Tuesday 1 January 2013

Two new species of Aromobatid Frog from Panama.

The Aromobatid Frogs are a Family of Poison Dart Frogs from Central and South America. Unlike other members of the group, the Aromobatids lack the ability to sequester alkaloids in their skin, making them non-toxic. Due to this they lack the bright colours typically associated with Poison Dart Frogs, instead having cryptic (camouflaged) colour schemes resembling those of temperate Frogs.

In a paper published in the American Museum Novitates on 21 November 2012, Charles Myers of the Division of Vertebrate Zoology (Herpetology) at the American Museum of Natural History, Roberto Ibáñez of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Balboa and the Departamento de Zoologia at the Universidade de São Paulo, Taran Grant, also of the Division of Vertebrate Zoology (Herpetology) at the American Museum of Natural History and César Jaramillo of the Facultad de Medicina at the Universidad de Panamá and the Círculo Herpetológico de Panamá describe two new species of Aromobatid Frogs from the highlands of east-central Panama (which lack a formal name). Both new species are places in the genus Anomaloglossus.

The first new species described is named Anomaloglossus isthminus, meaning from the Isthmus (of Panama). It is described from a number of specimens collected by Ibáñez and Jaramillo in 1997, and a single museum specimen from 1974. Anomaloglossus isthminus is a 19-23 mm brown and green Frog, the females being larger than the males. The males call from concealed locations during the day. The Frogs were found in forest streams at altitudes of between 300 and 810 m.

Anomaloglossus isthminus in life. Myers et al. (2012).

The second new species of Frog is named Anomaloglossus astralogaster, meaning 'spotted belly'.The species is named from a single female specimen collected in 1985 and preserved in alcohol; the original colour of this Frog is unknown, though it has lighter coloured spots on its abdomen. The Frog is 22 mm in length.

The only known specimen of Anomaloglossus astralogaster. Scale bar is 10 mm. Myers et al. (2012).

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