List of amphibians of Guatemala

This is a list of amphibians found in Guatemala. There are 158 amphibian species recorded in Guatemala, which are grouped in 3 orders: Caecilians (Gymnophiona), Salamanders (Caudata) and Frogs and Toads (Anura). The IUCN considers that 33 of these species are critically endangered, 27 endangered, 11 near threatened and 21 vulnerable. This list is largely derived from the database listing of AmphibiaWeb[1] and Campbell's checklist.[2]

Table of contents

Caecilians: Caeciliidae

Salamanders: Plethodontidae

Frogs and Toads: Rhinophrynidae . Craugastoridae . Leptodactylidae . Eleutherodactylidae . Bufonidae . Hylidae . Centrolenidae . Microhylidae . Ranidae .

Notes       References

Caecilians (Gymnophiona)


Caeciliidae, or common caecilians, is a family of caecilians that are native to South and Central America, equatorial Africa and India. Like other caecilians, they superficially resemble worms or snakes. Although they are the most diverse of the caecilian families, the caeciliids do have a number of features in common that distinguish them from other caecilians. In particular, their skulls have relatively few bones, with those that are present being fused to form a solid ram to aid in burrowing through the soil. The mouth is recessed beneath the snout, and there is no tail. There are more than 100 caeciliids worldwide, 2 of which occur in Guatemala.

Order: Gymnophiona. Family: Caeciliidae

Salamanders (Caudata)


Order: Caudata. Family: Plethodontidae

The Plethodontidae, or Lungless salamanders, are a family of salamanders. Most species are native to the western hemisphere, from British Columbia to Brazil, although a few species are found in Sardinia, Europe south of the Alps, and South Korea. A number of features distinguish the Plethodontids from other salamanders. Most significantly, they lack lungs, conducting respiration through their skin, and the tissues lining their mouths. Another distinctive feature is the presence of a vertical slit between the nostril and upper lip, known as the "naso-labial groove". The groove is lined with glands, and enhances the salamander's chemoreception. Due to their modest size and low metabolism, they are able to feed on prey such as collembola, which are usually too small for other terrestrial vertebrates. This gives them access to a whole ecological niche with minimal competition from other groups. They are by far the largest group of salamanders. There are about 380 species worldwide, of which 41 occur in Guatemala.

Frogs and Toads (Anura)


Order: Anura. Family: Rhinophrynidae

Rhinophrynida is a monotypical family which contains one single species (Rhinophrynus dorsalis), distributed from southern Texas through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador to Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Rhinophrynus dorsalis, commonly known as the Mexican Burrowing Toad, grows to 8 cm (3.1 in) in length, and usually has red spots on its bloated body with a red stripe along the center of its back. It has short legs, and a small, pointed head. Its feet have horny, shovel-like appendages which, along with the short, powerful legs, aid it in digging. Its eyes are relatively small, and the tympanum is not visible.


Order: Anura. Family: Craugastoridae

Craugastor laticeps


Order: Anura. Family: Leptodactylidae

Leptodactylidae is a large and diverse family of frogs that are widely distributed throughout Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and South America. The family includes terrestrial, burrowing, aquatic, and arboreal members, inhabiting a wide range of different habitats. There are roughly 50 genera, with approximately 1100 leptodactylid species, 4 of which occur in Guatemala.


Order: Anura. Family: Eleutherodactylidae

Eleutherodactylidae is a large family of frogs that are distributed in the neotropics, from the south of Texas, through Central America to the north of South America. 3 species occur in Guatemala.


Order: Anura. Family: Bufonidae

True toads (Bufonidae) are a family in the order of Anura (frogs and toads). They are the only family of anurans all members of which are known as "toads". True toads are widespread and occur natively on every continent except Australia and Antarctica, inhabiting a variety of environments, from arid areas to rainforest. Most lay eggs in paired strings that hatch into tadpoles. True toads are toothless and generally warty in appearance. They have a pair of parotoid glands on the back of their heads. These glands contain an alkaloid poison which the toads excrete when stressed. Some toads, like the cane toad Bufo marinus, are more toxic than others. The bufonids now comprise more than 35 genera, Bufo being the most widespread and well known. 12 species occur in Guatemala.


