Pristimantis attenboroughi

Pristimantis attenboroughi (Attenborough's rubber frog) is a species of frogs endemic to the Peruvian Andes and has been recorded in and near the Pui–Pui Protection Forest.[1][3][4] It is the first amphibian named after David Attenborough.[5][6] It was discovered by Edgar Lehr and Rudolf von May during a period of two years of studying the forests of Peru.[4] The species description was based on 34 specimens caught at elevations of 3,400–3,936 m (11,155–12,913 ft) above sea level.[2]

Pristimantis attenboroughi
Holotype, a male
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Amphibia
Order: Anura
Family: Craugastoridae
Genus: Pristimantis
P. attenboroughi
Binomial name
Pristimantis attenboroughi
Lehr and von May, 2017[2]


Adult males measure 15–19 mm (0.6–0.7 in) and adult females 19–23 mm (0.7–0.9 in) in snout–vent length. The snout is short and rounded. No tympanum is present. The finger and toe tips are narrow and rounded, without circumferential grooves; neither lateral fringes nor webbing is present. The dorsal coloration ranges from pale gray to reddish brown to brownish olive. There are scattered flecks and sometimes an X-shaped scapular mark. Most specimens have dark grayish-brown canthal and supratympanic stripes. Juveniles are paler in coloration, yellowish to reddish brown, bearing contrasting dark brown flecks and distinct canthal and supratympanic stripes.[2]

Reproduction occurs by direct development, that is, there is no free-living tadpole stage.[1] The average egg diameter is 3.5 mm (0.14 in).[2]

Habitat and conservation

Pristimantis attenboroughi is known from upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands at 3,400–3,936 m (11,155–12,913 ft) above sea level where specimens were found living inside moss pads. A female was found guarding a clutch of 20 eggs inside moss.[1][2]

Although this species could qualify as "endangered" or "vulnerable" because of its small range,[2][7] the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) assessed it in 2018 as "near threatened".[1] The category was chosen because the overall population is believed to be stable, the species is common, and much of the known range is within a protected area.[1]


  1. IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2018). "Pristimantis attenboroughi". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2018. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  2. Lehr, Edgar & von May, Rudolf (2017). "A new species of terrestrial-breeding frog (Amphibia, Craugastoridae, Pristimantis) from high elevations of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru". ZooKeys. 660: 17–42. doi:10.3897/zookeys.660.11394.
  3. Frost, Darrel R. (2018). "Pristimantis attenboroughi Lehr and von May, 2017". Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  4. "New frog from the Peruvian Andes is the first amphibian named after Sir David Attenborough". Pensoft blog. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  5. "Completely new species of frog discovered, named after David Attenborough". The Independent. 2017-03-07. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  6. "New frog from the Peruvian Andes is the first amphibian named after Sir David Attenborough". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  7. "Illinois Wesleyan: Lehr's Team First to Name Amphibian After BBC's Attenborough". Retrieved 2017-03-09.
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