This species is part of the family Craugastoridae, which is believed to have diverged from their closest living relatives over 50 million years ago, before the major Andean uplift.
The Itatiaia Highland frog is found only in the highlands of the Itatiaia Mountains in south-eastern Brazil. The species was frequently encountered until the 1970s but has not been found for more than 10 years. It was last collected in 1976 despite extensive searches, suggesting this species may now be extinct.
The species is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List as the habitat area in which this species could survive is less than 10 km² and the entire population exists in a single location. Unfortunately, the species has been heavily impacted by habitat degradation due to ecotourism and fire.
The Itatiaia Highland frog species occurs in the protected area of Parque Nacional do Itatiaia. However, more extensive searches alongside continued conservation and maintenance of the habitat is necessary for the safeguarding of this species.
- Order: Anura
- Family: Craugastoridae
- Population: Possibly extinct
- Trend: decreasing
- Size: 37mm
This species is endemic to Brazil, restricted to the Itatiaia Mountains in south-eastern Brazil, occurring around 2400-2600 metres above sea level.
Habitat and Ecology
This is a terrestrial species, found often in mulch and leaves, where it also lays their eggs. They hide under stones and in bromeliads in open grasslands. They breed by direct development; whereby the offspring bypass a larval stage and emerge from the egg as a miniature adult.