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Central Coast Stubfoot Toad
At franciscus
Information
Range central coastal region of French Guiana.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Amphibia
Order Anura
Family Bufonidae
Genus Atelopus
Species Atelopus franciscus
Conservation Status
VUSpecies
Vulnerable

The Central Coast stubfoot toad (Atelopus franciscus), is a species of toad in the Bufonidae family. It is endemic to the central coastal region of French Guiana. It is a locally common, diurnal species found near fast-flowing small streams and creeks in lowland rainforest. Many authors have suggested this taxon might be a synonym of Atelopus flavescens.

Reproduction and Behavior

To attract females and to defend their territories, males of Atelopus franciscus use advertisement calls, not visual displays as typical for Atelopus. This is somewhat unexpected, given their environment is noisy and males must acoustically compete with males of several other frog species (e.g., Allobates femoralis and Otophryne pyburni). Moreover, this species lacks an external vocal sac, so can only produce low-intensity calls that propagate short distances (<8 m). It also lacks external tympana and could be considered anatomically deaf. Nevertheless, it has a well-developed inner ear and has been shown to respond acoustically to the calls of conspecifics in the field.

Male territories are closely spaced, only 2–4 m apart on average, and despite the handicaps discussed above, acoustic communication appears sufficiently efficient at these short distances.

Eggs are laid in the water. The tadpoles adhere to rocks.

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