Monday, July 25, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Pristimantis prometeii • A New Species of Pristimantis (Anura, Craugastoridae) from southern Ecuador

 Pristimantis prometeii 
 Székely, Cogălniceanu, Székely, Paez & Ron, 2016

A new species of Pristimantis is described from Reserva Buenaventura, southern Ecuador, at elevations between 878 and 1082 m. A molecular phylogeny based on nuclear and mitochondrial genes shows that the new species is closely related to P. phoxocephalus, P. riveti, and P. versicolor. The new species differs from them and other morphologically similar congeners in having a low W-shaped dermal ridge in the scapular region, a large conical tubercle on the upper eyelid and on the heel, a thin mid dorsal fold, and a longitudinal lateral fold starting behind the tympanic fold and extending along the anterior two thirds of the flank. The new species inhabits cloud forests in the Pacific slopes of the Andes.

Keywords: Anura, Craugastoridae, Pristimantis prometeii sp. n., Reserva Buenaventura

Figure 2. Holotype of Pristimantis prometeii sp. n. in life, QCAZ 58044, adult female, SVL 37.6 mm: A lateral view B dorsal view C ventral view.

Diagnosis: This species is placed in the genus Pristimantis based on the general morphological similarity to other members of the genus (e.g. characteristic T-shaped terminal phalanges, toes without membranes, and Toe V longer than Toe III) and based on phylogenetic evidence (Fig. 1). Pristimantis prometeii is a medium-sized species distinguished by the following combination of traits: (1) skin on dorsum shagreen with numerous small tubercles; a low W-shaped ridge in the scapular region, usually with four larger warts on it; skin on venter areolate; discoidal fold weak; thoracic fold present; dorsolateral folds absent but with a longitudinal lateral fold from behind the tympanic fold along the 2/3 of the flank length; low mid dorsal fold with rows of small tubercles, especially on the head; (2) tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus prominent, its length about 40% of the length of eye; supratympanic fold obscuring upper and posterodorsal edges of tympanum; (3) snout short, subacuminate in dorsal view, rounded, slightly protruding in profile; canthus rostralis angular; (4) upper eyelid bearing one larger conical tubercle and numerous small tubercles, about 90% IOD in females and 85% IOD in males; cranial crests absent; (5) dentigerous processes of vomers prominent, triangular with 3 to 4 teeth; (6) males with a subgular vocal sac and vocal slits; (7) Finger I shorter than Finger II; discs on fingers broadly expanded, elliptical; (8) fingers bearing broad lateral fringes; (9) ulnar tubercles coalesced into low ulnar fold; (10) heel bearing one larger, conical tubercle and several smaller tubercles; outer edge of tarsus with row of small, conical tubercles; inner edge of tarsus bearing a low fold; (11) inner metatarsal tubercle broadly ovoid, about 5x ovoid outer metatarsal tubercle; supernumerary plantar tubercles present; (12) toes bearing broad lateral fringes; webbing absent; Toe V much longer than Toe III; discs elliptical, about same size as those on fingers; (13) in life, dorsum of various shades of brown, with or without white spots, blotches, or dark brown bars or reticulum; flanks cream, yellow, or green; venter cream with dark flecks and blotches; yellow blotches on the groin, anterior, and posterior surfaces of thighs; iris bronze with fine black reticulations and a median, horizontal read streak; (14) SVL 20.4–24.9 mm in adult males (22.4 ± 1.86 SD, n = 4) and 29.9–37.6 mm in adult females (32.7 ± 2.91 SD, n = 5).

Figure 5. Color variation of Pristimantis prometeii sp. n. in life:
 female paratopotype, QCAZ 62540, SVL 32.6 mm: A dorsolateral view B ventral view;
male paratopotype, QCAZ 58042, SVL 24.9 mm: C dorsolateral view D ventral view;
 juvenile, QCAZ 58040, SVL 10.4 mm: E dorsolateral view F ventral view.

Etymology: The specific name is a noun in the genitive case and refers to the Prometeo program of Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación, Republic of Ecuador (SENESCYT) through which Dan Cogălniceanu and Paul Székely received funding for their research in southern Ecuador.

Distribution and natural history: Pristimantis prometeii is known from three closely located sites at Reserva Buenaventura (Fig. 6), Provincia El Oro, southwestern Ecuador, at elevations between 878 and 1082 m (Fig. 7). Most of the specimens were encountered at night, usually after rains, perching on leaves 10 to 100 cm above the ground. No calling male was found. Two specimens (QCAZ 58056 and QCAZ 58058) were collected during the day in small bromeliads between 2.0 and 2.5 m. All specimens were found in September 2014 and 2015 and additional surveys carried out in 2016 failed to encounter this species. All individuals were found in fairly well-preserved forest areas, near the reserve’s trails or in the vicinity of streams. One of the paratopotypes (QCAZ 58045), an adult female, was missing the right foreleg. Sympatric frog species at the type locality in Reserva Buenaventura include Pristimantis achatinus and P. subsigillatus as well as Epipedobates anthonyi, Hyloxalus infraguttatus, Espadarana prosoblepon, Hypsiboas pellucens and an undescribed species of Hyloscirtus.

Mating Prometeo Rain Frogs Pristimantis prometeii in their natural habitat. 
photo: Dan Cogalniceanu  DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.606.9121 
Figure 6. Habitat at the type locality of Pristimantis prometeii sp. n. in Reserva Buenaventura. 

Paul Székely, Dan Cogălniceanu, Diana Székely, Nadia Paez and Santiago Ron. 2016.  A New Species of Pristimantis from southern Ecuador (Anura, Craugastoridae). ZooKeys. 606: 77-97. DOI:  10.3897/zookeys.606.9121

Greek heroic deity Prometheus now has a namesake in a new tiny rain frog from Ecuador

Resumen: Describimos una nueva especie de Pristimantis de la Reserva Buenaventura, al sur del Ecuador, entre elevaciones de 878 y 1082 m. Una filogenia molecular basada en genes nucleares y mitocondriales revela que la nueva especie está cercanamente relacionada a P. phoxocephalus, P. riveti P. versicolor. La nueva especie difiere de ellas y otros congéneres morfológicamente similares por presentar un pliegue bajo en forma de “W” en la región escapular, un tubérculo cónico sobre el párpado y en el talón, un delgado pliegue mediodorsal y un pliegue lateral longitudinal que se inicia detrás del pliegue timpánico y se extiende a lo largo de dos tercios del flanco. La nueva especie vive en bosques nublados de las estribaciones pacíficas de los Andes.