Order: Anura. Family: Hylidae

Hylidae is a wide-ranging family of frogs commonly referred to as "tree frogs and their allies". However, the hylids include a diversity of frog species, many of which do not live in trees, but are terrestrial or semi-aquatic. Most hylids show adaptations suitable for an arboreal lifestyle, including forward-facing eyes providing binocular vision, and adhesive pads on the fingers and toes. In the non-arboreal species, these features may be greatly reduced, or absent. The Cyclorana species are burrowing frogs, that spend much of their lives underground. Hylids mostly feed on insects and other invertebrates, but some larger species can feed on small vertebrates. Hylids lay their eggs in a range of different locations, depending on species. Many use ponds, or puddles that collect in the holes of their trees, while others use bromeliads or other water-holding plants. Other species lay their eggs on the leaves of vegetation overhanging water, allowing the tadpoles to drop into the pond when they hatch. A few species use fast-flowing streams, attaching the eggs firmly to the substrate. The tadpoles of these species have suckers enabling them to hold onto rocks after they hatch. Another unusual adaptation is found in some South American hylids, which brood the eggs on the back of the female. Hylids are distributed in the Americas, Eurasia, extreme north of Africa, Australia, New Guinea and Japan. 38 species occur in Guatemala.


Order: Anura. Family: Centrolenidae

Glass frogs (Centrolenidae) are a family of generally small frogs, ranging from 3 to 7.5 centimetres (1.2 to 3.0 in) in length, distributed from southern Mexico, through Central America and South America. While the general background coloration of most glass frogs is primarily lime green, the abdominal skin of some members of this family is transparent. The internal viscera, including the heart, liver, and gastrointestinal tract are visible through this translucent skin, hence the common name. There is one species in Guatemala.


Order: Anura. Family: Microhylidae

Microhylidae is a geographically widespread family of frogs. Microhylids are mostly small frogs. Many species are below 1.5 centimetres (0.59 in) in length, although some species are as large as 9 centimetres (3.5 in). They can be arboreal or terrestrial, and some will even habit close to water. The ground dwellers are often found under leaf litter within forests, occasionally venturing out at night to hunt. There are two main shapes for the microhylids, one with wide bodies and narrow mouths, and the other with normal frog proportions. Those with narrow mouths generally eat termites and ants, and the others have diets typical of most frogs. The species of the genus Breviceps are burrowing frogs found in the arid regions of Africa. Some of their species will even lay their eggs under ground. Frogs from Microhylidae occur throughout the tropical and warm temperate regions of the Americas, Africa, eastern India, Sri Lanka, south-east Asia, through New Guinea and Australia. There are nine subfamilies, 68 genera, and 495 species worldwide, 5 of which occur in Guatemala.


Order: Anura. Family: Ranidae

The true frogs, family Ranidae, have the widest distribution of any frog family. They are abundant throughout most of the world, occurring on all continents except Antarctica. Typically, true frogs are smooth, moist-skinned frogs, with large, powerful legs and extensively webbed feet. True frogs vary greatly in size, ranging from smallsuch as the Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica)to the largest frog in the world, the Goliath frog (Conraua goliath). Many of the true frogs are aquatic or live close to water. Most species lay their eggs in the water and go through a tadpole stage. However, as with most families of frogs, there is large variation of habitat within the family. Those of the genus Tomopterna are burrowing frogs native to Africa and exhibit most of the characteristics common to burrowing frogs around the world. There are also arboreal species of true frogs, and the family includes some of the very few amphibians that can live in brackish water. There are 6 species in Guatemala.

See also


  1. AmphibiaWeb 2012
  2. Campbell 2007
  3. Not included in Campell's Checklist.
  4. Not included in Campell's Checklist.
  5. This species is included in Campbell's Checklist as Physalaemus pustulosus
  6. This species is included in Campbell's checklist as Leptodactylus labialis , but is considered a synonym of Leptodactylus fragilis (Brocchi, 1878) by other authorities.
  7. The species is included in Campbell's Checklist as "Syrrhophus leprus Cope, 1879"
  8. The species is included in Campbell's Checklist as "Syrrhophus pipilans Taylor, 1940"
  9. The species is included in Campbell's Checklist as "Syrrhophus rubrimaculatus Taylor & Smith, 1945"
  10. Included in Campbell's checklist, but not in Amphibia Web's database. Often considered a subspecies (I. v. wilsoni) of Incilius valliceps (Bufo valliceps). See: Incilius valliceps. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
  11. Included in Campbell's Checklist as Hyla bromeliacea Schmidt, 1933
  12. Included in Campbell's Checklist as Hyla ebraccata Cope, 1874
  13. included as Hyla microcephala Cope, 1886 in AmphibiaWeb 2012
  14. included as Hyla robertmertensi in AmphibiaWeb 2012
  15. included as Hyla minera in AmphibiaWeb 2012
  16. Included in Campbell's Checklist as Hyla dendrophasma Campbell, Smith, and Acevedo, 2000
  17. Included in Campbell's Checklist as Phrynohyas venulosa


AmphibiaWeb. Information on amphibian biology and conservation. (2012). "List of Amphibians in Guatemala (database query web application)". Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
Campbell, Jonathan A. (24 September 2007). "Reptiles and amphibians of Guatemala - Checklist". University of Texas at Arlington, Department of Biology. Retrieved 2012-03-10. 
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