Eleutherodactylus portoricensis
Eleutherodactylus portoricensis
(Forest Coqui)
Amphibians-Frogs
Exotic
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Eleutherodactylus portoricensis Schmidt, 1927

Common name: Forest Coqui

Synonyms and Other Names: Puerto Rican robber frog, coquí de la montaña

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Eleutherodactylus portoricensis is a small leptdodactylid (rain frog) about 32-42 mm (1.25-1.65 in) long (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Joglar, 1998).  The dorsal coloration of adults is highly variable, ranging from yellow, tan or gray, with or without a variable pattern, sometimes exhibiting light lateral stripes (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Joglar, 1998; Rivero, 1998).  Mountain coqui are very easily confused with E. coqui and exhibit many of the pattern variations seen in this similar species (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Rivero, 1998; also illustrated in Joglar, 1998).  Like E. coqui, mountain coqui have toe disks (toepads) for climbing (Joglar, 1998).  The males' call is a repeated "ko-KEE" that also sounds confusingly like the call of E. coqui; however, these two notes are normally repeated at shorter intervals in E. portoricenis than in E. coqui (Rivero, 1998).  A CD recording of both these species is provided by Rivero (1998).  Also see the species account titled "Eleutherodactylus coqui Thomas, 1966" on this website.

Size: 32-42 mm head-body length

Native Range: The mountain coqui is native to the moist highlands of Puerto Rico (Schwartz and Thomas, 1975; Frost, 1985; Schwartz and Henderson, 1985, 1991; Powell et al., 1996; Joglar, 1998; Rivero, 1998; Hedges, 1999; Thomas, 1999).

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Alaska
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Hawaii
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Guam Saipan
Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: Prior to 1965, a herpetologist released several Eleutherodactylus in Sunset Park, South Miami, Dade County, Florida (King and Krakauer, 1966; Smith and Kohler, 1978).  The identity of the species of Eleutherodactylus involved was not verified.

Means of Introduction: Prior to 1965, a herpetologist released several E. portoricensis in Sunset Park, South Miami, Dade County, Florida (King and Krakauer, 1966; Smith and Kohler, 1978).  The identity of the species of Eleutherodactylus involved was not verified.

Status: Not established (King and Krakauer, 1966; Smith and Kohler, 1978).  The specific identity of these Eleutherodactylus remains questionable (see remarks below).

Impact of Introduction: None.

Remarks: The taxonomy of E. portoricensis has been summarized by Schwartz and Thomas (1975), and Frost (1985).  The mountain coqui is an insectivorous, nonaquatic, semiterrestrial frog, which often climbs tree trunks and bushes (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Joglar, 1998; Rivero, 1998).  These nocturnal frogs often can be found under leaf litter and terrestrial debris during the day (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991).  Their preferred habitat is cool, montane, broadleaf forest (Schwartz and Henderson, 1991; Joglar, 1998). The terrestrial eggs are laid in elevated, sheltered sites such as arboreal crevices or leaf axils of bromeliads, and are guarded by the father (Townsend and Stewart in Townsend, 1996; Joglar, 1998). Development is direct with no aquatic tadpole stage (Joglar, 1998). The exact identity of the Eleutherodactylus released in Dade County, Florida, as reported by King and Krakauer (1966), should be questioned.  The frogs identified as E. portoricensis (King and Krakauer, 1966; Smith and Kohler, 1978), were released prior to 1965, before the confusingly similar, congeneric E. coqui was formally named by Thomas in 1966.  Prior to Thomas (1966), all E. coqui were identified as E. portoricensis (Rivero, 1998).   Perhaps King and Krakauer's 1966 paper was still in press while E. coqui was being separated as a species distinct from E. portoricensis.  No specimens exist which can validate the identity of these intentionally released, nonindigenous leptodactylids.

References: (click for full references)

Frost, D. R. (editor). 1985. Amphibian Species of the World. A Taxonomic and Geographical Reference. Allen Press, Inc. and The Association of Systematics Collections. Lawrence, Kansas. 732 pp.

Hedges, S. B. 1999. Distribution patterns of amphibians in the West Indies. Pp. 211-254. In: W. E. Duellman (editor). Patterns of Distribution of Amphibians. A Global Perspective. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. 633 pp.

Joglar, R. L. 1998. Los Coquíes de Puerto Rico. Su Historia Natural y Conservación. Editorial de las Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan. 232 pp.

King, [F.] W., and T. Krakauer. 1966. The exotic herpetofauna of southeast Florida. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 29(2):144-154.

Powell, R., R. W. Henderson, K. Adler, and H. A. Dundee. 1996. An annotated checklist of West Indian amphibians and reptiles. Pp. 51-91, plates 1-8. In: R. Powell and R. W. Henderson (editors). Contributions to West Indian Herpetology. A Tribute to Albert Schwartz. Contributions to Herpetology 12. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca. 475 pp.

Rivero, J. A. 1998. Los Anfibios y Reptiles de Puerto Rico. The Amphibians and Reptiles of Puerto Rico. Segunda Edición Revisada. Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, San Juan. 510 pp. + CD.

Schwartz, A., and R. W. Henderson. 1985. A Guide to the Identification of the Amphibians and reptiles of the West Indies Exclusive of Hispaniola. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee. 165 pp.

Schwartz, A., and R. W. Henderson. 1991. Amphibians and Reptiles of the West Indies: Descriptions, Distributions, and Natural History. University of Florida Press, Gainesville. 720 pp.

Schwartz, A., and R. Thomas. 1975. A check-list of West Indian amphibians and reptiles. Carnegie Museum of Natural History Special Publication (1):1-216.

Smith, H. M., and A. J. Kohler. 1978. A survey of herpetological introductions in the United States and Canada. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science 1977 80(1-2):1-24.

Thomas, R. 1966. New species of Antillean Eleutherodactylus. Quarterly Journal of the Florida Academy of Sciences 28(4):375-391.

Thomas, R. 1999. The Puerto Rico area. Pp. 169-179. In: B. I. Crother (editor). Caribbean Amphibians and Reptiles. Academic Press, San Diego. 495 pp.

Townsend, D. S. 1996. Patterns of parental care in frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus. Pp. 229-239. In: R. Powell and R. W. Henderson (editors). Contributions to West Indian Herpetology. A Tribute to Albert Schwartz. Contributions to Herpetology 12. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, Ithaca. 475 pp.

Author: Somma, L.A.

Revision Date: 7/15/2002

Citation Information:
Somma, L.A., 2017, Eleutherodactylus portoricensis Schmidt, 1927: U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=63, Revision Date: 7/15/2002, Access Date: 9/25/2017

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.

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Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2017]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [9/25/2017].

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