Sunday, December 13, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Dendropsophus bromeliaceus • The First Bromeligenous Species of Dendropsophus (Anura: Hylidae) from Brazil's Atlantic Forest

Dendropsophus bromeliaceus 
Ferreira, Faivovich & Beard, 2015

Teresensis’ Bromeliad Treefrog || DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142893

We describe a new treefrog species of Dendropsophus collected on rocky outcrops in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. Ecologically, the new species can be distinguished from all known congeners by having a larval phase associated with rainwater accumulated in bromeliad phytotelms instead of temporary or lentic water bodies. Phylogenetic analysis based on molecular data confirms that the new species is a member of Dendropsophus; our analysis does not assign it to any recognized species group in the genus. Morphologically, based on comparison with the 96 known congeners, the new species is diagnosed by its small size, framed dorsal color pattern, and short webbing between toes IV-V. The advertisement call is composed of a moderate-pitched two-note call (~5 kHz). The territorial call contains more notes and pulses than the advertisement call. Field observations suggest that this new bromeligenous species uses a variety of bromeliad species to breed in, and may be both territorial and exhibit male parental care.

Dendropsophus bromeliaceus sp. nov.

Etymology. The specific epithet “bromeliaceus” refers to the reproductive habit of the new species, which deposits eggs in bromeliads and spends the larval phase in the rainwater accumulated in these plants. The suffix “aceus” is Latin, meaning “belonging to”.

Common names. We suggest Teresensis’ Bromeliad Treefrog or Pererequinha-de-bromélia-teresensis (in Portuguese). Teresensis refers to the people born in the municipality of Santa Teresa.

Holotype. MNRJ 85852, adult male, collected in the surroundings of the Reserva Biológica Augusto Ruschi (19°54’27”S, 40°31’05”W; 878 m a.s.l.), Santa Teresa, State of Espírito Santo, Brazil, on 3 December 2012 by R. B. Ferreira and team (see Acknowledgments).

Fig 3. Dendropsophus bromeliaceus sp. nov. in life.
(A) froglet (MNRJ 85855), and (B and C) male paratopotype (MBML 7712).

Distribution. Dendropsophus bromeliaceus sp. nov. is currently only known from three rocky outcrops in the area surrounding the Reserva Biológica Augusto Ruschi in the Municipality of Santa Teresa, a mountainous region of the State of Espírito Santo, southeastern Brazil (Fig 6). The new species was not found in any of the seven forested sites investigated.

Natural history. Dendropsophus bromeliaceus sp. nov. has exclusively been found on rocky outcrops with sparse trees of low to medium heights; the ground covered with dense layer of bromeliads and herbaceous plants. Epiphytic bromeliads almost completely covering the tree branches. This vegetation pattern is distinct from that of the surrounding forested areas, which are shaded due to higher densities of large trees.

Dendropsophus bromeliaceus sp. nov. is a nocturnal frog with males calling in both the rainy (October through December) and dry season (June and July). However, choruses were less pronounced during the dry season with fewer individuals calling and less frequent calls. Tadpoles and juvenile froglets were only found in the rainy season. No amplectant pair or eggs were found during our surveys.

We recorded natural history observations of 12 adults, four juvenile froglets, and 10 exotrophic tadpoles of Dendropsophus bromeliaceus sp. nov. found in the rainwater accumulated inside bromeliads (Table 2). Calling males and tadpoles were in bromeliads located on the ground and up to 5 m above ground. Males called from horizontal leaves outside the axils of bromeliads. All adults, froglets, and tadpoles were found in the median axils (i.e. basal tank and central axils were not used). Four calling males were collected from bromeliads containing no tadpole or froglet. Another three calling males were in bromeliads with conspecific tadpoles or froglets. The other five adult individuals were found in bromeliads that did not harbor tadpoles or juvenile froglets.

Vriesea ruschii is the dominant bromeliad on the outcrops, and was also the most commonly used plant by D. bromeliaceus sp. nov. (Table 2). The terrestrial bromeliads used by D. bromeliaceus sp. nov.had a wider diameter (F1,15 = 58.92; P < 0.001) and greater height (F1,15 = 28.12; P < 0.001) than the epiphytic bromeliads at the sites. A number of bromeliad species were present at the sites but not occupied by D. bromeliaceus sp. nov., including Bilbergia sp., Edmundoa lindeniiQuesnelia strobilispicaNeoregelia macrosepalaNeoregelia sp., Nidularium cariacicaenseNidularium espiritosantenseNidularium sp., Vriesea aff. atraVensiformis, and V. vagans.

Adults of Dendropsophus bromeliaceus sp. nov. were not found in the same bromeliad with congeners. On one occasion, D. bromeliaceus sp. nov. shared the same plant (Alcantarea extensa) with another frog species (Thoropa miliaris), but they used different axil positions; D. bromeliaceus sp. nov. was in a median axil whereas T. miliaris was in a basal axil. Although D. bromeliaceus sp. nov. and Scinax arduous were the most abundant frogs at these sites and were frequently found in Vriesea ruschii, they did not share the same individual plant. In total, we found the following 12 frog species in syntopy with Dbromeliaceus sp. nov. inside bromeliads: Bokermannohyla caramaschii, F. fissilisFritziana goeldiiGastrotheca megacephalaHypsiboas pardalisH. semilineatusIschnocnema abditaI. epipedaI. cf. parvaScinax alterSarduous and Thoropa miliaris.

 Rodrigo Barbosa Ferreira, Julián Faivovich and  Karen H Beard. 2015. The First Bromeligenous Species of Dendropsophus (Anura: Hylidae) from Brazil's Atlantic Forest. PLoS One. 10(12)  DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142893

Nova espécie de perereca que vive em bromélia é descoberta no ES