Sunday, 24 July 2016

Pristimantis prometeii: A new species of Rain Frog from the cloud forests of El Oro in southern Ecuador.

The tropical forests of Central and South America are home to almost half of the known species of Amphibians, and since about a quarter of these species have been described in the past decade, this is likely to be a severe under-estimation of the true diversity of Amphibians in these forests. The largest group of Amphibians in these American tropical forests is the Brachycephaloidea, a group of Frogs with an entirely terrestrial life-cycle, laying eggs in moist habitats, which develop directly into small Froglets and missing out on the Tadpole stage altogether. About half of the described Brachycephaloidians are included in the most specieous genus of terrestrial vertebrates known, Pristimantis, members of which are commonly known as Rain Frogs, which contains almost 500 species.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 21 July 2016, Paul Székely of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at Ovidius University Constanţa and the Departamento de Ciencias Naturales at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, Dan Cogălniceanu, also of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at Ovidius University Constanţa and of the Universidad Nacional de Loja, Diana Székely, again of the Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at Ovidius University Constanţa and the Departamento de Ciencias Naturales at the Universidad Técnica Particular de Loja, and of the Laboratory of Fish and Amphibian Ethology at the University of Liège, abd Nadia Páez and Santiago Ron of the Museo de Zoología at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador, describe a new species of Robber Frog from the cloud forests of El Oro in southern Ecuador.

The new species is named Pristimantis prometeii, which refers to the Prometeo program of Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación of the Republic of Ecuador, through which Dan Cogălniceanu and Paul Székely received funding for their research in southern Ecuador. The Frogs are brown or green in colour with variable blotchy markings. Adult females reach 29.9–37.6 mm in length, males 20.4–24.9 mm.

Pristimantis prometeii, female specimen. Székely et al. (2016).

The species was found at three locations in the Reserva Buenaventura, at altitudes of between 878 and 1082 m. The species was observed in September in 2014 and 2015, generally after rain at night, when they could be found on leaves close to the forest floor (10-100 cm above the ground).

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/eleutherodactylus-beguei-new-species-of.htmlEleutherodactylus beguei: A new species of Grass Frog from Guantánamo Province in southeast Cuba.                                          Small Grass Frogs are found across Cuba. Until 2012 these were all placed within a single species, Eleutherodactylus varleyi, but it was...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/robber-frogs-from-mountains-of-western.htmlRobber Frogs from the mountains of western Mexico.                                                                         Robber Frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus are found from Texas to Guatemala and Belize and across the islands of the Caribbean. The genus was formerly the most specious of any genus of Vertebrate Animals (i.e. it contained more species than any other...
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/a-new-cryptic-species-of-microhylid.htmlA new cryptic species of Microhylid Frog from Espírito Santo State, Brazil.                      Cryptic species are species which resemble one-another physically, and which cannot generally be separated using traditional taxonomic methodology, but which are nevertheless genetically and reproductively isolated. Genetic studies of many groups...
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