Santa Catarina Leaf Frog

Phrynomedusa appendiculata

Conservation Status: Near Threatened

Cause of Decline: Disease

Location: South America

Collection: Amphibians

FMNH catalogue no. 83270

The task of identification in museum collections is immense. This individual was originally identified as a Spiny-knee leaf frog (Phrynomedusa fimbriata) when Werner Bokermann, a Brazilian zoologist, sent it to the Field Museum in 1959. After this photograph was taken, a collection manager questioned the identification and contacted an expert researcher in Brazil. Based on other photographic evidence, it was confirmed that the specimen was not a Spiny-knee leaf frog but the closely related Santa Catarina leaf frog.

The Spiny-knee leaf frog is considered extinct with the first and only specimen ever found dating from 1898. A live Santa Catarina leaf frog has not been documented since 1970. Despite this, it is not yet considered extinct (it is listed as near threatened on the IUCN Redlist) but it is widely believed to have suffered the same fate as many other tropical, high-altitude small frogs, having succumbed to ecosystem changes and the rampant chytrid fungus.

Santa Catarina Leaf Frog amphibian Phrynomedusa appendiculata - Extinction

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