Rhinoderma rufum Philippi, 1902

Halfswimmer frog, Chile Darwin’s frog



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Heminectes rufus Philippi, 1902


Conservation Status


Last record: 1978; 1980 (Penna & Voloso, 1990; Soto-Azat et al., 2013); 1981 (Serrano et al., 2021)

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)





Biology & Ecology







"The release calls of Rhinoderma rufum (Philippi 1902) are described quantitatively based on recordings of four males of this species obtained in 1981 from a population in central Chile. This record corresponds to the last scientific sighting of the species. The release calls of R. rufum consist of sequences of complex notes containing harmonics and non-linear phenomena, with chaos segments and highly variable acoustic properties. This characterization expands the acoustic repertoire of this endemic and likely extinct species, and contributes to differentiating it from the extant congeneric R. darwinii."

(Serrano et al., 2021:318)



Original scientific description:

Philippi, R. A. (1902). Suplemento de los batraquios chilenos descritos en la historia física y política de Chile de don Claudio Gay. Santiago: Imprenta de Enrique Blanchard Chessi. 161 p.


Other references:

Andreone, Franco et al. (2022). Threatened and extinct amphibians and reptiles in Italian natural history collections are useful conservation tools. Acta Herpetologica 17(1): 45-58. doi:10.36253/a_h-12349

Azat, Claudio et al. (2020). A flagship for Austral temperate forest conservation: an action plan for Darwin's frogs brings key stakeholders together. Oryx 55(3): 356-363.

Bourke J., Mutschmann F., Ohst T., Ulmer P., Gutsche A., Busse K., Werning H., Böhme W. (2010). Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Darwin´s frog (Rhinoderma spp.) in Chile. Dis. Aquat. Organ. Special 4:92(2-3): 217-221.

Bourke, Johara, Busse, Klaus and BÖhme, Wolfgang. (2012). Searching for a lost frog (Rhinoderma rufum): identification of the most promising areas for future surveys and possible reasons of its enigmatic decline. North-Western Journal Of Zoology 8(1): 99-106.

Busse, K. (2002). Darwin's Frogs in Danger; Rhinoderma, are there any Rhinoderma rufum left in Chile? Reptilia 25: 63–67.

Formas, J. Ramon. (1976). New karyological data of Rhinoderma: the chromosomes of Rhinoderma rufum. Experientia 32(8): 1000–1002.

Formas, J. Ramon. (2013). External morphology, chondrocranium, hyobranchial skeleton, and external and internal oral features of Rhinoderma rufum (Anura, Rhinodermatidae). Zootaxa 3641(4): 395–400.

Formas, J. Ramon, Pugin, E. and Jorquera, B. (1975). La identidad del batracio chileno Heminectes rufus Philippi 1902. Physis (Argentina), Sección C 89: 147-157. [volume 34?; pages 94-117?]

IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2015. Rhinoderma rufum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T19514A79809567. Accessed on 24 July 2022.

Jorquera B, Garrido O, Pugin E (1982) Comparative studies of the digestive tract development between Rhinoderma darwinii and R. rufum. J Herpetol 16: 204-214.

Penna, M. and Veloso, A. (1990). Vocal diversity in frogs of the South American temperate forest. J. Herpetol. 24(1): 23-32[33?].

Regalado, Pedro Galán. (2015). Los Anfibios y Reptiles Extinguidos: Herpetofauna Desaparecida Desde el Año 1500. Monografías de la Universidade da Coruña 155: 1-509.

Serrano, José M., Bidart-Enriquez, Gabriel and Penna, Mario. (2021). The highly variable release call of the missing Northern Darwin’s Frog, Rhinoderma rufum. Amphibian & Reptile Conservation 15(2) [General Section]: 318-322 (e296).

Soto-Azat C, Valenzuela-Sánchez A, Clarke BT, Busse K, Ortiz JC, et al. (2013). Is Chytridiomycosis Driving Darwin’s Frogs to Extinction? PLoS ONE 8(11): e79862.

Soto-Azat C, Valenzuela-Sánchez A, Collen B, Rowcliffe JM, Veloso A, et al. (2013). The population decline and extinction of Darwin's frogs. Plos One 8(6): e66957.

Alberto Veloso, Herman Núñez, Helen Díaz-Paéz, Ramón Formas. (2010). Rhinoderma rufum. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. ( Downloaded on 11 November 2012.


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