Rhinella spinulosa 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Bufonidae

Scientific Name: Rhinella spinulosa
Species Authority: (Wiegmann, 1834)
Common Name(s):
English Warty Toad
Bufo arequipensis Vellard, 1959
Bufo flavolineatus Vellard, 1959
Bufo spinulosus Wiegmann, 1834
Bufo spinulosus subspecies papillosus Gallardo, 1965
Bufo trifolium Tschudi, 1845
Rhinella spinulosus Wiegmann, 1834
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: We follow Córdova (1999) in treating Rhinella arequipensis as a variant phenotype of Rhinella spinulosa, and Bufo flavolineatus and Bufo trifolium as junior synonyms of Rhinella spinulosa. However, more than one species might be involved in Rhinella spinulosa. The form Rhinella spinulosa papillosa of Chile and Argentina is often considered distinct, but is not treated as such here.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-07-10
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Luedtke, J.
Contributor(s): Veloso, A., Angulo, A., Muñoz, A., Blotto, B., Úbeda, C., Correa, C., Lavilla, E., Nunez, H., De la Riva, I., Córdova-Santa Gadea, J. & Santa Cruz, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Hobin, L. & Superina, M.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats and presumed large population.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2010 Least Concern (LC)
2004 Least Concern (LC)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Andean slopes of Argentina, Chile (altiplano in the North to the southern Nothofagus region), Bolivia, and Peru (regions of Puno, Cusco, Junin, and Huánuco); also present in parts of Argentinian Patagonia (B. s. papillosus). It has a wide altitudinal range from sea level (Azapa, Arica, Chile) to 5,100 m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Argentina; Bolivia, Plurinational States of; Chile; Peru
Upper elevation limit (metres): 5100
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is generally abundant where it occurs. While surveys have been carried out, the methods used (Visual Encounter Surveys and transects) are good to report the species but do not provide adequate information on abundance as the species is aquatic (R. Santa Cruz pers. comm. July 2015). Local inhabitants in Peru have suggested that this species has declined dramatically compared to the 1990s (R. Santa Cruz pers. comm. July 2015).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In the Andes the species is present in scrubland and grassland, and in the more southern parts of its range it is found in forested areas. It has also been recorded from arable areas. Breeding takes place in the wet season in temporary ponds, altiplano lagoons and slow flowing streams; no tadpoles have been found during the dry season (R. Santa Cruz pers. comm. July 2015).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater
Movement patterns: Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: In Bolivia this species is increasingly used as an amulet to attract luck and money, and at markets hundreds of dried frogs can be found hanging up for sale (A. Muñoz pers. comm. August 2015).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this widespread species; there are some localized declines through the use of agro-chemicals and over collection for educational use (dissections) at universities. In Chile it is threatened by hydroelectric dams, mining activities and water pollution. In Peru, it is used for food and medicine; and the main observed threats in the habitat are grazing livestock (including llamas, alpacas, sheep), introduced trout species into the streams, and the destruction and pollution of bogs (R. Santa Cruz pers. comm. July 2015).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions 
Occurs in many protected areas in Argentina and Chile. In Peru it is believed to occur in Parque Nacional del Huascarán, Huayllay National Sanctuary, Junín National Reserve, Chacamarca Historical Sanctuary, Alto Cañete Cochas Pachacayo, Apurimac and Aymara Lupaca Reserve Zones. In Bolivia it is known from Sajama, Ulla Ulla and Eduardo Avaroa protected areas. No specific conservation measures are required. 

Research Needed 
In Chile it is suggested that environmental impact reports should be undertaken in order to protect breeding areas.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Rhinella spinulosa. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T54763A61394818. . Downloaded on 26 November 2015.
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