions. Checklist. Journal of Species Lists and Distribution 5: 926-928.

Campbell, JA. 1998. Amphibians and reptiles of Northern Guatamala, the Yucatan, and Belize. University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, Oklahoma.

Chek, AA, SC Lougheed, JP Bogart, and PT Boag. 2001. Perception and history: Molecular phylogeny of a diverse group of Neotropical frogs, the 30-chromosome Hyla (Anura : Hylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18:370-385.

Duellman, WE and CJ Cole. 1965. Studies of chromosomes of some anuran amphibians (Hylidae and Centrolenidae). Systematic Zoology 14(2): 139-143

Duellman, WE and MJ Fouquette. 1968. Middle American frogs of the Hyla microcephala group. University of Kansas Science Bulletin 17(12): 329-379.

Duellman, WE. 2001. The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York.

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.

Fouquette, MJ, Jr. 1960. Isolating mechanisms in three sympatric treefrogs in the canal zone. Evolution 14: 484-497.

Fouquette, MJ, Jr. 1966. Some hylid frogs of the Canal Zone, with special reference to call structure. Caribbean Journal of Science 6(3-4): 167-172.

Frost, D.R. 1985. Amphibian Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Allen Press and the Association of Systematic Collections, Lawrence, Kansas.

Fugler, CM and RG Webb. 1957. Some noteworthy reptiles and amphibians from the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz. Herpetologica 13(2): 103-108

Gorzula, S and JC Señaris. 1998. Contribution to the herpetofauna of the Venezuelan Guayana I. A database. Scientiae Guaianae 8: 1-270.

Hero, J.-M. 1990. An illustrated key to tadpoles occurring in the Central Amazon rainforest, Manaus, Amazonas, Brasil. Amazoniana 11: 201-262.

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

Ibañez, R, AS Rand, and CA Jaramillo. 1999. Los anfibios del Monumento Natural Barro Colorado, Parque Nacional Soberanía y areas adyacentes. Mizrachi, E and SA Pujol. Santa Fe de Bogota.

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, pp. 159-170. The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas.

Kaiser, H, C Mais, F Bolanos, C Steinlein, W Feichtinger, and M Schmid. 1996. Chromosomal investigation of three Costa Rican frogs from the 30-chromosome radiation of Hyla with the description of a unique geographic variation in nucleolus organizer regions. Genetica 98(1): 95-102

Kenny, JS. 1969. The Amphibia of Trinidad. Studies on the Fauna of Curacao and Other Caribbean Islands. 29: 42-45.

Kenny, JS. 1977. The Amphibia of Trinidad - an addendum. Studies on the Fauna of Curacao and Other Caribbean Islands 37: 92-95.

Köhler, G. 2001. Anfibios y Reptiles de Nicaragua. Herpeton, Offenbach, Germany.

La Marca, E and S Lötters. 1997. Monitoring of declines in Venezuelan Atelopus. In: Bohme,W, W Bishoff, and T Ziegler. Eds. Herpetologia Bonnensis. Society European Herpetology, Bonn.

La Marca, E. 1992. Catalogo taxonomico, biogeografico y bibliografico de las ranas de Venezuela. Cuadernos Geograficos, Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida.

La Marca, E. 1995. Crisis de biodiversidad en anfibios de Venezuela: estudio de casos. In: Alonso-Amelot, ME. Ed. La Biodiversidad Neotropical y la Amenaza de las Extinciones. Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida.

Laurencio, D. 2009. Amphibians and reptiles from Reserva Natural Absoluta Cabo Blanco, province of Puntarenas, Costa Rica. Check List 5(3): 446–459, 2009.

Lee, JC. 1996. The Amphibians and Reptiles of the Yucatán Peninsula. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, New York, USA.

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

Lescure, J and C Marty. 2000. Atlas des Amphibiens de Guyane. Patrimoines Naturels, Paris.

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

McClelland, BE, W Wilczynski, and AS Rand. 1997. Sexual dimorphism and species differences in the neurophysiology and morphology of the acoustic communication system of two neotropical hylids. Journal of Comparative Physiology A-Sensory Neural and Behavioral Physiology 180:451-462.

McCranie, J, L Wilson, and G Kohler. 2005. The Amphibians and Reptiles of the Bay Islands and Cayos Cochinos, Honduras. Bibliomania, Salt Lake City, Utah.

McCranie, JR and LD Wilson. 2002. The Amphibians of Honduras. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles Contributions to Herpetology 19: 1-625.

Murphy, JC. 1997. Amphibians and Reptiles of Trinidad and Tobago. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida.

Navas, CA. 1996a. The effect of temperature on the vocal activity of tropical anurans: a comparison of high and low-elevation species. Journal of Herpetology 30:488-497.

Navas, CA. 1996b. Metabolic physiology, locomotor performance, and thermal niche breadth in neotropical anurans. Physiological Zoology 69:1481-1501.

Rand, AS and R Dudley. 1993. Frogs in helium: the anuran vocal sac is not a cavity resonator. Physiological Zoology 66(5): 793-806

Ressel, SJ. 1996. Ultrastructural properties of muscles used for call production in neotropical frogs. Physiological Zoology 69:952-973.

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

Schwartz, JJ and KD Wells. 1983. The influence of background noise on the behavior of a neotropical treefrog, Hyla ebraccata. Herpetologica 39:121-129.

Schwartz, JJ and KD Wells. 1984a. Interspecific acoustic interactions of the neotropical treefrog, Hyla ebraccata. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 14:211-224.

Schwartz, JJ and KD Wells. 1984b. Vocal Behavior of the Neotropical Treefrog Hyla phlebodes. Herpetologica 40(4): 452-463

Schwartz, JJ and KD Wells. 1985. Intra- and Interspecific Vocal Behavior of the Neotropical Treefrog Hyla microcephala. Copeia 1985(1): 27-38

Schwartz, JJ. 1987. The function of call alternation in anuran amphibians: a test of three hypotheses. Evolution 41(3): 461-471.

Solano de Chacín, H. 1968. Anfibios comunes del Valle de Caracas. Estudio de Caracas (Ecología Vegetal y Fauna). Universidad Central de Venezuela, Caracas.

Urbina-Cardona, JN, M Olivares-Perez, and VH Reynoso. 2006. Herpetofauna diversity and microenvironment correlates across a pasture–edge–interior ecotone in tropical rainforest fragments in the Los Tuxtlas Biosphere Reserve of Veracruz, Mexico. Biological Conservation 132: 61-75.

Villa, J, LD Wilson, and JD Johnson. 1988. Middle American Herpetology. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

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.

Wiens, JJ, JW Fetzner Jr., CL Parkinson and TW Reeder. 2005. Hylid Frog Phylogeny and Sampling Strategies for Speciose Clades. Systematic Biology 54(5): 778-807

Yustiz, E. 1996. Aspectos biogeográficos de la herpetofauna de la cuenca hidrográfica del rio Turbio (Estado Lara, Venezuela). In: Pefaur, JE. Ed. Herpetología Neotropical. Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida.

Zimmerman, BL and MT Rodrigues. 1990. Frogs, snakes, and lizards of INPA-WWF Reserves near Manaus, Brasil. In: Gentry, AH. Ed. Four Neotropical rainforests. Yale University Press, New Haven.

Additional resources

Audio Files

Vocalization of Dendropsophus microcephalus
[Metadata]

Images