Thursday, December 18, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Platypelis karenae • A New Phytotelmic Species of Platypelis (Microhylidae: Cophylinae) from the Betampona Reserve, eastern Madagascar


Platypelis karenae
Rosa, Crottini, Noël, Rabibisoa, Raxworthy & Andreone, 2014

  Abstract
We describe a new arboreal and diminutive species of the genus Platypelis from the Réserve Naturelle Intégrale N. 1 de Betampona, one of the last low-altitude rainforest fragments of eastern Madagascar. Platypelis karenae sp. nov. is a phytotelmic species, living among leaves of Pandanus spp. and those of a herbaceous plant of the genus Crinum. Amongst species of comparable size, the new species is most similar to P. tetra, with which it shares a similar life history of occupying leaf axils of phytotelms. Phylogenetically, P. karenae is sister to P. tuberifera yet differentiated by a high level of genetic divergence (>7% p-distance for the analysed fragment of the 16S rRNA gene), its distinctly smaller size, acoustic repertoire, and colour pattern. The mitochondrial, nuclear, bioacoustic, and morphological data all independently support the validity of this new species.

Key words. Amphibia, Anura, new species, miniaturisation, P. karenae sp. n.

Figure 3. Platypelis karenae sp. n. in life:  B) calling male paratype (MRSN A6369) in frontal view inflating its vocal sac; C) Pandanus sp. (another water-retaining plant utilised by P. karenae); D) adult individual of P. karenae sheltering between two leaves of Pandanus sp.; E) juvenile P. karenae in a leaf axil of a Crinum

Gonçalo M. Rosa, Angelica Crottini, Jean Noël, Nirhy Rabibisoa, Christopher J. Raxworthy and Franco Andreone. 2014. A New Phytotelmic Species of Platypelis (Microhylidae: Cophylinae) from the Betampona Reserve, eastern Madagascar. SALAMANDRA. 50(4) 201–214

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