Telmatobufo venustus (Philippi, 1899)
Chile Mountains False Toad
© 2010 Danté B Fenolio (1 of 10)
This frog has a unique orange-spotted coloration in life that easily distinguishes it from any other frog species. In preservative, other Telmatobufo species have a few coloration differences that distinguish it from T. venustus. The back is brown in T. bullocki and gray in T. australis. The underside is light gray in T. australis with uneven dark spots, and the underside is spotted brown in T. bullocki. The outer edge of the fifth toe in T. venustus is wider in length than in T. bullocki, and lacks glands in that area. The toe tips are rounded in T. venustus versus pointed in T. bullocki and T. australis (Formas and Veloso 1982).
In life, it is black with orange spotting on the head, back, paratoids, and limbs. There are two orange stripes behind the paratoids that run down both sides of the midline of the body. There is some yellow spotting on the sides of the body, as well as the backside of the lower thighs, the backside of the feet, and the inner forearm. The fingertips and toe tips are yellowish-orange. In preservative, adult specimens are white, and juvenile specimens are black with uneven white spots (Formas and Veloso 1982).
Besides the aforementioned color differences between the adult and juvenile specimens in preservative, no other information is available on variation within the species (Formas and Veloso 1982).
See below for description of the Larva.
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
In life, the larvae are dark with orange spots on the head and back. In formalin, the coloration fades to dark brown (Diaz et al. 1983).
The larvae are adapted to fast-flowing mountain streams and possess a large oral disk to help them attach onto surfaces (Diaz et al. 1983, Fenolio et al. 2011, Formas and Veloso 1982).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
This species was originally ascribed to the genus Bufo in 1899 by Philippi. In 1972, it was placed in the genus Aruncus by Donoso-Barros. Lynch placed this species in the genus Telmatobufo in 1978. Formas and Veloso wrote a detailed taxonomical description of this species in 1982 and using osteological analysis, confirmed its placement in the Telmatobufo genus (Formas and Veloso 1982).
The first description of the larvae was in 1983, which was 84 years after the original species description (Fenolio et al. 2011).
Diaz, N., Sallaberry, M., Nuñez, H. (1983). ''The Tadpole of Telmatobufo venustus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) With a Consideration of Generic Relationships.'' Herpetologica, 39(2), 111-113.
Fenolio, D. B., Charrier, A., Levy, M. G., Fabry, M. O., Tirado, M. S., Crump, M. L., Lamar, W. W., Calderón, P. (2011). ''A Review of the Chile Mountains False Toad, Telmatobufo venustus (Amphibia: Anura: Calyptocephalellidae), with Comments on its Conservation Status.'' Herpetological Review, 42(4), 514-519.
Formas, J. R., Veloso, A. (1982). ''Taxonomy of Bufo venustus Philippi, 1899 (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from Central Chile.'' Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 95(4), 688-693.
Originally submitted by: Brett Butler (first posted 2015-08-11)
Edited by: Gordon Lau, Michelle S. Koo (2023-01-03)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Telmatobufo venustus: Chile Mountains False Toad <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/2731> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 28, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Sep 2023.
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