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Isthmohyla debilis Taylor 1952

Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1)

Common name

Isla Bonita Treefrog


Isthmohyla debilis may now be extinct.



Species description based on Duellman (2001). A small treefrog (males to 30 mm, females to 32 mm).


The dorsal surface is drab green and covered in small black flecks. Coloration turns to white with black flecking along the sides of the body. A dark brown stripe, bordered above by a lighter stripe, runs through the eye. The upper lip is white, and a white spot is usually present below the eye.


The ventral surface is white.

Concealed surfaces

The rear surfaces of the thighs are yellow.


The eye is coppery.

Life history

Breeding season

Breeding occurs at streams, where males call from the surrounding vegetation (Duellman 2001).


Tadpoles have oval bodies and a relatively long thin tail (Duellman 2001). The overall coloration is dark brown (Duellman 2001). Some gold flecks may be present along the sides, and the ventral surface is often lighter near the center (Duellman 2001). The eye is golden, with some grey coloration along the outer edges (Duellman 2001). Tadpoles have large suctioncup-like mouths which they use to adhere to rocks in streams (Duellman 2001).

Metamorph juvenile

Juveniles look similar to adults, except the eye stripe is lighter (Duellman 2001).

Ecology behavior and evolution


A series of quiet cricket-like chirps (Duellman 2001).

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia
    • Phylum:Chordata


Taylor 1952


Hyla debilis


Latin debilis = weak

Type locality

Isla Bonita, (American Cinchona Plantation) eastern slope of Vólcan Póas, Costa Rica, 5600 ft

Habitat and distribution


Lower montane forest between 910 and 1450 m.


Costa Rica, Panama


Isthmohyla debilis distribution
Distrubution map (IUCN)


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.

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.

Hofer, U and L-F Bersier. 2001. Herpetofaunal diversity and abundance in tropical upland forests of Cameroon and Panama. Biotropica 33(1): 142-152.

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, 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.

Savage, JM. 1968. A new red-eyed tree-frog (family Hylidae) from Costa Rica, with a review of the Hyla uranochroa group. Bulletin Southern California Academy of Sciences 67: 1-20.

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.

Taylor, EH. 1952. A review of the frogs and toads of Costa Rica. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin: 35(1): 577-941.