AmphibiaWeb - Pristimantis terrapacis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Pristimantis terrapacis Ospina-Sarria & Angarita-Sierra, 2020
family: Strabomantidae
genus: Pristimantis
Species Description: Ospina-Sarria JJ, Angarita-Sierra T. 2020 A New Species of Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae) from the Eastern Slope of the Cordillera Oriental, Arauca, Colombia, Herpetologica 76: 83-92.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Pristimantis terrapacis is a Pristimantis characterized by having a large vocal sac. It was described from 13 male specimens, with no female representation. The snout-vent length of adult males is 24.4 - 34.3 mm. The head is slightly longer than wide. The snout is of moderate length and does not have papillae. In profile, the snout appears rounded and from dorsal view, the snout appears subacuminate. The canthus rostralis appears rounded in profile but straight from the dorsal view. The eye-nostril distance is slightly shorter than eye diameter. The upper eyelid is smooth and has a width that is approximately half the length of the interorbital distance. Neither an interocular tubercle or cranial crest is present. The round tympanic membrane is 36.8 - 58.8% the eye length. The tympanic annulus is prominent, however, the upper edge is covered by the supratympanic fold, which runs along the upper edge of the temporal region, stretching from the posterior corner of the orbit and curves towards the insertion of the arm (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

The dorsal skin is finely shagreen while the ventral skin is areolate. A discoidal fold is observable. Dorsolateral folds are not present. Males have vocal slits and a large vocal sac that reaches the chest. The cloaca has a short sheath and no tubercles (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

There is a tubercle present on the antebrachial region, but no other ulnar tubercles are not found. The palmar tubercle is divided on the distal portion and is slightly larger than the oval shaped thenar tubercle. Males have non-spinous nuptial pads on the dorsolateral surfaces of their thumbs. All fingers have discs and circumferential grooves with relative lengths of I < II < IV < III. Unlike the other fingers’ truncate discs, the disc on the first finger is round. The disc of the second finger is larger than that of the first finger, but smaller than the discs of the third and fourth fingers. Each finger has lateral fringes. Supernumerary tubercles can be seen on the proximal segments of each digit. Round subarticular tubercles are observable with one found on the thumb and second fingers while two are found on the third and fourth fingers. The supernumerary tubercles are smaller than the subarticular tubercles (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

The hind limbs are robust and long with a tibia length of 53.6% - 63.6% of snout-vent length in males. The tibia is slightly longer than the foot. When held at right angles to the body, the heels overlap. There are no tubercles located on the heel and the outer edge of the tarsus. A short, inner tarsal fold can be found along one-fifth of the distal tarsus. The inner metatarsal tubercle is twice as long as it is wide. A cone shaped outer metatarsal tubercle is 20% the size of the inner metatarsal tubercle. Low supernumerary plantar tubercles are only located on the proximal segments of the second, third, and fourth digits. Each toe has lateral fringes and discs, but no webbing. The subarticular tubercles, which are larger than the supernumerary tubercles, project from elongate bases with a pattern of one on the first and second toes, two on the third and fifth, and three on the fourth toe. The relative toe lengths are I < II < III < V < IV with the third toe being much shorter than the fifth and stretching to the proximal edge of the fourth toe’s subarticular tubercle. The fifth toe stretches approximately halfway between the fourth toe’s second to last and distal subarticular tubercles. Each toe has extended ventral pads with circumferential grooves and discs that are as long as they are wide. The discs of the of the third, fourth, and fifth toes are equal to the disc of the fourth finger, which are all larger than the first and second toe discs (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

Pristimantis terrapacis is most similar to P. savagei and P. vilarsi. However, P. terrapacis is also morphologically similar to P incertus, P. medemi, P. carranguerorum, P. chiastonotus, P. gutturalis, and P. zeuctotylus. Pristimantis terrapacis, P. savagei, and P. vilarsi share finely shagreen dorsal skin, snout appearance in dorsal and profile views, a prominent tympanic annulus and tympanic membrane, presence of a single antebranchial tubercle, an inner tarsal fold, similar interorbital bar coloration, postorbital and canthal stripes, and small spots characterizing the body (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

