Eleutherodactylus johnstonei Barbour, 1914

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Superfamily: Brachycephaloidea > Family: Eleutherodactylidae > Subfamily: Eleutherodactylinae > Genus: Eleutherodactylus > Species: Eleutherodactylus johnstonei

Eleutherodactylus johnstonei Barbour, 1914, Mem. Mus. Comp. Zool., 44: 249. Syntypes: MCZ 2759 (2 specimens), by original designation. Type locality: "St. Georges, [St. George Parish,] Grenada".

Hylodes johnstoneiNieden, 1923, Das Tierreich, 46: 421.

Hyla barbudensis Auffenberg, 1958, Q. J. Florida Acad. Sci., 21: 251. Holotype: UF 2752 (fossil ilium), by original designation. Type locality: "Cave I, Two Foot Bay, Barbuda, British Leeward Islands". Synonymy by Schwartz, 1967, Stud. Fauna Curaçao and other Caribb. Is., 24: 18–20.

Eleutherodactylus barbudensisLynch, 1966, Copeia, 1966: 525.

Eleutherodactylus johnstoniiSutherland and Nunnemacher, 1981, J. Comp. Neurol., 202: 415–420. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) johnstoneiHedges, 1989, in Woods (ed.), Biogeograph. W. Indies: 327; Heinicke, Duellman, and Hedges, 2007, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Suppl. Inform., 104: 9.

Eleutherodactylus johnstoniGorzula, 1989, Herpetol. Rev., 20: 56. Incorrect subsequent spelling.

English Names

Johnstone's Robber Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 76).

Lesser Antillean Frog (Hedges, Powell, Henderson, Hanson, and Murphy, 2019, Caribb. Herpetol., 67: 11). 


The original distribution is unclear, although likely native to St. Lucia or the Antigua and Barbuda Bank, but also known from the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, Bequia, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Barbados, Grenada, Mustique, Canouan, an Carriacou; definitely introduced on Aruba, Anguilla, Bonaire, Curaçao, Trinidad, Jamaica, Bermuda, Dominica, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia,  (Barranquilla, Tolima, Cali, Medellín), Curaçao, and Georgetown, Guyana, and coastal French Guiana (likely on coastal Suriname); São Paulo, Brazil, as well as the Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland, and possibly in Costa Rica. See comment. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Saint Lucia

Likely/Controversially Present: Suriname

Introduced: Anguilla, Aruba, Bermuda, Bonaire, Brazil, Colombia, Curaçao, Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Panama, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Virgin Islands, British, Virgin Islands, U.S.


