Atelopus Duméril and Bibron, 1841

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Bufonidae > Genus: Atelopus
100 species

Atelopus Duméril and Bibron, 1841, Erp. Gen., 6: 660. Type species: Atelopus flavescens Duméril and Bibron, 1841, by monotypy.

Ateleopus Agassiz, 1846, Nomencl. Zool., Fasc. 12: 39. Unjustified emendation of Atelopus Duméril and Bibron, 1841.

Phrynidium Lichtenstein and Martens, 1856, Nomencl. Rept. Amph. Mus. Zool. Berol.: 40. Type species: Not designated. Synonymy by Peters, 1863, Monatsber. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1863: 82.

Hylaemorphus Jan, 1857, Cenni Mus. Civ. Milano: 53. Type species: Hylaemorphus plutonius Jan, 1857, by monotypy. Nomen nudum

Hylaemorphus Schmidt, 1857, Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Phys. Math. Naturwiss. Kl., 24: 14. Type species: Not designated, either Hylaemorphus bibroni Schmidt, 1857, or Hylaemorphus dumerilii Schmidt, 1857. Synonymy by Günther, 1859 "1858", Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus.: 43.

Phirix Schmidt, 1857, Sitzungsber. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Phys. Math. Naturwiss. Kl., 24: 14. Type species: Phirix pachydermus Schmidt, 1857, by monotypy. Synonymy with Phryniscus by Hoffmann, 1878, in Bronn (ed.), Die Klassen und Ordnungen des Thier-Reichs, 6(2): 635. Synonymy with Atelopus by Rivero, 1963, Caribb. J. Sci., 3: 107.

AntelopusOrton, 1876, Andes and the Amazons: 108. Incorrect subsequent spelling of Atelopus.

English Names

Stubfoot Toads (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 39).

Harlequin Toads (Kok and Kalamandeen, 2008, Intr. Taxon. Amph. Kaieteur Natl. Park: 120).


Costa Rica to Bolivia and the Guiana Shield.


Peters, 1973, Smithson. Contrib. Zool., 145: 1–49, reviewed the species of Ecuador and defined species groups. The species groups noted in the species accounts were defined by Lynch, 1993, Alytes, 11: 77–87, of which the Atelopus ignescens group is united solely by plesiomorphy. In the same paper, Lynch discussed the evidence of phylogeny among the "atelopodid" genera (Osornophryne, Frostius, and Atelopus). La Marca, García-Pérez, and Renjifo, 1990 "1989", Caldasia, 16: 97–104, supplied a key to the species of Venezuela. Graybeal and Cannatella, 1995, Herpetologica, 51: 121, suggested evidence supporting the monophyly of this taxon. Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297: 129, suggested that Atelopus is the sister taxon of Osornophryne (among the exemplars studied) and that Atelopus + Osornophryne is the sister taxon of remaining bufonids, with the exception of Melanophryniscus and likely Truebella. Van Bocxlaer, Loader, Roelants, Biju, Menegon, and Bossuyt, 2010, Science, 327: 679–682, suggested that Atelopus is in a basal polytomy with Oreophrynella and a clade subtending all other bufonids excluding Melanophryniscus. See Lötters, 1996, Neotrop. Toad Genus Atelopus: 1-143, for recent summary of taxonomy and distribution. Savage, 2002, Amph. Rept. Costa Rica: 186–191, provide accounts and keys to the species of Costa Rica. Portik and Papenfuss, 2015, BMC Evol. Biol., 15 (152): 1–19, recovered Atelopus as the sister of Osornophryne and together the sister taxon of all bufonids excluding Melanophryniscus and Dendrophryniscus. Kok, Ratz, MacCulloch, Lathrop, Dezfoulian, Aubret, and Means, 2018, J. Biogeograph., 45: 26–36, found Atelopus to the be the sister taxon of OreophrynellaBarrio-Amorós, 1999 "1998", Acta Biol. Venezuelica, 18: 5–7, reported on literature and distribution for the species in Venezuela. Rueda-Almonacid, Rodríguez-Mahecha, Lötters, La Marca, Kahn, and Angulo, 2005, Ranas Arlequines, provide brief accounts for all species and reported 20 unnamed species from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela. Guayasamin, Bonaccorso, Duellman, and Coloma, 2010, Zootaxa, 2574: 55–68, reported on the molecular phylogenetics of the Atelopus ignescens and Atelopus bomolochos species complexes in the northern Andes. Lötters, van der Meijden, Coloma, Boistel, Cloetens, Ernst, Lehr, and Veith, 2011, Syst. Biodiversity, 9: 45–57, provided a molecular analysis that suggested that Osornophryne is not within Atelopus and that the former Atelopus ignescens and Atelopus longirostris groups are not historical units. Pyron and Wiens, 2011, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol., 61: 543–583, suggested the monophyly of this taxon (although not addressing Oreophrynella), its placement as the sister taxon of all bufonids with the exception of Melanophryniscus, and provided a tree of exemplar species. Mueses-Cisneros and Moreno-Quintero, 2012, Herpetotropicos, Mérida, 7: 39–54, noted an unnamed species in Nariño, southwestern Colombia. Köhler, 2011, Amph. Cent. Am.: 98–102, provided a brief summary of natural history, an identification key to the species of Central America and range maps and photographs of the species. Marcillo-Lara, Coloma, Álvarez-Solas, and Terneus, 2020, Neotropical Biodiversity, 6: 1–13, summarized the literature of larval morphology. Jorge, Ferrão, and Lima, 2020, Diversity, 12 (310): 1–25, discussed comparative call structure and morphology in the Atelopus hoogmoedi complex as part of the delimitation of Atelopus manauensis. Ramírez, Jaramillo, Lindquist, Crawford, and Ibáñez D., 2020, Diversity, 12 (360): 1–19, reported on mtDNA phylogenetics and biogeography of the species, including two candidate species. Jorge, Magnusson, Silva, Polo, and Lima, 2020, J. Zool. Syst. Evol. Res., 58: 1195–1205, noted a threatened but unnamed species in the Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, area. Jaynes, Páez-Vacas, Salazar-Valenzuela, Guayasamin, Terán-Valdez, Siavichay, Fitzpatrick, and Coloma, 2022, Biol. Conserv., 276 (109784): 1–12, discussed the genetic response of the species of Atelopus in Ecuador that were rediscovered after great population declines (e.g., Atelopus balios, Atelopus elegans, Atelopus ignescens, and Atelopus nanay). Dias and Anganoy-Criollo, 2024, Sci. Nature, 111(3): 1–20, discussed larval morphological evolution within the family, with special reference to the species of Atelopus

Contained taxa (100 sp.):

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