Animal Database

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Animal Database
Animal Database
Veragua Stubfoot Toad
Common Name Rancho Grande Harlequin Frog
Range Venezuela
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Amphibia
Order Anura
Family Bufonidae
Genus Atelopus
Species Atelopus cruciger
Conservation Status
Critically Endangered

The Veragua stubfoot toad or Rancho Grande harlequin frog (Atelopus cruciger), is a species of toad in the Bufonidae family. It is endemic to Venezuela. For years, this species was considered extinct because, despite considerable effort, none had been found since 1986. However, in 2003, a small population was found. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and rivers. It is mainly threatened by chytridiomycosis. It is locally called sapito rayado.


During the dry seasons, these amphibians choose to live near freshwater streams with surrounding vegetation. Streams are the perfect location for them to breed. Their main habitat is located on the mountain slopes in the Cordillera de la Costa of Venezuela. They are not just located in that general area. These frogs live in Carabobo, Distrito Federal, Yaracuy, Miranda Estadoes Aragua, and Vargas. They are also known to live in Estado Cojedes, as well as in Azul. Because of where they have been found, the proper habitat for these frogs likely is along the mountains on the coast of Venezuela.

Ecological Role[]

The main sources of food for these frogs are ants and other small insects; they keep the insect population in check.

Population and Conservation[]

Searches have been conducted for this animal in 2004 and then again in 2008. Before then, in 1986, a small population was found, thus proving these rare and endangered amphibians were not extinct. Both searches in 2004 and 2008 found two different populations. Those found in 2008 are located in the Parque Nacional Henri Pittier, Parque Nacional Rancho Grande, and Parque Nacional San Esteban. In 2004, they were found in a small population near a stream on a mountainside in Venezuela. Habitat loss is only a part of their declining population. IThese frogs are becoming more and more endangered probably due to prolonged droughts in that area, flooding if the rains come hard and suddenly, climate change, and sudden harsh exposure to ultraviolet rays coming from the sun.