A small frog. The snout-vent length varies from 18-23 mm in males and from 21-25 mm in females. Snout truncate or rounded. Head as long as wide. The tympanum is distinct and nearly circular. Nostrils dorsolateral. The dorsal surface is smooth. Hands with a distinct palmar tubercle; subarticular tubercles rounded. Prepollex distinct. Legs slender. Toes not robust. The color in life also varies, but almost all the specimens have a dark green or dark brown color pattern. A dark brown stripe bordered by a white stripe is visible on the flanks and canthus rostralis. Belly white. Toe and finger discs are reddish. Many specimens bear two divergent dorsal brown stripes, from the anterior section of the head to nearly the middle of the body (Napoli and Caramaschi 1999).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay
Dendropsophus rubicundulus lives in open areas, near temporary and permanent ponds. The species' distribution is associated with the biome Cerrado, in the States of Minas Gerais, Goiás, Distrito Federal, Bahia, Tocantins, Piauí and in the far northern of São Paulo, Brazil (Napoli and Caramaschi 1999).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
This species can be found from October to January, at the forest edge and in open areas, such as grasslands, pasturelands and natural Cerrado fields (Brasileiro et al. 2008; pers. obs.).
Males of Dendropsophus rubicundulus call at the beginning of the night (19:00 to 21:00) from herbaceous vegetation, on branches or leaves (usually 40-50 cm above the ground) near temporary ponds (such as rain-filled pools, rice fields, farm ponds, and swamps) and permanent ponds (such as pools and rivulets) (Cardoso and Vielliard 1985; Haddad et al. 1988; Bastos et al. 2003). The chorus size can vary from 10-40 calling males (pers. obs.). The advertisement call was described by Cardoso and Vielliard (1985) and Napoli and Caramaschi (1999). Call is composed of 2 notes; notes are given at the interval of 0.3s; note duration: 0.02s. The advertisement call can be heard in Toledo et al. (2008).
Amplexus is axillary (Bastos et al. 2003). Adults lay eggs in lentic water bodies (reproductive mode 1 of Haddad and Prado, 2005); the tadpole is benthic and can be found from November to April (Barreto and Moreira 1996; pers. obs.). Development lasts about 30 days (Barreto and Moreira 1996).
The tadpole has a total length of 30 mm at Gosner stage 35. The body is depressed dorsoventrally in lateral view and violin-shaped in dorsal view; body length approximately 35% of total length; snout slightly triangular in dorsal and ventral views; nostrils large, elliptical. Spiracle sinistral, short, not projecting, located at the beginning of the posterior third of the body, with inner wall present. Vent tube short, dextral, attached to ventral fin. Tail has terminal flagellum; dorsal fin begins at the posterior edge of the body. Oral disc anteroventral reduced to U-shaped yoke around mouth and modified into a projecting tube. Papillae, denticles, and dermal ridges between the beak and lower lip are absent.
In life, the tadpole body is reddish brown with a conspicuous median brown mark dorsally and a brown stripe from the tip of the snout through the eye to the posterior margin of the body. Tail pale brown anteriorly, reddish brown with yellowish spots posteriorly (Pugliese et al. 2001).
Trends and Threats
Its range is within several protected areas, specifically the Parque Estadual Nova Baden, at Lambari-MG, Floresta Nacional de Silvania, at Silvania-GO (Bastos et al. 2003), Parque Nacional da Serra do Cipo, at Jaboticatubas-MG (Pugliese et al. 2001), Parque Nacional da Serra da Canastra, at Delfinopolis-MG (Haddad et al. 1988), Parque Nacional Grande Sertao Veredas, and others located in the Cerrado domain in the State of Minas Gerais, Estação Ecologica de Aguas Emendadas, at Planaltina-DF (Brandao and Araujo 1998)., Parque Nacional de Sete Cidades, at Piracuruca-PI (Annunziata et al. 2007). It is a relatively common species within its range (Brandao and Araujo 1998).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Intensified agriculture or grazing
Drainage of habitat
Dams changing river flow and/or covering habitat
Dendropsophus rubicundulus belongs to the D. microcephalus species group (Faivovich et al., 2005); it was formerly placed in the D. rubicundulus species group (Napoli and Caramaschi 1999).
