The markings of olive, green and black that pattern the brown back of the Copan brook frog (Duellmanohyla soralia) almost resembles lichen growing on a branch, hence the specific name soralia, a Greek word that refers to lichen reproduction. The irises of this tiny frog are bright red, and the underside of the body is golden yellow. The slender tadpole has a robust tail, low fins, and a large, funnel-shaped mouth, and is yellowish olive-green in colour with iridescent pale green spotting. The call of the adult male is a single low-pitched "peep", repeated every 20 to 30 seconds (2).
Little is known about the biology of the Copan brook frog Duellmanohyla soralia, but like all species in the subfamily Hylinae, it has free-swimming tadpoles. Duellmanohyla soralia tadpoles have been seen schooling from May to August, sometimes swimming upside down at the surface of quiet pools, or alternatively resting on rocks on the stream bottom (2).
Breeding and larval development takes place in streams in lowland moist forest, submontane forest and lower montane forest. The adults have been found at night in low vegetation adjacent to streams (1)(2).
Owing to agriculture, logging and water pollution, the Copan brook frog is declining throughout its restricted range and the remaining populations are severely fragmented. Most recently, the deadly amphibian fungal disease chytridiomycosis has been detected in the population, with between 45 to 60 percent of all larvae infected (1)(2).
The Copan brook frog occurs within two protected areas in Honduras, Parque Nacional Cerro Azul and Parque Nacional Cusuco, although habitat loss still continues in the latter. Given the spectre of fungal disease spreading through the entire population, it is important that the population status of this Endangered species is closely monitored (1)(2).
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