Wednesday, August 8, 2012

[Herpetology • 2012] Hyloscirtus cryptico • Molecular phylogenetics of stream treefrogs of the Hyloscirtus larinopygion group (Anura: Hylidae), and description of two new species from Ecuador

Cryptic Torrenteer Hyloscirtus cryptic2012 © Tropical Herping

We describe two sympatric new species of Hyloscirtus from northwestern Ecuador: Hcriptico sp. nov. and H. princecharlesi sp. nov. We diagnose them by their phylogenetic position (they are not sister to each other), genetic divergence, and a unique combination of color patterns, and other morphological features.

Cryptic Torrenteer | Hyloscirtus cryptic
Coloma, Carvajal-Endara, Dueñas, Paredes-Recalde, Morales-Mite, Almeida-Reinoso, Tapia, Hutter, Toral, & Guayasamin 2012

Most species of the  Hlarinopygion group are currently severely threatened by extinction, after surviving the catastrophic extinctions in the 1980s and 1990s that led to the disappearance of many other sympatric anurans that bred in swiftly flowing water and had lotic water tadpoles in the Andean highlands. Research and conservation actions are urgently needed for these species. In order to better call attention to these conservation issues, we name one of the new species in honor of Prince Charles of Wales, who is contributing significantly to the growth of awareness in the battle against tropical deforestation, climate change, and the catastrophic extinction of rainforest amphibians.

Key words: Anura; Ecuador; Calls; Conservation; Extinction; Hylidae; Hyloscirtus criptico sp. nov.; Hyloscirtus larinopygion; Hyloscirtus lindae; Hyloscirtus pantostictus; Hyloscirtus princecharlesi sp. nov.; Hyloscirtus psarolaimusHyloscirtus ptychodactylus; Hyloscirtus staufferorum; Hyloscirtus tigrinus; Morphology; New species; Osteology; Phylogeny; Systematics; Tadpoles

Cryptic Torrenteer Hyloscirtus cryptic. 2012 © Tropical Herping

Etymology. The specific name criptico is used as a noun in apposition. Criptico is a Spanish word that means hidden and it is used in reference to specimens of this species, which were initially confused with a sympatric species Hyloscirtus larinopygion. Its name calls attention to cryptic species, which are being revealed requently in the recent taxonomic literature, especially with the advent of molecular analyses and integrative taxonomy (e.g., Elmer and Cannatella 2008, Páez-Vacas et al. 2010, Funk et al. 2011, Hutter and Guayasamin 2012).

Luis A. Coloma, Sofía Carvajal-Endara, Juan F. Dueñas, Arturo Paredes-Recalde, Manuel Morales-Mite, Diego Almeida-Reinoso, Elicio E. Tapia, Carl R. Hutter, Eduardo Toral, & Juan M. Guayasamin. 2012. Molecular phylogenetics of stream treefrogs of the Hyloscirtus larinopygion group (Anura: Hylidae), and description of two new species from Ecuador. Zootaxa. 3364: 78 pp.