Defensive behaviors of Leptodactylus rhodomystax (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from northern Brazil


  • Fillipe Pedroso-Santos
  • Vinícius A. M. B. de Figueiredo
  • Carlos E. Costa-Campos

Palabras clave:

Amphibians, Defense, Predators, Leaf-litter


The study of defensive behaviors in anurans can lead to new hypotheses for a better understanding
of prey-predator interactions. Herein, based on field observations, we described
for the first time defensive behaviors of Leptodactylus rhodomystax. The studied individual
displayed stretching limbs posture and evidenced hidden aposematism. Hidden aposematism
was occasionally described to occur with stretching limbs posture. Our observations suggest
that synergistic defense mechanisms in anurans may be more common than currently known.


Bertoluci, J.; Brassaloti, R.A.; Sawakuchi, H.O.; Ribeiro Jr, J.W. & Woehl Jr, G. 2007. Defensive behavior with stiff-legged posture in the Brazilian tree toads Dendrophryniscus brevipollicatus and D. leucomystax (Anura, Bufonidae). Alytes 25: 1–2.

Borteiro, C.; Rosset, S.D.; Kolenc, F.; Barrasso, D.A.; Lescano, J.N. & Baldo, D. 2018. Stereotyped defensive behaviours in frogs of the genus Odontophrynus (Amphibia: Anura: Odontophrynidae). Current Herpetology 37: 172–179.

Barrio-Amorós, C.L.; Rojas-Runjaic, F.J.M. & Señaris, J.C. 2019. Catalogue of the amphibians of Venezuela: ilustrated and annotated species list, distribution, and conservation. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 13: 1–198.

Brodie, E.D. & Brodie Jr, E.D. 1999. Predator-prey arms races. BioScience 49: 557–568.

Duellman, W.E. & Trueb, L. 1994. Biology of amphibians. Baltimore: John Hopkins University. 696 pp.

de Sá, R.O.; Grant, T.; Camargo, A.; Heyer, W.R; Ponssa, M.L. & Stanley, E. 2014. Systematics of the Neotropical Genus Leptodactylus Fitzinger, 1826 (Anura: Leptodactylidae): Phylogeny, the Relevance of Non-molecular Evidence, and Species Accounts. South American Journal of Herpetology 9: 1–128.

Dreher, C.E; Cummings, M.E. & Pröhl, H. 2015. An analysis of predator selection to affect aposematic coloration in a poison frog species. PLoS ONE 10: e0130571.

Ferreira, R.B.; Lourenço-de-Moraes, R.; Zocca, C.; Duca, C. & Beard, K.H. 2019. Antipredator mechanisms of post-metamorphic anurans: a global database and classification system. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 2019: 1–21.

Ferrante, L.; Najar, T. & Kaefer, I.L. 2020. Four new anuran defence behaviours observed in the cane toad Rhinella marina. Ethology Ecology & Evolution 6: 590–595.

Figueiredo-de-Andrade, C.A. & Silveira, L.S. 2018. The defensive behaviour of Rhinella pygmaea (Myers & Carvalho, 1952) (Anura: Bufonidae). Herpetology Notes 11: 205–207.

Frost, D. R. (ed.). 2021. Amphibian Species of the World: an Online Reference. Version 6.0 (1 April 2020). Electronic Database accessible at https://amphibiansoftheworld.amnh. org/index.php. American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA. Captured on 09 June 2021.

Gally, M.; Zina, J.; Mira-Mendes, C.V. & Solé, M. 2014. Legs-interweaving: An unusual defense behavior of anurans displayed by Agalychnis aspera (Peters, 1983). Herpetology Notes 7: 623–625.

Greenbaum, E. 2004. The influence of prey-scent stimuli on predatory behavior of the North American copperhead Agkistrodon contortrix (Serpente: Viperidae). Behavioral Ecology 15: 345–350.

Johnson, J.A. & Brodie Jr, E.D. 1975. The selective advantage of the defensive posture of the newt, Taricha granulosa. The American Midland Naturalist 93: 139–148.

Kolenc, F.; Borteiro, C.; Baldo, D.; Ferraro, D.P. & Prigioni, C.M. 2009. The tadpoles and advertisement calls of Pleurodema bibroni Tschudi and Pleurodema kriegi (Müller), with notes on their geographic distribution and conservation status (Amphibia, Anura, Leiuperidae). Zootaxa 1969: 1–35.

Mângia, S. & Santana, D.J. 2013. Defensive behavior in Rhinella granulosa (Spix, 1824) (Amphibia: Anura: Bufonidae). Herpetology Notes 6: 45–46.

Mira-Mendes, C.V.; Ruas, D.S.; Castro, I.; Solé, M. & Baumgarten, J.E. 2016. Defensive behaviours in the Bahia forest frog Macrogenioglottus alipioi Carvalho, 1946 (Anura: Odontophrynidae), with a review of the stiff-legged posture. Herpetology Notes 9: 91–94.

Rubbo, M.J.; Towsend Jr, V.R.; Smyers, S.D. & Jaeger, R.G. 2003. An experimental assessment of invertebrate/ vertebrate predation: the interaction between wolf spider (Gladicosa pulchra) and terrestrial salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum). Journal of Zoology 261: 1–5.

Rebouças, R.; Carollo, A.B.; Freitas, M.O.; Lambertini, C.; Santos, R.M.N. & Toledo, L.F. 2019. Is the conspicuous dorsal coloration of the Atlantic Forest pumpkin toadlets aposematic? Salamandra 55: 39–47.

Rocha, R. & López-Baucells, A. 2014. Predation attempt of Hypsiboas boans (Anura: Hylidae) by Helicops angulatus (Squamata: Dipsadidae) with notes on defensive behavior. Alytes 30: 78–81.

Sazima, I. 1978. Convergent defensive behavior of two leaf-litter frogs of southeastern Brazil. Biotropica 10: 158.

Toledo, L.F.; Sazima, I. & Haddad, C.F.B. 2010. Is it all death feigning? Case in anurans. Journal of Natural History 44: 31–32.

Toledo, L.F.; Sazima, I. & Haddad, C.F.B. 2011. Behavioural defences of anurans: an overview. Ethology Ecology and Evolution 23: 1–25.




Cómo citar

Pedroso-Santos, F. ., de Figueiredo, V. A. M. B. ., & Costa-Campos, C. E. . (2022). Defensive behaviors of Leptodactylus rhodomystax (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from northern Brazil. Cuadernos De Herpetología, 36(1). Recuperado a partir de