Moraes & Lima, 2021
Integrative analyses, long-term studies, and access to remote areas in Amazonia have led to new hypotheses and increased resolution of the systematics and taxonomy of the small nurse frog genus Allobates (family Aromobatidae). During anuran sampling in the Middle Tapajós River region, state of Pará, Brazil, we collected data on a new cryptically colored species of Allobates with a cricket-like advertisement call. Here, we name and describe this new species, following an integration of phenotypic, ecological, and molecular analyses. The results of a phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA placed the new species as the sister taxon of Allobates grillisimilis. Genetic pdistances between the two sister taxa at the 16S region of the mitochondrial DNA ranged from 7% to 9%. A sister-species relationship between the new species and A. grillisimilis is also supported by phenotypic evidence. Adults of the new species are small (snout–vent length 15.2–16.8 mm in males and 16.5–17.7 mm in females), with a dorsum uniformly tan to reddish brown, a dark brown lateral stripe and a white ventrolateral stripe, arms pale tan brown and legs greyish-brown, and venter yellowish colored, with variable extension and shades of yellow, paler on the throat. The advertisement call is a trill with a mean peak frequency of 5830.2 Hz, arranged in series of short, closely spaced, pulses (mean of 24.3 pulses/s), and followed by silent intervals of variable duration. We discuss the putative drivers generating and maintaining the distinctiveness between the new species and the allopatrically distributed sister taxon, and on threats to the persistence of the new species. With this species description, the Middle Tapajós River region is consolidated as having one of the highest alpha diversities for the genus Allobates in Amazonia.
Key words: Anura; Bioacoustics; Biogeography; Brazil; Conservation; Cryptic diversity; DNA; Integrative taxonomy; Para
Allobates grillicantus sp. nov.
Etymology.— The specific epithet grillicantus means ‘‘cricket song’’ and refers to the cricket-like advertisement call emitted by this species. It is a compound Latin noun in the nominative case used in apposition, derived from gryllus ,meaning ‘‘cricket’’ and cantus, meaning ‘‘song.’’ The name is purposely similar to the sister taxon A. grillisimilis to refer to common ancestry.
Leandro J.C.L. Moraes and Albertina P. Lima. 2021. A New Nurse Frog (Allobates, Aromobatidae) with a Cricket-Like Advertisement Call from Eastern Amazonia. Herpetologica. 77(2); 146-163. DOI: 10.1655/Herpetologica-D-20-00010.1