Sunday, January 19, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Systematics of Treefrogs of the Hypsiboas calcaratus and Hypsiboas fasciatus species complex (Anura, Hylidae) with the Description of Four New Species; Hypsiboas almendarizae, H. maculateralis, H. alfaroi & H. tetete


Figure 8. Dorsolateral views of adult males of
A Hypsiboas fasciatus, QCAZ 48584, SVL = 33.77 mm 
B Hypsiboas almendarizae sp. n., QCAZ 39649, SVL = 36.54 mm 
C Hypsiboas calcaratus, QCAZ 43256, SVL = 40.07 mm 
D Hypsiboas maculateralis sp. n., QCAZ 40082, SVL = 36.16 mm 
E Hypsiboas alfaroi sp. n., QCAZ 43260, SVL = 30.35 mm 
F Hypsiboas tetete sp. n., QCAZ 40081, SVL = 31.15 mm.
DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.370.6291

Abstract
We review the systematics of the Hypsiboas calcaratus species complex, a group of widely distributed Amazonian hylid frogs. A comprehensive analysis of genetic, morphological, and bioacoustic datasets uncovered the existence of eleven candidate species, six of which are confirmed. Two of them correspond to Hypsiboas fasciatus and Hypsiboas calcaratus and the remaining four are new species that we describe here. Hypsiboas fasciatus sensu stricto has a geographic range restricted to the eastern Andean foothills of southern Ecuador while Hypsiboas calcaratus sensu stricto has a wide distribution in the Amazon basin. Hypsiboas almendarizae sp. n. occurs at elevations between 500 and 1950 m in central and northern Ecuador; the other new species (H. maculateralis sp. n., H. alfaroi sp. n., and H. tetete sp. n.) occur at elevations below 500 m in Amazonian Ecuador and Peru. The new species differ from H. calcaratus and H. fasciatus in morphology, advertisement calls, and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences. Five candidate species from the Guianan region, Peru, and Bolivia are left as unconfirmed. Examination of the type material of Hyla steinbachi, from Bolivia, shows that it is not conspecific with H. fasciatus and thus is removed from its synonymy. 

Keywords: Advertisement Call, cryptic diversity, conservation status, morphology, new species


Hypsiboas almendarizae | Almendariz's treefrog, inhabits cloud forests in the Amazon basin. Its habitat is threatened by deforestation and agriculture. photo: Santiago Ron
Hypsiboas almendarizae sp. n. 
Common name: English: Almendariz’s treefrog; Spanish: Rana arbórea de Almendáriz

Etymology: The specific name is a noun in the genitive case and is a patronym for Ana Almendáriz, Ecuadorian herpetologist who for more than three decades has contributed to the study of Ecuadorian amphibians and reptiles. Ana Almendáriz is curator of Herpetology in the Museo de Historia Natural Gustavo Orcés at Escuela Politécnica Nacional del Ecuador.

Distribution: Hypsiboas almendarizae occurs on the eastern Andean slopes of central and southern Ecuador (Morona Santiago, Napo, and Tungurahua provinces) (Fig. 15). Localities with known elevation range from 500 to 1950 m above sea level. The elevation at Río Hollín (1950 m) is the highest known locality for Hypsiboas almendarizae, while Méndez (500 m) is the lowest.

Conservation status: Its distribution polygon has 14, 983 sq.km. Within this area, 4, 864 sq.km. (32.4%) of its habitat has been degraded by human activities, especially agriculture and cattle raising (estimated from Ministerio de Ambiente del Ecuador 2013). Current habitat degradation within the range of Hypsiboas almendarizae is extensive and its increase may threaten its survival in the future. Therefore, we propose that Hypsiboas almendarizae is assigned to the Near Threatened category. Its distribution polygon overlaps with Parque Nacional Sangay, Parque Nacional Llanganates, and Parque Nacional Sumaco Napo-Galeras.


Hypsiboas maculateralis sp. n. 
Common name: English: Stained treefrog; Spanish: Rana arbórea manchada

Etymology: The specific name is derived from the Latin words macula = stain, and lateralis = lateral, in reference to the brown dark blotches on the flanks of these frogs.

