Tuesday, February 21, 2012

[Herpetology • 2008] Ecnomiohyla rabborum | Rabb's Fringe-Limbed Treefrog • Spectacular new gliding species of Ecnomiohyla (Anura: Hylidae) from Central Panama

a large adult male Ecnomiohyla rabborum (approximate SVL = 97 mm) showing some of the ventral coloration, and also the humeral spine
(photo by B.Wilson, Atlanta Botanical Garden).

We describe a new species of Ecnomiohyla from the vicinity of El Valle de Anton, Code, Panama. This is a large species that differs from similar species in the genus by details of the prepollex, webbing, and by the presence of a distinct expanded crista lateralis with medial proximal point. We provide descriptions of the adult and subadult, as well as the tadpole. We provide natural history information including observations of individuals gliding from the forest canopy, reproduction in tree holes, and male territoriality and care of the tadpoles. This species is currently known only from the immediate vicinity of El Valle de Anton, and we have observed numbers of this species in the wild to decrease dramatically following the recent epidemic of amphibian chytridiomycosis in the region.

Ecnomiohyla rabborum sp. nov.

Holotype.— UTA-A 58572, an adult female from Panama: Code: near El Valle de Anton, Rio de Jesus, 990 m. 08°37.968'N 080°04.604'W Obtained as a larva on 15 July 2005 by E. Griffith and H. Ross; raised in captivity until its death on 3 July 2007.

Etymology.— The specific epithet for this spectacular amphibian honors George B. and Mary S. Rabb for their career-long contributions to conservation of all biodiversity, and especially for their substantial support of programs to conserve the amphibians of the world. Additionally, with their direct support, there is now not only a greater understanding of the amphibians of the El Valle region of Panama but also some hope for their recovery in the wake of yet another example of the destructive power of an epidemic of chytridiomycosis

photo by Brad Wilson, DVM 

Mendelson III, J.R., Savage, J.M., Griffith, E., Ross, H., Kubicki, B. and Gagliardo, R. 2008. Spectacular new gliding species of Ecnomiohyla (Anura: Hylidae) from Central Panama. Journal of Herpetology 42(4): 750 - 759. doi: dx.doi.org/10.1670/08-025R1.1.
 IUCN - Extinction crisis continues apace: http://bit.ly/z1G58e