Rabello (1970) and Gruber et al. (2005) reported a 30-chromosome karyotype in D. rubicundulus, with the majority being telocentric and subtelocentric chromosomes.
Annunziata, B. B., Fontenele, W. M., Castro, I. S., Gurgel, R. F., and do Nascimento, K. A. (2007). ''Amphibia, Anura, Hylidae, Dendropsophus rubicundulus: Distribution extension.'' Check List, 3, 242-243.
Barreto, L. and Moreira, G. (1996). ''Seasonal variation in age structure and spatial distribution of a savanna larvaI anuran assembIage in Central Brazil.'' Journal of Herpetology, 30, 87-92.
Bastos, R. P., Motta, J. A., Lima, L. P., and Guimaraes, L. D. (2003). Anfíbios da Floresta Nacional de Silvânia, Estado de Goiás. Stylo Gráfica e Editora, Goiânia.
Brandão, R. A. and Araújo, A. F. B. (1998). ''A herpetofauna da estação ecológica de águas emendadas.'' Vertebrados da Estação Ecológica de Águas Emendadas – História Natural de um fragmento de Cerrado do Brasil Central. J. S. Marinho-Filho, F. Rodrigues, and M. Guimarães, eds., Instituto de Ecologia e Meio Ambiente do Distrito Federal, Brasília.
Brasileiro, C. A., Lucas, E. M., Oyamaguchi, H. M., Thomé, M. T. C., and Dixo, M. (2008). ''Anurans, Northern Tocantins River Basin, states of Tocantins and Maranhão, Brazil.'' Check List, 4, 185-197.
Cardoso, A. J., and Vielliard, J. M. E. (1985). ''Caracterização bio-ac猹tica da população topotípica de Hyla rubicundula (Amphibia, Anura).'' Revista Brasileira de Zoologia, 2, 423-426.
Faivovich, J., Haddad, C. F. B., Garcia, P. C. A., Frost, D. R., Campbell, J. A., 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. [link]
Gruber, S. L., Haddad, C. F. B. and Kasahara, L. (2005). ''Evaluating the karyotypic diversity in species of Hyla (Anura; Hylidae) with 2n = 30 chromosomes based on the analysis of ten species.'' Folia Biologica, 51, 68-75.
Haddad, C. F. B., Andrade, G. V. and Cardoso, A.J. (1988). ''Anfíbios anuros do Parque Nacional da Serra da Canastra, Estado de Minas Gerais.'' Brasil Florestal, 64, 9-20.
Haddad, C. F. B., and Prado, C. P. A. (2005). ''Reproductive modes in frogs and their unexpected diversity in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil.'' BioScience, 55, 207-217.
Napoli, M. F. and Caramaschi, U. (1999). ''Geographic variation of Hyla rubicundula and Hyla anataliasiasi, with a description of a new species (Anura, Hylidae).'' Alytes, 16, 165-189.
Pugliese, A., Alves, A. C. R. and Pombal Jr., J. P. (2001). ''The tadpole of Hyla rubicundula (Anura, Hylidae).'' Journal of Herpetology, 35, 686-688.
Rabello, M.N. (1970). ''Chromosomal studies in Brazilian anurans.'' Caryologia, 23, 45–59.
Toledo, L. F., Giovanelli, J. G. R., Giasson, L. O. M., Prado, C. P. A., Guimarăes, L. D., Bastos, R. P., and Haddad, C. F. B. (2007). Guia interativo dos Anfíbios Anuros do Cerrado, Campo Rupestre e Pantanal. Audio CD, Editora Neotropica (Bilingual: Portuguese and English versions), editoraneotropica.com.br.
Originally submitted by: Diogo B. Provete (first posted 2008-09-12)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker, Michelle S. Koo (2022-08-15)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Dendropsophus rubicundulus: Lagoa Santa's Tree Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/939> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 1, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 1 Apr 2023.
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