However, P. savagei is different from P. terrapacis in several ways. Pristimantis savagei has smooth ventral skin, ridges on the scapula, small tubercles located on its heel and upper eyelid, and basal webbing in its toes, whereas P. terrapacis has areolate ventral skin, but no ridges on the scapula, no upper eyelid and heel tubercles, and no basal webbing in its toes. Additionally, the P. terrapacis single-note advertisement calls are distinct from the P. savagei advertisement calls, which are made up of 7 - 34 notes. The characters that distinguish P. vilarsi from P. terrapacis include a large tympanic membrane, smooth dorsal skin characterized by scattered tubercles, smooth ventral skin, and shorter hind limbs in males. In P. incertus, the first finger is equal in length to the second, the third does doesn’t reach the third to last subarticular tubercle on the fourth toe, and the species exhibits a well-defined canthal stripe, which differentiate it from P. terrapacis. In comparison to P. terrapacis, P. carranguerorum differs by its small, non-conical heel tubercle, ridges on the scapula, and small upper eyelid tubercles. Pristimantis medemi differs from P. terrapacis by its finely tuberculate dorsal skin scattered with larger tubercles, small upper eyelid tubercles, a second finger shorter than its first, and outer finger disks that are as wide as its tympanum. Pristimantis terrapacis is distinguished from P. chiastonotus, P. gutturalis, and P. zeuctotylus by its short inner tarsal fold. Additionally, dorsolateral folds distinguish P. chiastonotus from P. terrapacis. Pristimantis gutturalis can be distinguished from P. terrapacis by the former’s finely shagreen dorsal skin that exhibits large pustules, which also appear on its upper eyelid, albeit much larger. Prstimantis zeuctotylus also has differing qualities from P. terrapacis in that P. zeuctotylus does not have a palmar tubercle divided into two parts and has dorsolateral folds on its dorsal surface (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

Pristimantis terrapacis coloration is described in life as having an orange-tan or pale gray dorsal surface. There is a brown interorbital bar. Both the postorbital and canthal stripes are poorly defined. Small spots can be made out on the body. Brown labial bars and transverse bars located on the limbs are also poorly defined. The flanks are a pale tan with multiple faint gray diagonal marks. A cream brown is observable on the anterior and groin surfaces. Greenish-yellow flecks are present on the black posterior surfaces of the thighs. Its throat is white. The belly surface is yellow. Its coppery bronze iris has a horizontal red streak in the middle. The nuptial pads are white (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
At the time of the species description P. terrapacis was only known from its type locality on the Tame River basin of the eastern slopes of the Colombian Cordillera Oriental at Vereda Sabana de la Vega, Departamento de Arauca, Colombia. Its habitat is composed of riparian forest and montane forest with streams at elevations of 700 - 800 meters. Forest cover of the montane and riparian forest consists of steep hillsides, shrubby grass areas, rocky streambeds, and large exposed rocks (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Pristimantis terrapacis is a diurnal forest dweller. However, males call at night from rocks or the ground in the vicinity of the river and small streams. These calls resemble drawn out “tics” and start with a sharp increase in frequency from 1419 to 5376 Hz. The mating call consists of a sequence of well-spaced, single-note calls, each of which lasts 0.054 - 0.076 seconds. Intercall intervals last 2.48 - 3.88 seconds. Females were not observed in the area (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

Pristimantis frater occurs in the same type locality as P. terrapacis, however, P. savage and P. vilarsi are also known from the eastern flank of the Colombian Cordillera Oriental (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).

Trends and Threats
At the time of the species description, trends and threats could not be evaluated because researchers only recently gained access to the war-torn area (Ospina-Sarra et al. 2020).

The species authority is: Ospina-Sarria, J.; Angarita-Sierra, T. (2020). “A New Species of Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae) from the Eastern Slope of the Cordillera Oriental, Arauca, Colombia.” Herpetologica 76: 83-92.

The species epithet is derived from the Latin terms “terra” and “pacis”, meaning “land” and “the peace”, respectively. Historically, the municipality of Tame has been a place of armed conflict and is considered among one of the most violent municipalities in Colombia. Pristimantis terrapacis is named for the desire for Tame to become a land of peace (Ospina-Sarria et al. 2020).


Ospina-Sarria, Jhon J.; Angarita-Sierra, Teddy (2020). ''A New Species of Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae) from the Eastern Slope of the Cordillera Oriental, Arauca, Colombia.'' Herpetologica, 76(1), 83-92.

Originally submitted by: Leighton Pu (first posted 2021-01-15)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2021-01-15)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Pristimantis terrapacis <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Feb 26, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 26 Feb 2024.

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