Agalychnis lemur 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Hylidae

Scientific Name: Agalychnis lemur
Species Authority: (Boulenger, 1882)
Common Name(s):
English Lemur Leaf Frog
Hylomantis lemur (Boulenger, 1882)
Phyllomedusa lemur Boulenger, 1882
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2013. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.6 (9 January 2013). Electronic Database. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: This species was previously within the genus Phyllomedusa but has recently been moved to the genus Hylomantis (Faivovich et al. 2005).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered A4ace ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Savage, J., Jaramillo, C., Fuenmayor, Q., Kubicki, B., Pounds, J., Chaves, G., Jungfer, K. & Lips, K.
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S., Cox, N.A. & Young, B.E.
Listed as Critically Endangered because of ongoing drastic population declines, estimated to be more than 80% over a ten year period, inferred from the apparent disappearance of most of the Costa Rican, and some of the western Panamanian, population, probably mostly due to chytridiomycosis, and the likelihood that extensive declines will take place within central and eastern Panama in the near future.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2004 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species occurs in Costa Rica and Panama, and marginally in Colombia. It occurs predominantly on the Atlantic versant from the vicinity of Tilarán, Guanacaste Province, Costa Rica, to western Panama; the disjunct Pacific slope records are from north-western Costa Rica and south-western, central, and extreme eastern Panama in the Darien area, where it extends marginally across the border into Colombia. In Costa Rica the species is now only known with certainty from three sites: Fila Asunción, 15km south-west of Limón (an abandoned farm); in a forested area near Parque Nacional Barbilla near Siquirres (where one female has been found); and from Guayacán (in Limón Province). The first of these three sites is the only site known to have a large breeding population. All other previously known Costa Rican populations of this species have disappeared including those in Monteverde, San Ramón, Braulio Carrillo, and Tapantí. Its altitudinal range is 440-1,600m asl.
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Costa Rica; Panama
Lower elevation limit (metres): 440
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1600
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It was once considered to be a reasonably common species in Costa Rica, but most populations have recently disappeared. The species is still considered to be reasonably common in lower elevation in central and eastern parts of Panama (where, for example, there are recent records from Palmarazo), but extensive declines have been recorded in western Panama from the Reserva Forestal Fortuna, Chiriquí, (no records from this site since 1999) and El Copé, Coclé (declined from 2004, although it persists at a very reduced abundance [Karen Lips pers. comm. 2007]) (Lips et al. 2006). There is no recent population information from Colombia.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a nocturnal tree frog associated with sloping areas in humid lowland and montane primary forest, and is not found in degraded habitats. The eggs are usually deposited on leaf surfaces and the larvae are washed off or fall into water below the site of oviposition.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The massive declines noted in this species are probably due to chytridiomycosis. Recent studies by Woodhams et al. (2006) found that among species studies, this was one of the more resistant species to infection with chytridiomycosis; possibly suggesting a reason for the continued persistence of limited numbers of this species at El Copé. General habitat loss also remains a threat, and this is especially the case in Costa Rica where deforestation by squatters threatens Fila Asunción, one of the three known remaining populations.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Within Costa Rica, the former range included several national parks and other protected areas; none of the remaining populations are within protected areas (Gerardo Chaves pers. comm. 2007). The species is known to be present within at least six Panamanian protected areas, but it is not known from any protected areas in Colombia. A successful captive breeding program began in 2001 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which has since transferred individuals to other zoos to continue these captive breeding efforts. An ex-situ population of this species is breeding at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Panama (Edgardo Griffith pers. comm. September 2007).

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.7. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.8. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent Freshwater Marshes/Pools (under 8ha)
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
1. Land/water protection -> 1.2. Resource & habitat protection

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Subject to ex-situ conservation:Yes
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.1. Housing & urban areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.1. Shifting agriculture
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.2. Small-holder farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.2. Small-holder grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.2. Dams & water management/use -> 7.2.11. Dams (size unknown)
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Cannatella, D.C. 1980. A review of the Phyllomedusa buckleyi group (Anura: Hylidae). Ocassional Papers of the Museum of Natural History. The University of Kansas No. 80: 1–40.

Duellman, W.E. 2001. The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Faivovich, J., Haddad, C.F.B., Garcia, P.C.O., Frost, D.R., Campbell, J.A. and Wheeler, W.C. 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 294: 1-240.

Ibáñez, R., Solís, F., Jaramillo, C. and Rand, S. 2000. An overwiew of the herpetology of Panama. In: J.D. Johnson, R.G. Webb and O.A. Flores-Villela (eds), Mesoamerican Herpetology: Systematics, Zoogeography and Conservation, pp. 159-170. The University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Jungfer, K.-H. and Weygoldt, P. 1994. The reproductive biology of the leaf frog Phyllomedusa lemur Boulenger, 1882, and a comparison with other members of the Phyllomedusinae. Revue Française d'Aquariologie, Nancy: 57-64.

Lips, K.R., Brem, F., Brenes, R., Reeve, J.D., Alford, R.A., Voyles, J., Carey, C., Livo, L., Pessier, A.P. and Collins, J.P. 2006. Emerging infectious disease and the loss of biodiversity in a Neotropical amphibian community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103(9): 3165-3170.

Myers, C.W. and Duellman, W.E. 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, J.A., Fogden, M.P.L., Savage, J.M. and Gorman, G.C. 1997. Tests of null models for amphibian declines on a tropical mountain. Conservation Biology 11: 1307-1322.

Ruiz-Carranza, P.M., Ardila-Robayo, M.C. and Lynch, J.D. 1996. Lista actualizada de la fauna de Amphibia de Colombia. Revista de la Academia Colombiana de Ciencias Exactas, Físicas y Naturales 20(77): 365-415.

Savage, J.M. 2002. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Costa Rica: A Herpetofauna between two Continents, between two Seas. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Woodhams, D.C., Voyles, J., Lips, K.R., Carey, C. and Rollins-Smith, L.A. 2006. Predicted disease susceptibility in a Panamanian amphibian assemblage based on skin peptide defenses. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 42(2): 207-218.

Young, B., Sedaghatkish, G., Roca, E. and Fuenmayor, Q. 1999. El Estatus de la Conservación de la Herpetofauna de Panamá: Resumen del Primer Taller Internacional sobre la Herpetofauna de Panamá. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, Virginia.

Zippel, K. 2005. Zoos play a vital role in amphibian conservation. 26 July 2005.

Citation: Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Savage, J., Jaramillo, C., Fuenmayor, Q., Kubicki, B., Pounds, J., Chaves, G., Jungfer, K. & Lips, K. 2008. Agalychnis lemur. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T55855A11381418. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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