Frog Blog: Chiriqui Glass FrogTeratohyla pulverata

Frog Blog: Chiriqui Glass FrogTeratohyla pulverata

The Chiriqui Glass Frog (Teratohyla pulverata) is a delicate Centrolenid frog found from the lowlands of northern Honduras down through Costa Rica, Panama and into western Colombia.   It is pale green with faint white or yellow flecks on its dorsum and, like most glass frogs a transparent skin on the ventral side.

The Chiriqui Glass Frog has the other character of being the ONLY species of Centrolenid frog I’ve ever seen in the field at the time of this writing!   I have been in glassfrog range many times and have actually recorded 4 species in two genera, but I have never been able to see one before this one pictured above.

I spotted this little guy/girl sitting on the edge of a broad leaf at the edge of a heavily vegetated creek in the Piedras Blancas National Park of southern Costa Rica.   I was ecstatic to finally have see a Centrolenid frog, but I wasn’t sure I was going to be get closer to it since I was on a bridge over the creek.

So I made my way over to that bank and slowly crept down through the dense vegetation (trying not to step on any Terciopelos on the way 😟) and also not shaking the leaves of the giant plant he was on.   I finally got close enough to get a couple of pics, including an attempt at the compulsory “light through the translucent glass frog” shot.

But because of where it was sitting, I couldn’t actually catch the frog for better posed photos. 😢  

So I was very excited to finally see a Centrolenid Frog……but it wasn’t calling.   I went through my recordings from the forest in that area and couldn’t find a single call that matched the description of this species call?   Bummer.

But after I was home and going through my Costa Rican recordings, I came across a recording of a high pitched Glass Frog type call from the Sarapiqui area of Costa Rica from the previous week.   I am not sure why I didn’t upload this one to my blog with the rest of my Costa Rica entries, but better late than never?  

But after some reading in what resources are available, I have determined that it must be this species?

Here’s the recording –

Chiriqui Glass Frog calls

Like many glass frogs, the call of this species is a high-pitched, thin peeping, repeated in a series of three notes.   According the literature, the carrier (dominant) frequency of the calls is supposed to be in the 5500-6200 Hz range and mine is in the 5100 Hz range, but I can’t find any other frog species with a similar call.   So for now, this was a Teratohyla pulverata call until I hear otherwise?   There are a number of photo records for this species at this location in iNaturalist corroborating their presence there, so I am pretty confident I have the right singer.


© Chris Harrison 2024

Leave a Comment