Cruziohyla sylviae

Cruziohyla sylviae Gray, 2018. Family Phyllomedusidae. Eng. Sylvia’s treefrog. Spa: Rana tigre. 

Holotype: BMNH 2018.5509, by original designation.

Type locality: "Alto Colorado: Guayacán: District of Siquirres: Limón Province: Costa Rica, 700 m.

Generalities. A genus with three species, C. calcarifer, from southern Costa Rica to Ecuador, west of the Andes; C. craspedopus, a wonderful Amazonian species; and the recently described

C. sylviae

Definition. A splendid treefrog of moderate size, males up to 83 mm, females up to 90 mm. Dark to pale green with yellow to orange flanks with transverse black narrow stripes and bright orange hands and feet.  Lower lip white. Iris gray bordered by yellow; pupil vertical to elliptic.

Hands huge with extensive webbing and expanded discs. Belly yellow.

Comparison with similar species. C. sylviae only can be confused with C. calcarifer in southern Caribbean Costa Rica and Panama. C. sylviae has not yet been recorder from Colombia. C. sylviae lacks a well-defined calcar (present and well-defined in C. calcarifer); C. sylviae has transverse black bars crossing from up to down, while C. calcarifer has black to gray extensions that normally do not reach down to the belly. C. craspedopus is an Amazonian species (totally allopatric) and has extensive flaps on the tarsi and white (instead yellow) irregular spots on dorsum. 

Distribution. Cruziohyla sylviae extends from Honduras through Nicaragua towards the Darien in Panama. It has not yet reported from Colombia, from where it is highly expected.

Natural History. A canopy dweller, it spends most of the dry season (from January to May in Central America) in semi-estivation.  The first rains of the wet season will active them, which will descent from the canopy to breed in small hollows of living or dead trunks in the rainforest. Males call to attract females with a short wok. Eggs are laid hanging in small leafs or steams over the filled water hollows. Males attach to females during the night, sometimes fighting other males; females lay their eggs early in the morning. The egg mass is grey, containing 10-60 eggs; tadpoles develop in 5-7 months to pale metamorphs. C. sylviae feeds exclusively on small to medium sized insects (orthoptera, coleopteran…) and aracnids.

Conservation status. Cruziohyla sylviae has not yet a IUCN resolution for its populations. It probably will reach a Least Concern status based on its widespread distribution.

Fotos: César Barrio-Amorós/CRWild.