Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Dendrobatidae

Scientific Name: Hyloxalus pulchellus
Species Authority: (Jiménez de la Espada, 1875)
Common Name(s):
English Espada's Rocket Frog
Colostethus pulchellus (Jiménez de la Espada, 1871)
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: The populations from the Carchi basin might represent a distinct species (Coloma 1995).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2ace; B1ab(i,ii,iii,iv,v) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2004
Date Assessed: 2004-04-30
Needs updating
Assessor(s): Wilmar Bolívar, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron
Reviewer(s): Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)
Listed as Vulnerable because of a reduction in population size, estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations, inferred from a drastic decline in Extent of Occurrence, possibly due to chytrdiomycosis; and because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in its Extent of Occurrence, in its Area of Occupancy, in the extent and quality of its habitat, in the number of locations, and in the number of mature individuals.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in the inter-Andean páramos of southern Colombia (in Nariño and Cauca Departments) and northern Ecuador (south to Cotapaxi Province), and on the eastern slopes of the Andes from southern Colombia south to the headwaters of the Río Pastaza in Ecuador. Its altitudinal range is 1,590-2,970m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Ecuador
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It has disappeared from sites where it used to be abundant in Ecuador, but is still common at Cosanga in Napo Province. It remains common in Colombia.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: An inhabitant of both dry and humid montane forests. It is a terrestrial species, and breeding takes place in streams. It can be found in secondary growth near streams, but not in open areas.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat to this species is habitat loss as a result of agricultural development (including the planting of illegal crops), logging, and human settlement; introduction of alien predatory fish in streams, and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops, are additional threats. There is heavy deforestation as a result of wood extraction at Cosanga, where the species survives in Ecuador. The cause of declines observed in Ecuador is not clear, but could be due to habitat loss, climate change, and/or chytridiomycosis.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Ecuador, its geographic range overlaps with the Parque Nacional Sumaco Napo-Galeras, Reserva Ecológica Antisana, Parque Nacional Llanganates, and the Reserva Ecológica Cayambe-Coca. It occurs in several protected areas in Colombia. The species requires close population monitoring, especially in view of the potential risk of chytridiomycosis.

Citation: Wilmar Bolívar, Luis A. Coloma, Santiago Ron. 2004. Hyloxalus pulchellus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T55137A11259198. . Downloaded on 04 October 2015.
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