Two years ago we reported on the discovery of two new species of terrestrial breeding frogs, Pristimantis antisuyu and P. erythroinguinis from Manu National Park in Cusco and Madre de Dios, in the Amazonian Andes and foothills. This month we add another closely related species, also with cruciform eyes, from another protected area: El Sira Communal Reserve. The description, led by our collaborator Germán Chávez, was published in the last issue of the online journal Evolutionary Systematics.
The name of the new species, Pristimantis sira, honors the protected area. Although P. sira shares several morphological characteristics with P. antisuyu, P. cruciocularis, and P. erythroinguinis, it can easily be distinguished by the lack of inguinal spots, which vary from yellow to red in the other species. We observed P. sira on leaves, at 1–1.7 m height, in the forests of the eastern slopes of the mountains of El Sira Communal Reserve, from 1500 to 2200 m a.s.l.The habitat at 1500 m a.s.l. is a montane forest, with riparian vegetation consisting mainly of bushes, tree ferns and trees with a canopy ~20 m tall (see pics below).
El Sira Communal Reserve is located on the eastern slopes of the Andes in central Peru, and protects about 616 thousand hectares of primary forest. El Sira is the highest cordillera adjacent to the Ucayali River, going from 200 m to 2200 m a.s.l., and is bordered by the Pachitea river (which eventually flows into the Ucayali), further isolating the El Sira mountains as the eastern branch of the Andes in the Ucayali basin. Because of the difficult access and rough topography, El Sira is likely one of the most unexplored places of Peru, and likely to harbor additional species waiting to be discovered and named.
Earlier this morning, lab member and PhD student Anne Sabol passed her quals - congratulations Anne!
Marsupial frogs are fairly diverse in the Andes, with over 75 species of Gastrotheca, and there are many cryptic species yet to be discovered. Our lab contribution, in collaboration to leading author Pablo Venegas, led to the discovery of a new species from the Cordillera de Colán in northern Peru. The new species, named Gastrotheca gemma lives in the páramo and the ecotone between páramo and humid montane forest of Cordillera de Colán, at elevations around 3100-3200 m.
The new species is distinguished from all its congeners by the combination of the following characters: coarsely granular skin on dorsum, a green dorsal coloration without pattern, finger I shorter than finger II, turquoise iris, and a venter without blotches, flecks or dots. Furthermore, we include a detailed osteological description of the new Gastrotheca species based on Micro-CT scanning (see photo above). The paper is published in the online journal Vertebrate Zoology.
Lab member and PhD student Rachel Prokopius passed her qualifying exams today. She had completed her written exams earlier in March. Congrats Rachel!
Along with collaborators Edgar Lehr and Shenyu Lyu, we described a new species of terrestrial-breeding frog from the region of Cajamarca in northern Peru. Pristimantis astralos is only known from its type locality at 3600 m a.s.l. in the Cordillera Occidental. Mining operations, and especially large-scale dumping of mining debris at the type locality over the last decade, have destroyed the type locality and caused the extirpation of the population at the type locality (see Google Earth pic below).
Peru has a thriving mining industry, and is a major producer of metals including copper, gold and zinc. This industry generates important economic benefits but can also cause environmental degradation and biodiversity loss at scales from local to regional. High-elevation tropical ecosystems are rich in endemic species, and thus even localized habitat destruction could contribute to species extinction. To prevent extinctions, we need better information concerning the distribution of endemic species, which requires surveys in the field by knowledgeable herpetologists.
Citation: Lehr, E., S. Lyu and A. Catenazzi. 2021. A new species of Pristimantis (Amphibia, Anura, Strabomantidae) from a mining area in the Cordillera Occidental of northern Peru (Región Cajamarca). Salamandra 57: 15-26.
PhD student Anne Sabol co-authored a paper on personality of wild mice (Peromyscus), published this month in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology along with her former colleagues from the University of Michigan (where she obtained her Master's degree). This work was a multiyear effort with two species (Peromyscus leucopus noveboracensis and Peromyscus maniculatus gracilis).
The study examined the existence of individual differences in four behaviors (presence of animal personality, as assessed by quantifying repeatabilities) and one measure of intrinsic state (body mass), the degree of association between these four behaviors (presence of behavioral syndromes), and the association of these behavioral traits with body mass that allowed researchers to estimate the within-individual component and the among-individual component.
The results show that the two species of wild mice exhibit personalities and that their personality traits are associated with one another, in that mice that were less docile were also more active, exploratory, and bold. The mice's personality traits were not linked with body mass, suggesting a lack of association between internal state and personality.
The special issue Systematics and Conservation of Neotropical Amphibians and Reptiles is now closed, all submitted papers have been published. The final tally is 14 papers, covering frogs, salamanders, caecilians, lizards, and snakes from throughout the Neotropics, with specific studies from Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay and Brazil. Authors in this special issue named a new genus of frogs (Qosqophryne), four new species of frogs (one terrestrial-breeding frog and three glassfrogs) and five new lizards (three tropidurid and two gymhnophthalmid lizards). A monograph on glassfrogs of Ecuador span the three thematic areas. Among contributions on biogeography, approaches ranged from species distribution patterns to the use of barcoding at the country level, phylogenomic analyses using ultra-conserved elements, and island biology. The remaining studies examined current conservation issues, examining the impact of mining, fungal disease, and the conservation implications of endemism.
