Monday, September 5, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Hypsiboas diabolicus • Cryptic Diversity in the Hypsiboas semilineatus species group (Amphibia, Anura) with the Description of A New Species from the eastern Guiana Shield

FIGURE 3. Holotype R157 (AF1284) of Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov. compared to R143 (AF1285), a specimen of H. aff. semilineatus 1 (both recently preserved) collected along the same stream at the same time, and H. geographicus [preserved specimen MZUSP157060 (MTR36895) from Tefé]. a: in life (Hgeographicus from Rio Purus active at night); b: dorsal view; c: ventral view; d: lateral view of the head; e ventral face of right hand and foot.


We used molecular and morphological data to investigate the hidden diversity within the Hypsiboas semilineatus species group, and more specifically within H. geographicus, an allegedly widespread species in northern South America. As a result, the identity of H. geographicus was clarified, several candidate species were detected and one of them, from the eastern Guiana Shield, is described herein as a preliminary step to resolve the taxonomy of the group. Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov. is mainly distinguished from closely-related species by an acuminate snout in lateral view, well-developed webbing between fingers and toes, and unspotted carmine/crimson colouration on the concealed surfaces of legs, feet and hands in life. The tadpole of the new species is described and is characterized by a large A-2 gap, a mostly single row of large marginal papillae, and a dark brown to black colouration. We also describe the advertisement call of the new species, which is defined as a soft call consisting of short clusters of 2–3 chuckles with a dominant frequency ranging between 1.11–1.19 kHz. Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov. is currently known only from the eastern Guiana Shield, and is probably endemic to that region. The new species’ range overlaps broadly with another candidate species referred to as H. aff. semilineatus 1. Our preliminary results stress out a high cryptic diversity in that species group and the need for a formal redescription of Hypsiboas geographicus based on more topotypic material than what is currently available  to properly sort out the taxonomic status of several lineages in that clade.

Keywords: Amphibia, Anura, conservation, endemism, Guiana Shield, taxonomy

Holotype of Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov.  R157 (AF1284) 

Hypsiboas diabolicus sp. nov. 

Hypsiboas geographicus Fouquet et al., 2007 
Hypsiboas aff. geographicus Dewynter et al., 2008

Definition and diagnosis. The new species is morphologically characterized by the following unique combination of characters: (1) medium size, adult males X=43.5 mm (38.5–48.0 mm, n=17), adult females X=56.3 mm (55.9–56.7 mm, n=2; Table 3); (2) thighs long (ThL/SVL 0.50–0.58); (3) dorsal skin finely granular; (4) dorsal colour pattern generally consisting of a X-shaped mark on the scapular region; (5) typically 6–8 large dark brown bands on the granular dorsal surface of tibia and thighs, not extending towards the ventral face of the leg; (6) granular skin on upper thigh covering a narrow surface (narrower than inner and outer smooth faces of thigh); (7) flanks black with white speckles, well delimited ventrally; (8) ventral surface immaculate; (9) lower eyelid translucent with thin brownish reticulations; (10) snout long ETS/EN 0.67–0.89 and slightly acuminate in lateral view; (11) superelliptical pupils when contracted; (12) hands, feet and concealed surfaces of legs carmine/crimson (in life) to light grey (in preservative) without white spots; (13) large and rugous dark P-shaped nuptial pad on the medial surface of Finger I extending onto the dorsal surface in males; (14) prepollex not modified into a projecting spine; (15) concealed surface of upper arm, axillary region, flanks, and groin black with numerous small bluish white speckles; (16) fingers fully webbed; (17) feet fully webbed; (18) small calcar on heel, sometimes barely visible and often coloured with a cream spot.

Etymology. The specific name is a noun in apposition and refers to the “Diables Rouges” (Red Devils), traditional characters of the carnival in French Guiana who dress in red and black, reminiscent of the black flanks and the carmine/crimson legs and webbing of the new species (colours 62, 64 in Köhler 2012). 

 Antoine Fouquet, Quentin Martinez, Lauren Zeidler, Elodie Courtois, P. Gaucher, Michel Blanc, Jucivaldo Dias Lima, Sergio Marques Souza, Miguel Trefaut Rodrigues and Philippe J. R. Kok. 2016. Cryptic Diversity in the Hypsiboas semilineatus species group (Amphibia, Anura) with the Description of A New Species from the eastern Guiana Shield.
ZOOTAXA. 4084(1):79-104. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4084.1.3