Distribution and ecology: Hypsiboas maculateralis inhabits the Amazon basin of Ecuador (Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, and Sucumbíos provinces) and Peru (Región de Madre de Dios) (Fig. 17). Localities with known elevation range vary between 186 and 354 m of elevation. The elevation of Comunidad Santa Rosa (354 m) is the highest known and Santa Teresita (186 m) is the lowest.
Vegetation type of the Peruvian locality is Southwest Amazon Moist Forest.

Conservation status: The distribution polygon of Hypsiboas maculateralis has an area of 209, 304 sq.km. Because its distribution range is large and includes extensive areas of undisturbed forest, we propose that Hypsiboas maculateralis be assigned to the category Least Concern.



Hypsiboas alfaroi | Alfaro's Treefrog
photo: Santiago Ron
Hypsiboas alfaroi sp. n.
Common name: English: Alfaro’s treefrog; Spanish: Rana arbórea de Alfaro

Etymology: The specific name is a noun in the genitive case and is a patronym for Eloy Alfaro Delgado, former Ecuadorian president (1897–1901 and 1906–1911) and leader of the liberal revolution in Ecuador. His government promoted the separation between church and state and the modernization of Ecuador by supporting education and large-scale systems of transportation and communication.

Distribution: Hypsiboas alfaroi occurs in the Ecuadorian northern Amazon region (Napo, Orellana, and Sucumbíos provinces; Fig. 15). Localities with known elevation range from 176 m (Nuevo Rocafuerte) to 350 m (Nueva Loja). Nuevo Rocafuerte is on the border between Ecuador and Peru; the occurrence of Hypsiboas alfaroi in Peru is highly likely.

Conservation status: The distribution polygon of Hypsiboas alfaroi has 47, 524 sq.km. Within it, 4, 287 km2 (9.0%) have been degraded by human activities, especially agriculture and cattle raising (estimated from Ministerio de Ambiente del Ecuador 2013). Because its distribution range is relatively large and has a low proportion of degraded habitat, we propose that Hypsiboas alfaroi be assigned to the Least Concern category.


Hypsiboas tetete sp. n.
Common name: English: Tetete’s treefrog; Spanish: Rana arbórea de los Tetetes

Etymology: The specific name is a noun and refers to the Tetete, a Western Tucanoan indigenous group that inhabited the Colombian and Ecuadorian Amazon. It was decimated by the rubber exploitation and became extinct during the 1970s (Wasserstrom et al. 2011). Its recent disappearance parallels the destruction of increasingly large areas of forest in the Ecuadorian Amazon with the ensuing decline of biodiversity.

Distribution and ecology: Hypsiboas tetete is distributed in the Ecuadorian (Provincia Napo) and Peruvian Amazon basin (Región Loreto) (Fig. 15). Known localities range in elevation from 180 m (San Jacinto) to 420 m (Jatun Sacha). It is likely to have a larger distribution. Unfortunately, the lack of distinctive morphological characters relative to Hypsiboas alfaroi, preclude the unequivocal identification of museum specimens not associated with advertisement calls or genetic data. All specimens from Comunidad Santa Rosa and Jatun Sacha were found in flooded areas, in secondary forest, roosting on vegetation, 50 to 80 cm above ground.
Vegetation type for the Ecuadorian localities is Amazonian Lowland Evergreen Forest characterized by high plant alpha-diversity and a canopy of 30 m with emergent trees that reach 40 m.
Vegetation type at the Peruvian locality is Napo Moist Forest.

Conservation status: The distribution polygon has 2, 950 sq.km. of which 106 (3.5%) have been degraded by human activities (estimated from Ministerio de Ambiente del Ecuador 2013). Because its known distribution range is small with less than five localities and habitat degradation is increasing, Hypsiboas tetete is assigned to the Endangered category under criteria B1ab(iii).


Marcel A. Caminer and Santiago R. Ron. 2014. Systematics of Treefrogs of the Hypsiboas calcaratus and Hypsiboas fasciatus species complex (Anura, Hylidae) with the Description of Four New Species. ZooKeys. 370: 1.
DOI: dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.370.6291

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