|Publications | Books | Mindo | Amphibians | Craugastoridae | Pristimantis chalceus||Peters 1873|
|Copper Rainfrog Cutín cobre|
Recognition. ♂♂ 18–27 mm ♀♀ 28–31 mm. Pristimantis chalceus is distinctive in its genus by having areolate skin on a rusty to rosy-white dorsum1–9. Also, the deep black iris7–9 and the presence of elongate papillae on the tip of the digits1,2,7–9 readily distinguish this species from all other congeners. In Mindo, only Pristimantis eugeniae may hold a resemblance, but this latter rainfrog has a light-orangish iris9.
Natural history. Historically common7–10, particularly below 1000 m7. It is now uncommon2,11,12. During the day, Pristimantis chalceus takes shelter in bromeliads or in the axils of elephant-ear plants9,12. At night, it is active on vegetation 60–150 cm above the ground9,13 in primary and secondary evergreen forests as well as in somewhat less mesic and partially open areas such as cultivated vegetation7–9, often near9, but not restricted9, to streams. Pristimantis chalceus is active throughout the year7,9–11 and most likely breeds by direct development, as is believed to be the case for the other nearly 450 congeneric rainfrogs14.
Conservation status. Near Threatened17–19. To our knowledge, populations of this previously abundant and adaptable rainfrog have become scarcer2,12. The species is widely distributed9. At least in the Ecuadorian part of the range, it occurs over an area of 36,770 km2. However, recent surveys at historic localities2,12,20 have failed to locate it. This observation suggests that populations of Pristimantis chalceus are not as large and stable as previously thought, but have likely been negatively impacted by extensive habitat loss and degradation, general climate change, irregular rainfall patterns or emergent infectious diseases21–26.
Notes. This species was previously included in the genus Eleutherodactylus28 but has recently been moved to the resurrected genus Pristimantis29. In the latest phylogeny, Pristimantis chalceus is sister to a clade of yellow-thighed rainfrogs14,30: Pristimantis parvillus, Pristimantis luteolateralis and Pristimantis walkeri. These three rainfrogs are also known to occur in Mindo.
Authors. Alejandro Arteaga.
Reviewers and contributors. Andrew Crawford, Mario Yánez, Marco Reyes and Nick Pezzote.
1Lynch JD (1999) Lista anotada y clave para las ranas (Género Eleutherodactylus) chocoanas del valle del Cauca, y apuntes sobre las especies de la Cordillera Occidental adyacente. Caldasia 21:184–202.
2Yánez-Muñoz MH and Bejarano-Muñoz EP (2013) Lista actualizada de ranas terrestres Pristimantis (Anura: Craugastoridae) en las estribaciones occidentales del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito, Andes de Ecuador. Boletín Técnico 11:125–150.
3Peters WCH (1873) Über eine neue Schildkrötenart, Cinosternon effeldtii und einige andere neue oder weniger bekannte Amphibien. Monatsberichte der Königlichen Preussische Akademie des Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1873:603–618.
9Lynch JD and Duellman WE (1997) Frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus in western Ecuador. Systematics, ecology, and biogeography. Special Publication of the Natural History Museum, University of Kansas 23:1–236.
10Lynch JD and Burrowes PA (1990) The frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus (family Leptodactylidae) at the La Planada Reserve in southwestern Colombia with descriptions of eight new species. Occasional Papers of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas 136:1–31.
11Morales MA (2004) Dinámica Poblacional de las Comunidades de Anfibios y Reptiles de Siete Localidades de la Zona de Amortiguamiento de la Reserva Ecológica Cotacachi-Cayapas, Esmeraldas, Ecuador (Universidad del Azuay, Cuenca) 122 pp.
17Coloma LA, Guayasamin JM and Menéndez-Guerrero P (2011) Lista Roja de Anfibios de Ecuador. Available here.
21Castro F, Ron S, Coloma LA and Bolívar W (2004) Pristimantis chalceus. In IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. Available here.
26Olson DH, Aanensen DA, Ronnenberg KL, Powell CI, Walker SF, Bielby J, Garner TWJ, Weaver G and Fisher MC (2013) Mapping the global emergence of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, the amphibian chytrid fungus. PLOS ONE e56802.
28Frost DR (2011) Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 5.5. Available here.
29Heinicke MP, Duellman WE and Hedges SB (2007) Major Caribbean and Central American frog faunas originated by ancient oceanic dispersal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 104:10092–10097.
30Pyron RA and Wiens JJ (2011) A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia with over 2,800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61:543–583.