Ameerega berohoka is a poisonous dart frog from the Ameerega picta group with a snout-vent length of 19.2 to 23.4 mm in males and 21.9 to 24.3 mm in females. The snout is sub elliptical when viewed dorsally and rounded when viewed laterally. The snout is narrow with nares that are visible from straight on and from the side, but not from the dorsal view. The canthus rostralis is concave and slightly sloped. The eyes are large with round pupils. The tympanum is round and not visible from the posterior while the tympanic annulus is easily visible. The species has no supratympanic fold or vocal slits. The dorsal skin of the body and hind limbs is granular, but the skin is smooth on other surfaces. The hands are small at 30% of the snout-vent length. The finger discs are slightly expanded and well-developed. The hind limbs are relatively short. The heel reaches the shoulder when the hindlimb is pressed along the body. Both hands and feet lack webbing and lateral fringes (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011).
Tadpole morphology for this species is limited and needs more exploration (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011).
Ameerega berohoka is medium sized compared to other members of the A. picta group, which include Ameerega braccata and Ameerega flavopicta (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011). More specifically, this species is similar toA. picta, but has a more restricted range, smaller hands, and more spotting on their back (Pacheo et al. 2020). Ameerega berohoka can be differentiated from A. flavopicta by the irregularly spaced cream spots on its back compared to A. flavopicta's yellow spots and slightly smaller adults (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011). Additionally, A. berohokah has a higher frequency and call rate than A. boehmi. It has a significantly longer call length than A. picta, A. altamazonica, and A. hahneli. Ameerga berohoka also has a lower pulse rate than A. hahneli (de Andrade et al. 2014).
Like most other frogs in the family Dendrobatidae, A. berohoka exhibit aposematic coloration (Pacheo et al. 2020). There are bright-orange spots on the back side of the groin and on the thighs. There are light yellow dorsolateral stripes. The flank has a black pattern, and the venter is white or blue. The back of the hind limbs is brown with dark spots. The coloration is similar in both live and preserved specimens (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011).
Overall, there is little difference between males and females except that males tend to have large vocal sacs (Pacheo et al. 2020).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Brazil
Ameerega berohoka is endemic to the Cerrado biome and transition zones of the Cerrado and Pantanal biomes of Brazil. Within the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, A. berohoka is distributed throughout the municipalities of Rio Negro, Rio Verde do Mato Grosso, and Corguinho. Within the State of Gojas, they are distributed throughout the municipalities of Mineiros, Piranhas, and Arenopolis. And within the State of Mato Grosso, they occur in Itiquira and Barra do Garcas. Ameerega in this area of Brazil can be found at elevations of 1400 m, but A. berohoka usually occurs at elevations between about 200 m and 500 m (Sant' Anna et al. 2017, Pacheo et al. 2020).
This species lives in both open and forested areas, as well as land used for agriculture (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011). More specifically, they live among the leaves, sticks, rocks, and vegetation on forest floors (Pachero et al. 2020). Preliminary studies suggest that A. berohoka occur around highlands and plateaus (Sant' Anna et al. 2017, Pacheo et al. 2020).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
These frogs are primarily terrestrial (Pachero et al. 2020).
Not much is known about this frog species' reproductive behavior and biology. But it is known that they have indirect development, external fertilization, and lay eggs like most frogs (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011, Pacheo et al. 2020).
In the wet season (September through March), the male calls in the open or partially covered by plants or rocks. In the dry/mild season (April through August), A. berohoka of all life stages are active during the day. Within their distribution range, this species is common. There are multiple known sympatric species that live in the same area as A. berokoka (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011).
Male A. berohoka have an advertisement call that is generally one note, 82.5 seconds long, has 10 pulses per note, and ranges between 4.0 and 4.3 kHz. The fundamental frequency is weaker than the second harmonic (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011 and de Andrade et al. 2014).
Ameerega berohoka, like other Ameerega species, exhibit parental care -- males carry their tadpoles to water on their backs, which is uncommon for most other frogs (Pacheo et al. 2020).
Ameerega berohoka are diurnal and forage among the forest floor to feed. This species eats a variety of invertebrates, especially ants. This species is an ant specialists with the largest proportion of their diets consisting of Formicidae (Pacheo et al. 2020).
Ameerega berohoka is known to have aposematic coloration and toxic skin (Pacheco et. al 2020).
Trends and Threats
Even though this species is only found in Brazil, it is fairly abundant within its range (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011). However, although the A. berohoka population is stable as of 2020, there are a number of threats to the species. The major threats to this species occur in the Cerrado biome where there is an increase in deforestation. This species lives in one of the least protected regions in Brazil. In addition to deforestation there is also a threat due to increasing charcoal production and an increase in the manufacture of hydroelectric dams. The dams are a threat because they are connected to the sub-basins of the Araguaia River, which is in the species range. Logging and wood harvesting are threats in the biome that affect A. berohoka. All of these threats are ongoing as of 2020 and cause ecosystem stresses that continue to affect A. berohoka (IUCN 2020).
Relation to Humans
There are no reports that the A. berohoka is consumed as food to humans or that it is used for trade or other medical purposes (Sant' Anna et al. 2017, Pacheo et al. 2020).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat
Uncorrected p-distances of 358 base pairs of 16s rRNA at the time of species description indicate A. berohoka is most genetically similar to A. flavopicta within the A. picta group. It is next most similar to A. boehmi, and A. braccata. It also shares morphological traits and call qualities with these species. However, further phylogenetic studies on the A. picta group are needed to determine relationships between the species (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011).
The species epithet is derived from "berohoka", which comes from the indigenous Karajas, meaning "big river" in reference to the Araguaia River in Brazil where the species is found (Vaz-Silva and Maciel 2011).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2020). "Ameerega berohoka (amended version of 2014 assessment)." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T45727636A175789366. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T45727636A175789366.en. Downloaded on 18 February 2021.
Pachero, E.O., Akieda, P. S., Ceron, K., Santana, D. J. (2020). “Diet and morphometry of two poison frog species (Anura, Dendrobatidae) from the plateaus surrounding the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul state, Brazil.” Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment 2020:1–9 [link]
Sant’ Anna, A. C., da Rocha, S. B., Akieda, P. S., de Oliveira Neves, M. (2017). “Distribution extension of Ameerega berohoka Vaz-Silva and Maciel, 2011 (Amphibia, Anura, Dendrobatidae): a new state record in the Central-West Region of Brazil.” Herpetology Notes, 10, 41-43 [link]
Vaz-Silva, W., Maciel, N. M. (2011). “A new cryptic species of Ameerega (Anura: Dendrobatidae) from Brazilian Cerrado.” Zootaxa 2826: 57–68 [link]
de Andrade, F. S., Haga, I. A., Martins, F. A. M., Giaretta, A. A. (2014). “On advertisement call of the poison frog Ameerega berohoka (Dendrobatidae, Anura) from the Brazilian Cerrado.” Zootaxa 3838(3), 392-396. [link]
Originally submitted by: Avery Dean, Anne Boyd, Roberto Mejia-Alberto (2021-07-01)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2021-07-01)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Ameerega berohoka <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/7643> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 4, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 4 Jun 2023.
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