Both prior to and subsequent to the description of Eleutherodactylus johnstonei, the name Eleutherodactylus martinicensis Tschudi has been applied to the populations of frogs now called Eleutherodactylus johnstonei. Schwartz, 1967, Stud. Fauna Curaçao and other Caribb. Is., 24: 18–20, discussed the nomenclatural history of this species and noted that the fossil species Hyla barbudensis Auffenberg, 1958, is a synonym of this species. In the Eleutherodactylus auriculatus group, according to Schwartz, 1969, Stud. Fauna Curaçao and other Caribb. Is., 30: 101. See also account by Schwartz and Fowler, 1973, Stud. Fauna Curaçao and other Caribb. Is., 43: 65. See account by Kaiser and Hardy, 1994, Cat. Am. Amph. Rept., 581: 1–5. Murphy, 1997, Amph. Rept. Trinidad Tobago: 81–82, provided an account for Trinidad. Kaiser, Green, and Schmid, 1994, Canad. J. Zool., 72: 2217–2237, discussed the phylogenetic relationships of this species. In the Eleutherodactylus auriculatus section, Eleutherodactylus martinicensis series, Eleutherodactylus martinicensis group, according to Hedges, 1989, in Woods (ed.), Biogeograph. W. Indies: 327. In the Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) martinicensis series, Eleutherodactylus martinicensis group of Lynch and Duellman, 1997, Univ. Kansas Mus. Nat. Hist. Spec. Publ., 23: 226. Lescure and Marty, 2000, Collect. Patrimoines Nat., Paris, 45: 210–211, provided a photo and brief account for French Guiana. Savage, 2002, Amph. Rept. Costa Rica: 271–272, provided an account and placed this species in his Eleutherodactylus martinicensis series, Eleutherodactylus martinicensis group. See comments regarding Venezuelan populations by Gorzula and Señaris, 1999 "1998", Scient. Guaianae, 8: 53. Barrio-Amorós, 1999 "1998", Acta Biol. Venezuelica, 18: 52, commented on the Venezuelan distribution. Kaiser, Barrio-Amorós, Trujillo, and Lynch, 2002, Herpetol. Rev., 33: 290–294, discussed introductions and current range in Venezuela. Savage, 2002, Amph. Rept. Costa Rica: 271, noted a single specimen from Costa Rica, but did not know if an introduced population was thriving there. Lever, 2003, Naturalized Rept. Amph. World: 192–196 discussed the introduced populations on Bermuda, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia (Barranquilla area), Guyana, French Guiana, Curacao, Trinidad, Dominica, Guadeloupe, the Grenadines, Jamaica, Barbados, Grenada, and Martinique. In the Eleutherodactylus (Eleutherodactylus) martinicensis species series, Eleutherodactylus martinicensis species group of Hedges, Duellman, and Heinicke, 2008, Zootaxa, 1737: 59–60, and of Padial, Grant, and Frost, 2014, Zootaxa, 3825: 129. Daudin and de Silva, 2007, Appl. Herpetol., 4: 163–175, reported on island distribution in the Grenadines, Lesser Antilles. Lorvelec, Pascal, Pavis, and Feldmann, 2007, Appl. Herpetol., 4: 131–161, discussed controversies regarding the native range and subsequent introductions. Ibáñez D. and Rand, 1990, Herpetol. Rev., 21: 37, provided a record for an introduced population in Panama. Ouboter and Jairam, 2012, Amph. Suriname: 334, commented on the lack of specimens from Suriname. Montes and Bernal-Bautista, 2012, Herpetol. Rev., 43: 439, provided a record for an introduced population in the municipality of Mariquita, Tolima, Colombia. See Cole, Townsend, Reynolds, MacCulloch, and Lathrop, 2013, Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 125: 394, for brief account and records for Guyana. Henderson and Powell, 2009, Nat. Hist. Rept. Amph. W. Indies: 59–60, summarized the natural history literature. Köhler, 2011, Amph. Cent. Am.: 183–191, provided a key to the species of Eleutherodactylus in Central America and provided maps and photographs of the species, including this one. Melo, Lyra, Brischi, Geraldi, and Haddad, 2014, Salamandra, 50: 177–180, documented an introduced population in São Paulo, Brazil. Ernst, Massemin, and Kowarik, 2011, Biol. Invasions, 13: 1767–1777, discussed the range within French Guiana and briefly discussed its introductions along the Caribbean coasts and islands. De Massary, Bochaton, Bour, Dewynter, Ineich, Vidal, and Lescure, 2018, Bull. Soc. Herpetol. France, 166: 59–78, reported the species from Saint-Barthélemy in the Lesser Antilles. De Massary, Bour, Dewynter, Ineich, Vidal, and Lescure, 2017, Bull. Soc. Herpetol. France, 164: 37–54, reported the species from Saint Martin, Lesser Antilles. Leonhardt, Jiménez-Bolaño, and Ernst, 2019, NeoBiota, 45: 39–54, assessed the status of introduced populations in Colombia and briefly discussed introduced populations (those restricted to greenhouse populations in Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands not here counted as legitimately introduced populations). Breuil and Serre-Collet, 2012, Caribb. Herpetol., 31: 1, reported the species on Terre-de-Bas, and island associated with Guadeloupe. See Barrio-Amorós, Rojas-Runjaic, and Señaris, 2019, Amph. Rept. Conserv., 13 (1: e180): 53, for comments on range and literature for Venezuela. Señaris and Rojas-Runjaic, 2020, in Rull and Carnaval (eds.), Neotrop. Divers. Patterns Process.: 571–632, commented on range and conservation status in the Venezuelan Guayana. González-Sánchez, Johnson, González-Solís, Fucsko, and Wilson, 2021, ZooKeys, 1022: 87, noted that the introduction into Costa Rica had failed. Ortega-Chinchilla, Cabanzo-Olarte, and Flechas-Hernández, 2022, Catal. Anf. Rept. Colombia, Medellín, 8: 27–34, provided a detailed review with a focus on Colombia of the literature, morphology, advertisement call, natural history, range in Colombia, and photographs. Yuan, Frederick, McGuire, Bell, Smith, Fenton, Cassius, Williams, Wang, Powell, and Hedges, 2022, Biol. Invasions, 24: 2707–2722, reported on molecular (mtDNA) phylogeography of which two major clades were delimited. Hedges, 2022, Zootaxa, 5219: 375–387, by naming Eleutherodactylus montserratae and showing that many of the introductions of nominal Eleutherodactylus johnstonei are actually of that species. Melo-Dias, Souza-Cruz, Moreira, Curi, Carvalho, Freitas, and Canedo, 2024, S. Am. J. Herpetol., 29: 38–65, discussed introduced populations in Brazil. 

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