Lithobates warszewitschii 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Amphibia Anura Ranidae

Scientific Name: Lithobates warszewitschii (Schmidt, 1857)
Common Name(s):
English Warszewitsch's Frog
Hylarana chrysoprasina (Cope, 1866)
Hylarana coeruleopunctata (Steindachner, 1864)
Ixalus warszewitschii Schmidt, 1857
Rana coeruleopunctata Steindachner, 1864
Rana warszewitschii (Schmidt, 1857)
Rana chrysoprasina (Cope, 1866)
Rana zeteki Barbour, 1925
Ranula chrysoprasina Cope, 1866
Ranula coeruleopunctata (Steindachner, 1864)
Trypheropsis chrysoprasinus (Cope, 1866)
Taxonomic Source(s): Frost, D.R. 2015. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. New York, USA. Available at:

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2015
Date Assessed: 2015-06-25
Assessor(s): IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group
Reviewer(s): Hobin, L.
Contributor(s): Wetterau, A., Gratwicke, B., Jaramillo, C., Bolaños, F., Solís, F., Chaves, G., Sunyer, J., Savage, J., Fuenmayor, Q. & Ibáñez, R.
Facilitator/Compiler(s): Wetterau, A.
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, its tolerance of a degree of habitat modification and because it is increasing and recolonizing former localities.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is found in humid lowlands on the Atlantic versant from north-eastern Honduras, through Nicaragua to central Panama, both slopes of the cordilleras of Costa Rica and western Panama, the lowlands of south-western Costa Rica and eastern Panama, and gallery forests in non-peninsular north-western Costa Rica, from sea level up to 1,740 m asl (Savage 2002).
Countries occurrence:
Costa Rica; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1740
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Once a common species, it initially declined in many montane areas of Costa Rica. It disappeared from Tapantí and the higher regions of Monteverde by the late 1980s, and disappeared at the same time from San Ramón Reserve but reappeared in 1994. It also appears to have declined at La Selva, a lowland site (Whitfield et al. 2007), but was present at La Selva and surrounding secondary forests in 2010 (Hilje and Mitchell Aide 2012). The species was found to be rare in San Vito in 2007 (Santos-Barrera et al. 2007). Lithobates warszewitschii declined at Braulio Carrillo National Park (Puschendorf et al. 2006). It is still abundant at Guayacan (Kubicki, 2008), and in Tinamascas (along the road from San Isidro to Dominical), Parque Nacional Corcovado, and Ciudad Colón. It remained generally common at low elevations, and as of August 2007, the species was recolonizing areas from which it had previously declined.  In Panama, it was one of the most abundant tadpoles in streams pre-decline at El Copé (Ranvestal et al. 2004) but the species was extirpated at the site by 2010 (Crawford et al. 2010). The species is uncommon but appears to be increasing at El Quebracho, Nicaragua (Barquero et al. 2010), and in southeastern Nicaragua this species is relatively abundant (Sunyer et al. 2009).
Current Population Trend:Increasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This is a diurnal species associated with small streams in humid lowland, montane and gallery forest. It is found wherever patches of forest remain, even within urban areas. Larvae are found in small streams.
Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There are no records of this species being utilized.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is generally threatened by habitat loss (deforestation) resulting from agricultural development, logging, and development of human infrastructure. The disappearances at higher altitudes may have been due to chytridiomycosis, however animals are now recoloniszng these sites. The minimum % range of the species that lies in chytrid susceptible area is 57% (Lötters et al. 2009).  At La Selva, declines seem to be driven by climate-driven reductions in quantity of standing leaf litter (Whitfield et al. 2007).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Conservation Actions 
While there are no specific conservation measures in place, this species has been recorded from many protected areas. 

Research Needed
The population needs to be monitored carefully to establish whether or not the disappearances at higher altitudes was due to chytridiomycosis, and how the species is recolonizing these sites.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.1. Wetlands (inland) - Permanent Rivers/Streams/Creeks (includes waterfalls)
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.2. Wetlands (inland) - Seasonal/Intermittent/Irregular Rivers/Streams/Creeks
suitability:Suitable season:resident major importance:Yes
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability:Unknown season:resident 

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
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

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.5. Other impacts
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.3. Indirect ecosystem effects

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 -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry 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

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

9. Pollution -> 9.3. Agricultural & forestry effluents -> 9.3.4. Type Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing:Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

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

Bibliography [top]

Barquero, M.D., M. Salazar-Saavedra, L. Sandoval, D. Brenes, F. Martanez, and A. Figueroa. 2010. Composition and species richness of herpetofauna in two isolated regions of southern Nicaragua. Herpetol. Notes 3: 341-352.

Crawford A.J., Lips K.R. and Bermingham E. 2010. Epidemic disease decimates amphibian abundance, species diversity, and evolutionary history in the highlands of central Panama. . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914115107.

Hilje, B., and T. Mitchell Aide. 2012. Recovery of amphibian species richness and composition in a chronosequence of secondary forests, northeastern Costa Rica. Biological Conservation 146: 170-176.

Ibañez, R., Rand, A.S. and Jaramillo, C.A. 1999. Los anfibios del Monumento Natural Barro Colorado, Parque Nacional Soberanía y áreas adyacentes. Mizrachi, E. and Pujol, S.A., Santa Fe de Bogota.

Ibáñez, R., Solís, F., Jaramillo, C. and Rand, S. 2000. An overview 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. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015-4. Available at: (Accessed: 19 November 2015).

Kubicki, B. 2008. Amphibian diversity in Guayacan, Limon province, Costa Rica. Brenesia 69: 35-42.

Lötters, S., J. Kielgast, J. Bielby, S. Schmidtlein, J. Bosch, M. Veith, S. F. Walker, M. C. Fisher, and D. Rodder. 2009. The link between rapid enigmatic amphibian decline and the globally emerging chytrid fungus. EcoHealth 6(3): 358-372.

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.

Puschendorf, R., Bolaños, F. and Chaves, G. 2006. The amphibian chytrid fungus along an altitudinal transect before the first reported declines in Costa Rica. Biological Conservation: 136-142.

Ranvestel, A. W., K. R. Lips, C. M. Pringle, M. R. Whiles and R. J. Bixby. 2004. Neotropical tadpoles influence stream benthos: evidence for the ecological consequences of decline in amphibian populations. Freshwater Biology 49(3): 274-285.

Santos-Barrera, G., J. Pacheco, F. Mendoza-Quijano, F. Bolanos, G. Chaves, G.C. Daily, P.R. Eirlich, and G. Ceballos. 2007. Diversity, natural history and conservation of amphibians and reptiles from the San Vito Region, southwestern Costa Rica. Revista de Biologia Tropical 56: 755-778.

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

Sunyer J., Páiz G., Dehling D.M. and Köhler G. 2009. A collection of amphibians from Río San Juan, southeastern Nicaragua. Herpetology Notes 2: 189-202.

Whitfield, S.M., Bell, K.E., Philippi, T., Sasa, M., Bolaños, F., Chaves, G., Savage, J.M. and Donnelly, M.A. 2007. Amphibian and reptile declines over 35 years at La Selva, Costa Rica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences doi:10.1073/pnas.0611256104.

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.

Citation: IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Lithobates warszewitschii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T58749A54353071. . Downloaded on 18 September 2018.
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