Galapagos Species Database

The Galapagos Species Database shares the information about the species from our Natural History Collections.

Scinax quinquefasciatus Fowler, 1913

Rana de árbol, Fowler's Snouted Treefrog

Scinax quinquefasciatus Fowler, 1913 Photo: F. Bungartz, CDF.
Scinax quinquefasciatus Fowler, 1913 Photo: F. Bungartz, CDF.

The Fowler's Snouted Treefrog is small frog that has mottled green, brown or cream coloration.

The tree frog from the coastal zone of mainland Ecuador was recorded for the first time in Galapagos in 1998. Despite attempts at developing an eradication method, no satisfactory method has been found.










Taxon category: Accepted

Taxon origin: Introduced - established


Least concern


Habitat preferences: Inhabits a wide range of habitats, from coastal lowlands to humid temperate zones and from forest edges to open areas with few trees. Due to the rapid development from egg to adult frog, it can survive in areas with emphemeral (temporary, short, lived) ponds. Tadpoles are intolerant of saline water, and the frogs are usually not found water if the salinity is above 12 g sea salt/litre.

Feeding type: Insectivorous

Feeding preferences: Preys on small invertebrates, both aquatic and terrestrial.

Trophic role: Carnivorous

Reproduction mode: Exclusively sexual

Distribution origin: The coast of Ecuador.


Mode of introduction: Accidental

Introduction Pathway: Stowaway

Subpathway: Hitchhiker on transport vehicles/cargo

Introduced status: Naturalized

Invasive status: Invasive

Impact in Galapagos: There are no native amphibians in Galapagos, and the frog is thought to predate on native terrestrial and aquatic invertebrates. However, its impact on native species has never been studied.

Impact elsewhere: Not known to be invasive anywhere else.

Control History in Galapagos: When first discovered, its eradication was attempted in Isabela by paying people for every frog collected, and carrying out community monitoring. Trials were also carried out to assess whether eradication in the Laguna de los Diablos would be possible by adding caffeine, or pumping in sea water. The lagoon used to be connected to the sea, but the coastal road has broken the connection. Its distribution in rainy seasons is now too large to consider eradication.

Year of first record: 1998

Year of introduction: 1998


Map of specimen collection localities or observation records for this species in our collections database.

Distribution: Present in Lagoon of Isabela Sur, Santa Cruz and San Cristòbal. Also intercepted by quarantine control in San Cristóbal. First recorded in Galapagos during the 1997-98 El Niño.


  • Jiménez-Uzcátegui, G. Carrión, V., Zabala, J., Buitrón, P. & Milstead, B. (2007) Status of introduced vertebrates in Galapagos. Galapagos Report 2006–2007. Charles Darwin Foundation, Puerto Ayora, p. 136–141.
  • Snell, H.L. Márquez, C. (1999) A new class of vertebrates established in Galápagos. Distributed by e-mail and trough the internet.
  • Tapia, W. Patry, M., Snell, H. & Carrión, V. (2000) Estado actual de los vertebrados introducidos a las islas Galápagos. Fundación Natura: Informe Galápagos 1999-2000. Quito, Ecuador.
  • Patry, M. (2002) Estatus de vertebrados introducidos en las islas mayores de Galápagos y estrategias de manejo. En: Fundación Natura: Informe Galápagos 2001-2002. Quito, Ecuador.
  • Vintimilla, J.E. (2005) Estudios para el control y disminución de ranas Scinax quinquefasciatus, con impactos minimos en los Humedales de Isabela Sur (Islas Galapagos). Tesis previa la obtención del titulo de Ingeniero Agrónomo. Universidad de Cuenca. Cuenca, Ecuador, 71pp.