The Recently Extinct Plants and Animals Database

Atelopus zeteki Dunn, 1933

Panamanian golden toad



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Atelopus varius zeteki Dunn, 1933


Conservation Status

Last record: 2007 or later

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered


This species is probably extinct in the wild since the late 2000's. Captive populations are maintained, however. Viability of reintroduction is unknown at this time.





Biology & Ecology










Avery, Cecile. (2016). Comparison of Growth Rates in two Captive Bred Species of Atelopus (Anura; BUFONIDAE), at El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center. Independent Study Project (ISP) Collection. Paper 2390.

Brown, G. B., Kim, Y. H., Küntzel, H., Mosher, H. S., Fuhrman, G. J., & Fuhrman, F. A. (1977). Chemistry and pharmacology of skin toxins from the frog Atelopus zeteki (Atelopidtoxin: Zetekitoxin). Toxicon 15(2): 115-128. [[url=]Abstract[/url]]

Bustamante, H. M., Livo, L. J. and Carey, C. (2010). Effects of temperature and hydric environment on survival of the Panamanian golden frog infected with a pathogenic chytrid fungus. Integrative Zoology 5(2): 143-153. [Abstract]

Cocroft, R. B., McDiarmid, R. W., Jaslow, A. P., & Ruiz-Carranza, P. M. (1990). Vocalizations of eight species of Atelopus (Anura: Bufonidae) with comments on communication in the genus. Copeia 1990(3): 631-643.

Della Togna Nieto, Gina. (2015). Structural and functional characterization of the Panamanian golden frog ([i]Atelopus zeteki[/i]) spermatozoa - impact of medium osmolality and cryopreservation on motility and cell viability. Dissertation, University of Maryland. [Abstract]

Duhé, Samantha. (2018). Using HotSpotter Animal Individual Recognition Software in the Detection of Ontogenetic Pattern Changes in Panamanian Golden Frogs (Atelopus zeteki). Honors Projects and Presentations: Undergraduate. 9.

Karraker, N. E., Richards, C. L., & Ross, H. L. (2006). Reproductive ecology of Atelopus zeteki and comparisons to other members of the genus. Herpetological Review 37(3): 284-287.

Kim, Y. H., Kim, Y. B., & Yotsu-Yamashita, M. (2003). Potent neurotoxins: tetrodotoxin, chiriquitoxin, and zetekitoxin from Atelopus frogs in Central America. Toxin Reviews 22(4): 521-532. [Abstract]

Lindquist, E.D. (1995). Atelopus zeteki (Panamanian golden frog). Pure tonal vocalization. Herpetological Review 26(4): 200-201.

Lindquist, E.D. and Hetherington, T.E. (1996). Field studies on visual and acoustic signaling in the "earless" Panamanian golden frog, Atelopus zeteki. Journal of Herpetology 30(3): 347-354. [Abstract]

Lindquist, E.D. and Hetherington, T.E. (1998a). Tadpoles and juveniles of the Panamanian golden frog, Atelopus zeteki (Bufonidae), with information on development of coloration and patterning. Herpetologica 54(3): 370-376. [Abstract]

Lindquist, E.D. and Hetherington, T.E. (1998b). Semaphoring in an earless frog: the origin of a novel visual signal. Animal Cognition 1(2): 83-87. [Abstract]

Lindquist, E.D., Hetherington, T.E. and Badgley, D.D. (1999). Atelopus zeteki (Panamanian golden frog). Attempted predation. Herpetological Review: 36.

Lindquist, E. D., Sapoznick, S. A., Griffith-Rodriguez, E. J., Johantgen, P. B., & Criswell, J. M. (2007). Nocturnal position in the Panamanian golden frog Atelopus zeteki (Anura, Bufonidae), with notes on fluorescent pigment tracking. Phyllomedusa 6(1): 37-44.

Karen Lips, Frank Solís, Roberto Ibáñez, César Jaramillo, Querube Fuenmayor. (2010). Atelopus zeteki. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. ( Downloaded on 10 February 2013.

Lindsey N. Pelych, Wynona Shellabarger, Mark Vassallo, Erica Noland, Dodd Sledge and Susette E. Aquino. (2019). Ophthalmic findings in a captive population of Panamanian golden frogs: Atelopus zeteki. Veterinary Ophthalmology. doi: [Abstract]

Poole, Vicky. (2006). Panamanian Golden Frog Husbandry Manual, Second Edition. Available online at: [Accessed 10 February 2013]

Ramírez, Juan P. et al. (2020). Recent and Rapid Radiation of the Highly Endangered Harlequin Frogs (Atelopus) into Central America Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequences. Diversity 12(9): 360.

Ramos, C.W., Pimentel, N. and Martinez-Cortes, V. (2002). Karyotype of the endemic golden frog Atelopus zeteki (Dunn) from Panama. Caribbean Journal of Science: 268-270.

Ranvestel, A. W., Lips, K. R., Pringle, C. M., Whiles, M. R., & Bixby, R. J. (2004). Neotropical tadpoles influence stream benthos: evidence for the ecological consequences of decline in amphibian populations. Freshwater Biology 49(3): 274-285.

Roseen, J. S. and Fuhrman, F. A. (1971). Comparison of the effects of atelopidtoxin with those of tetrodotoxin, saxitoxin and batrachotoxin on beating of cultured chick heart cells. Toxicon 9(4): 411-415. [Abstract]

Shindelman, J., Mosher, H. S., & Fuhrman, F. A. (1969). Atelopidtoxin from the Panamanian frog, Atelopus zeteki. Toxicon 7(4): 315-319. [Abstract]

Yotsu-Yamashita, M., Kim, Y. H., Dudley, S. C., Choudhary, G., Pfahnl, A., Oshima, Y., & Daly, J. W. (2004). The structure of zetekitoxin AB, a saxitoxin analog from the Panamanian golden frog Atelopus zeteki: a potent sodium-channel blocker. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 101(13): 4346-4351.


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