Here's the final list of articles:
A New Species of Andean Gymnophthalmid Lizard (Squamata: Gymnophthalmidae) from the Peruvian Andes, and Resolution of Some Taxonomic Problems
by Luis Mamani,Juan C. Chaparro,Claudio Correa,Consuelo Alarcón,Cinthya Y. Salas and Alessandro Catenazzi
Diversity 2020, 12(9), 361; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12090361 - 21 Sep 2020
Recent and Rapid Radiation of the Highly Endangered Harlequin Frogs (Atelopus) into Central America Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequences
by Juan P. Ramírez,César A. Jaramillo,Erik D. Lindquist,Andrew J. Crawford and Roberto Ibáñez
Diversity 2020, 12(9), 360; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12090360 - 18 Sep 2020
Glassfrogs of Ecuador: Diversity, Evolution, and Conservation
by Juan M. Guayasamin,Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia,Roy W. McDiarmid,Paula Peña and Carl R. Hutter
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060222 - 02 Jun 2020
A New Genus of Terrestrial-Breeding Frogs (Holoadeninae, Strabomantidae, Terrarana) from Southern Peru
by Alessandro Catenazzi,Luis Mamani,Edgar Lehr and Rudolf von May
Diversity 2020, 12(5), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12050184 - 08 May 2020
Impact of Habitat Loss and Mining on the Distribution of Endemic Species of Amphibians and Reptiles in Mexico
by Fernando Mayani-Parás,Francisco Botello,Saúl Castañeda and Víctor Sánchez-Cordero
Diversity 2019, 11(11), 210; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11110210 - 05 Nov 2019
The Western Amazonian Richness Gradient for Squamate Reptiles: Are There Really Fewer Snakes and Lizards in Southwestern Amazonian Lowlands?
by Daniel L. Rabosky,Rudolf von May,Michael C. Grundler and Alison R. Davis Rabosky
Diversity 2019, 11(10), 199; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11100199 - 18 Oct 2019
Three New Lizard Species of the Liolaemus montanus Group from Perú
by César Aguilar-Puntriano,César Ramírez,Ernesto Castillo,Alejandro Mendoza,Victor J. Vargas and Jack W. Sites, Jr.
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 161; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11090161 - 11 Sep 2019
Barcoding Analysis of Paraguayan Squamata
by Pier Cacciali,Emilio Buongermini and Gunther Köhler
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 152; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11090152 - 30 Aug 2019
Conservation Status of Brachycephalus Toadlets (Anura: Brachycephalidae) from the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest
by Marcos R. Bornschein,Marcio R. Pie and Larissa Teixeira
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 150; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11090150 - 27 Aug 2019
Ecological and Conservation Correlates of Rarity in New World Pitvipers
by Irina Birskis-Barros,Laura R. V. Alencar,Paulo I. Prado,Monika Böhm and Marcio Martins
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11090147 - 27 Aug 2019
A New Species of Terrestrial-Breeding Frog (Amphibia, Strabomantidae, Noblella) from the Upper Madre De Dios Watershed, Amazonian Andes and Lowlands of Southern Peru
by Roy Santa-Cruz,Rudolf von May,Alessandro Catenazzi,Courtney Whitcher,Evaristo López Tejeda and Daniel L. Rabosky
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 145; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11090145 - 26 Aug 2019
Biogeography, Systematics, and Ecomorphology of Pacific Island Anoles
by John G. Phillips,Sarah E. Burton,Margarita M. Womack,Evan Pulver and Kirsten E. Nicholson
Diversity 2019, 11(9), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11090141 - 21 Aug 2019
Endemic Infection of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in Costa Rica: Implications for Amphibian Conservation at Regional and Species Level
by Héctor Zumbado-Ulate,Kiersten N. Nelson,Adrián García-Rodríguez,Gerardo Chaves,Erick Arias,Federico Bolaños,Steven M. Whitfield and Catherine L. Searle
Diversity 2019, 11(8), 129; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11080129 - 09 Aug 2019
Phylogenomic Reconstruction of the Neotropical Poison Frogs (Dendrobatidae) and Their Conservation
by Wilson X. Guillory,Morgan R. Muell,Kyle Summers and Jason L. Brown
Diversity 2019, 11(8), 126; https://doi.org/10.3390/d11080126 - 29 Jul 2019
Existen muchas especies de ranas y sapos en la amazonia, ¿Como afectan a este grupo de organismos los cambios ambientales y las enfermedades? ¡Acá podrás aprender a hacer tú mismo algunos experimentos!
Video producido por la Red de Aprendizaje y Conservación (RAC) de ACEER (https://www.aceeramigos.com/video). Esta red presenta una serie videos educativos para la comunidad en general. Este material puede ser usado por niños, jóvenes y adultos, así como estudiantes y profesores de todo nivel educativo que deseen ampliar sus conocimientos sobre los bosques amazónicos, su diversidad, funcionamiento e importancia para su conservación.
Alex Shepack will be defending his dissertation on October 23rd. His dissertation, "Back from the Brink: Rebounding and Remnant Amphibian Populations in a Pathogen Enzootic Environment," examines the long-term impacts of the amphibian chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) on Neotropical amphibians. Research in Peru yielded insights on how a single species can dominate the transmission of Bd in the environment, and potentially shape the rest of the amphibian community. Work conducted across Costa Rica helped characterize the demography and structure of a recovering population and examined the changes in genetic structure that arise from declines and recoveries. If you're interested in learning about these projects (and more!), please contact us. We'd love for you to join (via Zoom) on October 23rd at 2P.M. EST! You can attend on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uejlRSNUejU
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