Gastrotheca cornuta


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Gastrotheca cornuta
Species Authority: (Boulenger, 1898)
Common Name(s):
English Horned Marsupial Frog
Hyla ceratophrys Stejneger, 1911
Nototrema cornutum Boulenger, 1898
Taxonomic Notes: This genus has recently been moved from the family Hylidae (Faivovich, et al., 2005). The taxonomic relationship between G. cornuta and G. ceratophrys needs to be clarified (Luis A. Coloma pers. comm. 2007). It is possible that the specimen collected from Manta Real, Ecuador, represents a new species (Ana Almendáriz pers. comm., 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered A4ace ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-01-01
Assessor(s): Coloma, L.A., Ron, S.R., Jungfer, K., Grant, T., Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G., Savage, J., Jaramillo, C., Fuenmayor, Q., Bolaños, F., Lips, K., Lynch, J. & Almendáriz, A.
Reviewer(s): Stuart, S.N., Chanson, J.S., Cox, N.A. & Young, B.E.
Listed as Endangered because of an observed past, and projected future, decline, estimated to be at least 50% over a ten-year period, probably largely due to chytridiomycosis.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in humid lowland and premontane forests from central Costa Rica to central Panama on the Atlantic slope, and from the Pacific versant of eastern Panama, through the Pacific lowlands of Colombia, to western Ecuador (south to Manta Real [Almendáriz and Carr, 1992]; however it has not been recorded from Manta Real in a recent survey [Ana Almendáriz pers. comm., 2007]); in Costa Rica, it is known from three localities in Limón Province (300-700m asl); the overall elevational range is from sea level up to 1,000m asl.
Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; Panama
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species has declined in El Cope (now gone from this site, Lips et al., 2006; Karen Lips pers. comm., 2007) and El Valle in Panama, and the last Costa Rican record is from 1996; it has not been recorded again in this country as of August 2007 (Federico Bolaños pers. comm. 2007). As of 2007, there is little new information on the status of populations in eastern Panama, however it is presumed to still be present here (Roberto Ibáñez pers. comm., 2007). The species was formerly common in Ecuador, however populations have now dramatically declined in this country although it is not certain that the species is extirpated, and it is considered to be nationally Data Deficient (Luis Coloma pers. comm. 2007). In Colombia, it appears to have never been an especially common species (John D. Lynch pers. comm. 2007).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: A canopy species of lowland and montane humid forest characterized by high humidity throughout the year, including both primary and secondary forest, but not occurring in open areas. Animals have been recorded in African palm plantations in Ecuador (John D. Lynch pers. comm. 2007). Individuals have been found near to rivers and creeks. It breeds by direct development, the female carries fertilised eggs in a pouch on her back, the eggs hatch as fully developed frogs. It has the largest known amphibian eggs.
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species has disappeared from Costa Rica and western Panama; these declines have been associated with the disease chytridiomycosis (Lips et al., 2006). This disease is also present in the lowlands of western Ecuador (Luis A. Coloma pers. comm. 2007), and may have contributed to the substantial declines of this species in Ecuador currently associated with extensive habitat loss. Areas of forest close to the type locality of "Cachabé" (= Cachabí), Provincia Esmeralda, Ecuador have now been deforested and no Gastrotheca cornuta are present here (Luis A. Coloma pers. comm. 2007). It is possible that the species has declined in Colombia, with few records and ongoing serious habitat fragmentation in Cauca and Nariño (John D. Lynch pers. comm. 2007; Fernando Castro pers. comm. 2007). Major threats other than disease are deforestation for agricultural development, illegal crops, logging, and human settlement, and pollution resulting from the spraying of illegal crops.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: In Ecuador, its geographic range overlaps with the Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas. It occurs, or occurred, in several protected areas in Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica. A small ex-situ population of this species is breeding at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center in Panama (Edgardo Griffith pers. comm. September, 2007).

Bibliography [top]

Almendáriz, A. and Carr., J. 1992. Technical report of herpetofauna. In: Parker T. and Carr, J. (eds), Status of forest remmants in the Cordillera de la Costa and adjacent areas of southwestern Ecuador., pp. 172 pp.. Conservation International.

Boulenger, G.A. 1898. An account of the reptiles and batrachians collected by Mr. W.F.H. Rosenberg in western Ecuador. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 107-126, 9.

Duellman, W.E. 1983. A new species of marsupial frog (Hylidae: Gastrotheca) from Colombia and Ecuador. Copeia: 868-874.

Duellman, W.E. 1993. Amphibian species of the world: additions and corrections. University of Kansas Publications, Museum of Natural History: 1-372.

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).

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.

Morales, M., Ortiz, A., Toral, E. and Regalado, J. 2002. Monitoreo del aprovechamiento forestal con especies indicadoras de herpetofaunaen el Chocó ecuatoriano, Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Componente de monitoreo biológico, Proyecto SUBIR-CARE. Informe Final Fase III, pp. 104-161. EcoCiencia, Quito, Ecuador.

Ron, S.R., Guayasamin, J.M., Coloma, L.A. and Menéndez-Guerrero, P. In press. Status and Decline of Amphibians of Ecuador. In: Heatwole, H. and Wilkinson, J.W. (eds), Amphibian Biology. Decline and Conservation., SurreyBeatty & Sons Pty. Ltd., Australia.

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.

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: Coloma, L.A., Ron, S.R., Jungfer, K., Grant, T., Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Chaves, G., Savage, J., Jaramillo, C., Fuenmayor, Q., Bolaños, F., Lips, K., Lynch, J. & Almendáriz, A. 2008. Gastrotheca cornuta. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 29 March 2015.
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