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Isthmohyla rivularis Taylor 1952

Critically Endangered (IUCN 3.1)

Common name

American Cinchona Plantation Treefrog



Species description based on Savage (2002). A medium-sized treefrog (males to 34 mm, females to 37 mm).


The dorsal coloration varies from grey to light brown. Some darker markings are usually, but not always, present. Most individuals have a thin, dark line running through (present on either side of) the eye. The sides are usually yellowish, but the sides of some individuals appear greenish or bluish.


The ventral surface is cream-colored or yellowish with extensive brown or black flecking.


The iris is bronze with black reticulations.

Life history

Breeding season

Males call from vegetation along the margins of streams throughout the year (Savage 2002). Breeding likely occurs year-round (Duellman 1970), but seems to peak at the beginning of the rainy season (Savage 2002). However, reproduction has not been observed (Savage 2002).


Gravid females contain 76-104 eggs (Lang 1995).


The tadpole is oval shaped, but somewhat compressed dorsally (Savage 2002). Tadpoles are brown with some gold flecking apparent (Savage 2002). The tail is light brown, with extensive dark blotching along the top and less pigmentation extending down onto the sides of the tail (Savage 2002). Tadpoles have a large suctioncup-like mouth that enables them to adhere to rock surfaces in fast-moving streams (Savage 2002).

Ecology behavior and evolution


A series of three "cheeps" (Savage 2002).


2N = 24 (Leon-Azofeifa 1970)

Taxonomy and systematics


  • Kingdom:Animalia
    • Phylum:Chordata


Taylor 1952


Hyla rivularis

Type locality

American Cinchona Plantation (Isla Bonita), eastern slope of Volcán Poás, Costa Rica, elevation 5,500 ft

Habitat and distribution


Premontane and lower montane forest (1210-2040 m).


Costa Rica, Panama


Isthmohyla rivularis 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.

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

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, 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.

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

Myers, CW and WE Duellman. 1982. A new species of Hyla from Cerro Colorado, and other tree frog records and geographical notes from western Panama. American Museum Novitates 2752: 1-32.

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 and WR Heyer. 1968. The tree-frogs (Family Hylidae) of Costa Rica: diagnosis and distribution. Revista de Biologia Tropical 16(1): 1-127.

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.

Starrett, P. 1960. Descriptions of tadpoles of Middle American frogs. Miscellaneous Publications Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan 110: 5-37.

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

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.