Friday, December 22, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Ptychohyla zoque • A New Species of Treefrog of the Genus Ptychohyla (Anura: Hylidae) from southern Mexico

Ptychohyla zoque 
Canseco-Márquez, Aguilar-López, Luría-Manzano, Pineda & Caviedes-Solís, 2017


We describe a new species of treefrog of the genus Ptychohyla from southern Mexico occurring to the east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. This new species can be distinguished from Mexican congeners by a combination of a pale pink iris and the presence of nuptial excrescences in breeding males. Including this new taxon, the number of species of Ptychohyla increases to 14, with seven of these occurring in Mexico. The new species is relatively common in pristine tropical forests, but appears to be sensitive to habitat degradation and has not been found in human modified habitats, suggesting that habitat modification is a threat for this hylid frog.

Keywords: Amphibian, Ptychohyla, new species, description, frog, evergreen tropical forest, advertisement call, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Mesoamerica

Specimens in life of Ptychohyla zoque.
[upper] D: Female and male paratypes in amplexus (CARIE 1215 and 1216);
[lower] A: Male holotype (MZFC 24004, 36.4 mm SVL); B: Female paratype (UTA-A 59271, 55.65 SVL) 

Ptychohyla zoque sp. nov.
Zoque Treefrog, Rana arborícola zoque  

Ptychohyla sp. nov. — Aguilar-López, Pineda, Luría-Manzano, and Canseco-Márquez (2016).

Etymology. The species epithet, zoque, is an indeclinable word and refers to the Selva Zoque, a region comprised of tropical forest and covering the areas about Uxpanapa (Veracruz), Chimalapas (Oaxaca) and El Ocote (Chiapas). This region includes part of the historical range of Zoque culture, an ethnic group that has inhabited this region since pre-Columbian times.

Ptychohyla zoque is sympatric with other species of amphibians including Agalychnis moreletiiAnotheca spinosa, Incilius macrocristatus, I. valliceps, Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni, Craugastor alfredi, C. berkenbuschii, C. loki, Eleutherodactylus leprus, Duellmanohyla chamulae, Exerodonta bivocata, Hypopachus ustus, Rhinella horribilis, Smilisca baudinii, S. cyanosticta, Lithobates vaillanti, Bolitoglossa alberchi, B. rufescens and B. veracrucis. The new species is relatively common in the evergreen tropical forests, being more abundant than other members of the family Hylidae such as Duellmanohyla chamulae, Agalychnis moreletii and Anotheca spinosa, but less abundant than Exerodonta bivocata and anurans in other families represented by Craugastor berkenbuschii and Incilius macrocristatus. This species appears to be sensitive to anthropogenic forest degradation, since it has been observed only in undisturbed evergreen tropical forest sites, but not in altered environments such as cattle pastures, rubber plantations and secondary forests (Aguilar-López, 2010).

FIGURE 4. Geographic distribution of the species of Ptychohyla in Mexico.

Luis Canseco-Márquez, J. Luis Aguilar-López, Ricardo Luría-Manzano, Eduardo Pineda and Itzue W. Caviedes-Solís. 2017. A New Species of Treefrog of the Genus Ptychohyla (Anura: Hylidae) from Southern Mexico.  Zootaxa. 4317(2); 279–290. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4317.2.5

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