IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Dendropsophus melanargyreus is a mid-sized treefrog frog within the D. marmoratus group. Its snout appears rounded in dorsal view. Average snout vent length is 35.0 mm. The dorsal skin is slightly tubercular, with the larger tubercles appearing on the upper eyelids. The ventral view appears areolate and the tympanum appears distinct. Crenate dermal fringes can be seen on the outer edges of the forearms, hands, and feet. Most of the fingers are about two-thirds webbed, with only the outer finger fully webbed to the base of the disc. On the other hand, the toes are almost fully webbed to the bases of the discs. Tadpoles of this species are bluntly ovoid from the dorsal view and widest at approximately three-fourths of the body length. The body is shorter than wide. The snout is rounded from both the profile and dorsal view, but is bluntly rounded in the dorsal view. Nostrils are oval, located midway between the snout and eyes, and directed laterally. Small eyes are located and directed laterally such that they can be viewed from below. The short spiracle runs along the length of the left side of the tadpole’s body and opens posterodorsally about two-thirds of the length of the body at the midline. The slender caudal musculature is moderate. Tadpoles have small, anteroventrally-directed oral discs with no lateral folds. Although the anterior labium is undecorated, the mouth does have a single ridged row of short, fused papillae. The slender anterior sheath forms a broad arch and the robust posterior sheath forms a shallow V-shape. There are no labial teeth (Duellman 2005).

Dendropsophus melanargyreus is a member of the D. mamaroatus complex, which is comprised of eight species that are all characterized by warty skin around the lower lip, the crenulated outer edges of limbs, large vocal sacs, and the marbled pattern on dorsum (Da Silva et al. 2010). The dorsal coloration of Dendropsophus parviceps appears similar to that of D. malanargyreus, but the two species can be differentiated by D. parviceps having a smaller size, white suborbital bars, and prominent orange spot on the ventral surface. Dendropsophus melanargyreus could also be mistaken for Cruziohyla craspedous, which overlaps in range and also has dermal fringes on its fingers and toes. The two species can be differentiated by C. craspedous having more extensive fringes, a green dorsum with light spots, and pupils that are elliptical in the vertical direction (Duellman 2005).

In life, D. melanargyreus displays varying shades of gray or tan with dark yellow to dark brown blotches on its dorsum. A reddish brown X-shaped mark that begins on the upper eyelids and extends to the postsacral region can be observed. The limbs display transversal dark brown to black bands on the dorsal side and dark gray to black coloration on the ventral side. The obscured parts of the thigh are orange-tan with dark brown or black blotches. The webbing appears orange-tan with dark bands. The throat and belly display white or pale yellow coloration with black blotches. The iris appears pale gray with black reticulations. When preserved, the dorsum becomes a dull tan with brown markings while the venter maintains its white coloration with black markings (Duellman 2005).

In life, D. melanargyreus tadpoles at Gosner Stage 27 have olive-tan bodies marked with transverse bars, a grey throat with black flecks, and a white belly. Tail musculature is creamy tan specked with brown. Larger tadpoles had larger brown dorsolateral blotches. When preserved, the dorsum becomes tan, the tail musculature maintains its cream coloration and irregular markings, and the belly becomes clear (Duellman 2005).

Dendropsophus melanargyreus was previously within the genus Hyla and previously named Hyla marmorata, but has moved to the resurrected genus Dendropsosphus (Silvano et al. 2012).


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