Wednesday, July 2, 2014

[Herpetology • 2010] Ecnomiohyla sukia | Shaman Fringe-limbed Treefrog • A New Species of Fringe-limb Frog, genus Ecnomiohyla (Anura: Hylidae), from the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica, Central America

Ecnomiohyla sukia sp. nov. | Shaman Fringe-limb Frog | adult male in reddish color phase
Photo: Andrew Gray |

FIGURE 2. Ecnomiohyla sukia new species;
a = adult male (basis for pl. 74, fig. 3 in Duellman, 2001) courtesy of W.W. Lamar; b = adult male in essentially uniform color phase; c = adult male in patterned color phase; d = adult male in reddish color phase.
All specimens from Costa Rica: Limón: Guayacán: Alto Colorado.

Ecnomiohyla sukia Savage & Kubicki, 2010
Shaman Fringe-limb Frog

A new moderate-sized species of fringe-limb treefrog of the genus Ecnomiohyla is described from the Atlantic premontane slope of central Costa Rica. It differs primarily from other members of the genus in having the combination of cephalic and dorsal osteoderms, extensive digital webbing, a pointed prepollical bony projection in adult males, and the fleshy scalloped fringe on the hindlimb continuing across the heel. Additional material of the related but much larger species, Ecnomiohyla miliaria, is documented from localities of virtual sympatry for the two taxa. The presence or absence of sexually dimorphic male features: bony humeral projection, prepollical bony projection, and keratinized black spines on the thumb and prepollex are summarized for the ten members of the genus. Hyla tuberculosa, recently referred to the genus does not belong to this clade and is regarded as incertae sedis.
Key words: Anura, Central America, Costa Rica, Guayacán, Ecnomiohyla miliaria, Ecnomiohyla sukia sp. nov., new species

Ecnomiohyla sukia
Photo: Andrew Gray |

Etymology. The name sukia is a noun in apposition and is derived from the Costa Rican name for the Amerind shamans of this region. We imagine that the call of the new species speaks, like those of the shamans, to communicate with the mysterious and unknown forces in the forest of the night. 

Habitat and ecology. E. sukia is a nocturnal frog that inhabits mature secondary and primary humid broadleaf evergreen forests. It is a habitué of the canopy and individuals have been found in water-filled cavities, on the surface of vegetation and on tree branches. The junior author has seen about 20 individuals captured by Miguel Solano and his associates and heard about 10 individual males calling over the past decade. The species seems to be generally most active at the drier times of the year (February to April) but may be heard calling more or less randomly throughout the year. Five were kept in captivity but only one would feed under conditions in a large terrarium with ample water and hiding places. The single male, whose call was recorded, lived four year in the terrarium and ate crickets. The species uses water-filled cavities in living trees as sites for egg deposition and probably these are the places where amplexus takes place. We wish  to point out that no individuals of the larger species, Ecnomiohyla miliaria have been seen nor heard subsequent to 1999 at Guayacán or elsewhere in the larger study area.

Distribution. Definitely known from two localities on the Atlantic slope in Tropical Lowland Wet Forest and Tropical Premontane Rainforest zones (sensu Savage, 2002, modified from Holdridge, 1967), Limón Province, Costa Rica (400–710 m; possibly to 900 m in northeastern Costa Rica). This species was recently found but not collected on the private reserve Las Brisas, at an elevation near 1000 m (Erick Berlin perscomm.). The private reserve of Las Brisas is located on the Atlantic slopes of the Turrialba Volcano, Limón Province.

Jay M. Savage & Brian Kubicki 2010. A New Species of Fringe-limb Frog, genus Ecnomiohyla (Anura: Hylidae), from the Atlantic slope of Costa Rica, Central America. Zootaxa. 2719: 21–34.