Along with collaborators Luis Mamani, Edgar Lehr and Rudolf von May, we named a new genus for three species of terrestrial-breeding frogs previously described as Bryophryne. The new name, Qosqophryne, is dedicated to the city and region of Cusco in southern Peru, where these frogs live. As far as we know the three species only occur in the Vilcabamba mountain ridge. The paper is published as part of a special issue on Neotropical herpetofauna.
On the basis of molecular phylogenies, the genus is the sister genus to Microkayla, a larger group of similar frogs distributed in Bolivia and extreme southern Peru (Department Puno). These two genera (Qosqophryne and Microkayla) are more closely related to species of Noblella and Psychrophrynella than to species of Bryophryne. Although there are no known morphological synapomorphies for either Microkayla or Qosqophryne, the high endemism of their species, and the disjoint geographic distribution of the two genera, with a gap region of ~310 km by airline where both genera are absent, provide further support for Qosqophryne having long diverged from Microkayla. The exploration of high elevation moss and leaf litter habitats in the tropical Andes will contribute to increase knowledge of the diversity and phylogenetic relationships within Terrarana.
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