Wednesday, June 21, 2023

[Herpetology • 2023] Pristimantis clarae • A New Species of Terrestrial-Breeding Frog, Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae), from the Peruvian Yungas of Central Peru

Pristimantis clarae 
 Venegas, García-Ayachi, Marchelie, Ormeño & Catenazzi, 2023

We describe a new species of terrestrial-breeding frog of the genus Pristimantis from the Peruvian Yungas ecoregion of central Peru, Junin Department. The description is based on the observation of morphological features, color patterns of fourteen specimens, bioacoustic traits of the advertisement calls, and a phylogenetic analysis using a sequence fragment of 16S rRNA. The new species is mainly characterized by having a rounded or truncate snout in dorsal view, presence of dorsolateral folds, tympanic membrane and annulus distinct, absence of flash marks on the hidden surfaces of flanks and hindlimbs, and a small size (maximum SVL 15.6 mm in males and 19.3 mm in females). We provide diagnostic traits to differentiate the new species from phylogenetically close relatives, as well as morphologically similar and sympatric species of Pristimantis.

Keywords: advertisement call; new species; Pampa Hermosa River; Pristimantis albertus; taxonomy

Pristimantis clarae sp. nov. in life:
(A) dorsolateral, (B) dorsal, and (C) ventral views of CORBIDI 21664;
(D) dorsolateral, (E) dorsal, and (F) ventral views of CORBIDI 21670;
(G) dorsolateral, (H) dorsal and (I) ventral views of male paratype CORBIDI 21666;
(J) dorsolateral, (K) dorsal, and (L) ventral views of male paratype CORBIDI 21669.
Photographs by A. Marchelie.

Family Strabomantidae Hedges, Duellman and Heinicke 2008

Genus Pristimantis Jiménez de la Espada 1871

Pristimantis clarae sp. nov. Venegas, García-Ayachi, Marchelie, Ormeño and Catenazzi, 2023

Diagnosis: A new species of Pristimantis assigned to the Pristimantis danae species Group Padial, Grant and Frost, 2014, having the following combination of characters: (1) Skin on dorsum smooth to shagreen with scattered round and conical tubercles; flanks finely tuberculate; skin on venter weakly areolate or areolate; discoidal fold present or absent and thoracic fold present; dorsolateral folds present; (2) tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus present, distinct; (3) snout short, rounded or truncate in dorsal view and rounded in profile; (4) upper eyelid bearing some low conical tubercles; EW shorter than IOD; cranial crests absent; (5) dentigerous processes of vomers present, distinct, oblique; (6) males with vocal slits and small subgular vocal sac; nuptial pads absent; (7) Finger I shorter than Finger II; discs of digits expanded, truncated; (8) fingers bearing narrow lateral fringes; (9) minute conical ulnar tubercles present or absent and tarsal tubercles present, low, conical; (10) heel bearing one or two low conical tubercles; inner tarsal fold present, weakly defined, short; (11) inner metatarsal tubercle ovoid, prominent, 2 or 3 times as large as outer; outer metatarsal tubercle subconical, distinct; supernumerary plantar tubercles indistinct, scattered; (12) toes bearing narrow lateral fringes; basal toe webbing absent; Toe V longer than Toe III; toe discs slightly smaller than those on fingers; (13) in life (Figure 3), dorsum tan or brown with dark brown marks as a bar or blotch on the top of snout, interorbital bar, a conspicuous canthal stripe, labial bars, supratympanic stripe, triangular blotches on dorsum, diagonal streaks on flanks and diagonal bars on limbs; groins dusty brown with or without scattered cream minute flecks, anterior and posterior surface of thighs dark brown with minute pale cream flecks and with or without some scattered pale cream blotches; ventral surface on throat, belly and hind limbs dirty cream with a dense dark brown mottling, usually with a V-shaped mark below the chin; iris coppery, with the upper half bright and the lower dark, bearing flecks, speckles or vermiculation irradiating from the pupil; sclerotic ring whitish gray; (14) SVL 12.9–15.6 mm (n = 11) in males and 17.6–19.3 mm (n = 2) in females.

Etymology: The specific name “clarae” is for Clara Alexandrova and is treated as a latinized feminine noun in the genitive case. Clara Alexandrova is a young frog enthusiast that together with her family support the conservation of cloud forest ecosystems in Peru through the nonprofit organization Rainforest Partnership, Austin, TX, USA. The cloud forests harbor the greatest diversity of Pristimantis and are one of the most threatened ecosystems in the world.

 Pablo J. Venegas, Luis A. García-Ayachi, Axel Marchelie, Jesús R. Ormeño and Alessandro Catenazzi. 2023. A New Species of Terrestrial-Breeding Frog, Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae), from the Peruvian Yungas of Central Peru. Taxonomy. 3(2), 331-345. DOI: 10.3390/taxonomy3020019