Thursday, July 27, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Brachycephalus coloratus & B. curupira • Two New Species of the Brachycephalus pernix Group (Anura: Brachycephalidae) from the State of Paraná, southern Brazil

Brachycephalus coloratus 
Ribeiro, Blackburn, Stanley, Pie & Bornschein, 2017

 DOI:  10.7717/peerj.3603 


We describe two new species of miniaturized toadlet in the Brachycephalus pernix group of Brachycephalus (Anura: Brachycephalidae) from the Atlantic Forest of the state of Paraná, southern Brazil. The first new species is distinguished from all congeners by the pale red coloration from the head to the pelvic region, with sides of the body and thighs dorsally yellowish green. It is known only from the type locality in a cloud forest at altitudes ranging between 1,144–1,228 m a.s.l. The second species, although more closely related to B. izecksohni, is morphologically similar to B. brunneus in its overall brown coloration, but distinct from that species in the color of the iris (black with conspicuous golden spots, instead of entirely black). It was found on three mountains, at altitudes between 1,095–1,320 m a.s.l., and in vegetation types including cloud forest, montane forest, and secondary forest. The two new species exhibit neither vertebral fusions nor osteoderms, but one has both a distinct neopalatine and well-developed odontoids on the maxillae. We discuss the conservation status of both species.

Figure 1: Holotype of Brachycephalus coloratus in life (MHNCI 10273). 

Brachycephalus coloratus sp. nov

Etymology. The specific epithet is from the Latin coloratus (“colored”, “variegated”) in reference to the unique combination of colors found in the species.

Figure 7: Holotype of Brachycephalus curupira in life (MHNCI 10280). 

Brachycephalus curupira sp. nov.

Etymology. The specific epithet is a noun in apposition and refers to the homonymous mythical character in Brazilian folklore whose aim is to protect the forests. Although usually portrayed as a red-headed boy with feet pointing backwards, the curupira becomes invisible and produces sounds that confuse those walking in his forests. This confusion is a fitting description of our situation while trying to locate calling males of this elusive species (see Remarks below).

Luiz F. Ribeiro, David C. Blackburn, Edward L. Stanley, Marcio R. Pie and Marcos R. Bornschein. 2017. Two New Species of the Brachycephalus pernix group (Anura: Brachycephalidae) from the State of Paraná, southern Brazil. PeerJ. 5:e3603. DOI:  10.7717/peerj.3603