Wednesday, November 30, 2016

[Herpetology • 2013] Nototriton mime • A New Nototriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from Parque Nacional Montaña de Botaderos in northeastern Honduras

Nototriton mime 
Townsend, Medina-Flores, Reyes-Calderón & Austin, 2013

   DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3666.3.6   


The highlands of northeastern Honduras remain under-characterized in terms of biological diversity, as exemplified by the regularity of new amphibian and reptile taxa discoveries. Following the recent description of a new species of Nototriton from the Sierra de Agalta in northeastern Honduras, we report the discovery of a second new species of Nototriton from the nearby Parque Nacional Montaña de Botaderos. This new taxon, Nototriton mime sp. nov., is distinguished from other Nototriton by its distinctive pale brown dorsal coloration in adult males, relatively large nares, a relatively broad head, mitochondrial sequence divergence, and phylogenetic relationships, and is geographically isolated from other populations of Nototriton.

Keywords: Nototriton mime sp. nov., mtDNA, 16S, cytochrome b, Nototriton picucha, sexual dichromatism

Etymology. The specific epithet “mime” is a noun in apposition to the generic name, given to honor our late friend Arquimides Gabriel Rosales Martinez, or “Mime” (pronounced me-may), a young Honduran biologist passionate about amphibians. Mime and his sister, Novy Hortensia Rosales Martinez, were killed by a drunken driver on 17 December 2010 in Tegucigalpa.

Natural history: The habitat at the type locality is tropical montane cloud forest, in the Lower Montane Wet Forest formation. The male holotype (USNM 579870; Fig. 3A) was active at night among the leaves of an orchid growing on a small stump on the ground along a wet ridge at 1,705 m elevation. The male paratype (USNM579871; Fig. 3C) was collected from underneath a small log embedded in the ground at 1,720 m elevation. The female paratype (MVZ 269306; Fig. 3B) was found in a bromeliad on the ground at 1,705 m elevation, near the holotype. The juvenile paratype (USNM 579872; Fig. 3D) was collected during the late afternoon from within a small bromeliad approximately 2 m above the ground on a large fallen branch at 1,710 m elevation.

Remarks. With the description of Nototriton mime, there are 17 named species of Nototriton distributed from Guatemala to Costa Rica, six of which are endemic to Honduras (Townsend et al. 2011; Boza-Oviedo et al. 2012).Each of these six endemic species have distributions restricted to cloud forest habitat in the upper reaches of isolated mountain ranges, with only one species (N. limnospectator) known to occur at premontane elevations aslow as 800 m. In addition to these six species, there are two as yet undescribed species currently referred to the taxon N. barbouri , one from Parque Nacional Pico Bonito (N. sp A in Townsend et al. 2011) and one from Refugiode Vida Silvestre Texíguat (N. sp. B, op. cit.).

The coloration seen in Nototriton mime appears to be the first documented case of sexual dichromatism in thegenus Nototriton, and one of few documented cases in tropical salamanders. Another endemic Honduras salamander, Bolitoglossa diaphora, from the Sierra de Omoa in northwestern Honduras, also exhibits marked dichromatism, with males being bluish-gray and females being a mottled red-orange coloration (McCranie &Wilson 1995).

Townsend, Josiah H., Melissa Medina-Flores, Onán Reyes-Calderón & James D. Austin. 2013. A New Nototriton (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from Parque Nacional Montaña de Botaderos in northeastern Honduras. Zootaxa. 3666(3): 358–368.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3666.3.6

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