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The new species (1st row) is most similar to P. usurpator (2nd row) from Manu National Park, of which is likely a sister taxon, but can easily be distinguished by its ventral coloration yellow with brown flecks (gray or brown with cream flecks in P. usurpator). Most specimens of P. chirihampatu were found under rocks (many males were calling) during the day in areas of disturbed montane forest vegetation, such as the sides of the trail and natural landslides. An egg nest found under a rock contained 11 eggs, and similarly to P. usurpator (where egg nests are usually found unattended), we don't know whether parents (and if so, which of the parents) attend nests.
A lab contribution and collaboration with Alex Ttito published today in PeerJ adds one species to the genus Psychrophrynella, a group of highly endemic, high-Andean leaf litter and moss frogs. The name of the new species, chirihampatu, comes from the Quechua words hampatu = toad, and chiri = cold, in reference to the cold environments inhabited by this frog in the upper cloud forest of the eastern slopes of the Andes. This name is also a wordplay with the genus name, which has the same meaning but is composed of Greek words.
The new species was found during a quick biological survey (see our post from last year) in the Private Conservation Area Ukumari Llaqta, in the Japumayo Valley of southern Peru. Ukumari Llaqta, which means "place of the bears", is a legally recognized protected area owned by the Community of Japu Qeros. This beautiful valley is likely to hold additional treasures and new species, including other species of terrestrial-breeding frogs.
News from the lab