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Dendropsophus microcephalus Cope 1886

Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus

Common name

Yellow Treefrog, Small-headed Treefrog, Yellow Cricket Treefrog



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 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 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.


Iris bronze in color.

Dendropsophus microcephalus Eye 1


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).


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


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


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).


2N = 30 (Bogart 1973)


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

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia


Cope 1886


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


Greek mikros = small kephale = head

Type locality


Habitat and distribution


Lowland and premontane forest to 1300 m.


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


Dendropsophus microcephalus distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


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Additional resources

Audio Files

Vocalization of Dendropsophus microcephalus


Yellow treefrog (Dendropsophus microcephalus)
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Male Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus
Adult Dendropsophus microcephalus