Atelopus cruciger 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Atelopus cruciger (Lichtenstein & Martens, 1856)
Common Name(s):
English Veragua Stubfoot Toad, Rancho Grande Harlequin Frog
Spanish Sapito Rayado
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2014. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6 (27 January 2014). New York, USA. Available at: (Accessed: 27 January 2014).
Taxonomic Notes: This species was recently redescribed by Lötters, La Marca and Vences (2004) following the discovery that the original type material represents Atelopus varius of Central America. The former junior synonym A. vogli is considered to be a distinct species following Lötters, La Marca and Vences (2004).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A2ace ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Jesús Manzanilla, Enrique La Marca, Ronald Heyer, Ernesto Fernández-Badillo
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Critically Endangered because of a drastic population decline, estimated to be more than 80% over the last three generations, inferred from the apparent disappearance of most of the population, probably due to chytridiomycosis.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is restricted to several localities in the northern and southern versants of the Cordillera de la Costa of Venezuela (Estados Aragua, Carabobo, Miranda, Vargas, Yaracuy and the Distrito Federal) and recently from Cerro Azul (Estado Cojedes) (Rivas Fuenmayor 1998), which suggests that the species might be present throughout the entire mountainous area of the central coastal range (Lötters, La Marca and Vences 2004). It has been recorded from 30-2,200m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Although this species was once abundant, it has undergone an extreme decline, to the point that despite extensive surveys no specimens have been seen since 1986 and there are no museum records after 1988 (La Marca 1995; La Marca and Lötters 1997; Manzanilla and La Marca 1999; Lötters, La Marca and Vences 2004). Recently (2004), a single small population of A. cruciger has been found just south of the town of Cata within the limits of the 107,000-ha Parque Nacional Henri Pittier, in cloud forest at 600m asl.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a diurnal species usually found on rocks of rivulets or the surroundings, where they can climb on to plants up to 1.5m above ground. The general habitat is humid forest in montane and lowland environments. It breeds along swift-flowing streams. The recently rediscovered population was found by a cascading mountain stream in cloud forest.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major cause of the observed population decline of this species is chytridiomycosis, which was confirmed in 1986 (Bonaccorso et al. 2003). Pollution by acid rain could be another possible threat, given the vicinity of the species to the large concentration of industries generating polluting gases in the nearby area of Valencia-Maracay. Droughts and flash floods could be a further potential threat, as well as over collecting for scientific or pet trade purposes.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Many of the known localities are within the Parque Nacional Henri Pittier, Parque Nacional Rancho Grande, and Parque Nacional San Esteban. Monitoring of the populations, establishment of a captive-breeding population, and disease management are all urgently required.

Citation: Jesús Manzanilla, Enrique La Marca, Ronald Heyer, Ernesto Fernández-Badillo. 2004. Atelopus cruciger. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T54502A11152124. . Downloaded on 23 June 2018.
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