Thursday, 27 August 2020

NOVATAXA: A New Rain Frog Species of the Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the northern Cordillera Central in Colombia

 [Herpetology • 2020] Pristimantis zorro • Out of the Blue: A New Rain Frog Species of the Genus Pristimantis (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the northern Cordillera Central in Colombia

Pristimantis zorro Rivera-Correa & Daza, 2020

Continuous sampling in well studied areas may lead to new amphibian species discoveries, because population dynamics allow rare species to go unnoticed for years. Based on recent sampling of frogs in the northeastern region of Colombia, here we provide genetic, morphological, and bioacoustics evidence to support the description of a new species of the genus Pristimantis. Phylogenetic analysis suggests the new species is a member of the P. lacrimosus species group, a clade of 25 species that is highly diverse in Ecuador and Peru. This new species is more closely related to allopatric species from Peru and Guyana (i.e. P. olivaceus, P. pluvialis, P. pulchridormientes, and an undetermined Pristimantis). The new species has green-yellow coloration and a remarkable brown interocular band, which is unusual in the genus and which inspired the epithet. Pristimantis zorro sp. nov. has only been found at one locality at 1860 m s.a.l., on the eastern flank of the northern Cordillera Central in Department of Antioquia, Colombia. The new species inhabits the ecotone between the humid cloud forest and open areas. Repeated visits to the type locality suggest high variation in population abundance and/or species detection, because we have occasionally observed many individuals in briefs periods of times. In addition, we discuss the biogeographical and systematic implications of our species discovery.

Keywords: Amphibia, Advertisement call, Biodiversity, Morphology, Molecular phylogenetic, Taxonomy, Systematics


Adult males of Pristimantis zorro sp. nov. in life:
(A) MHUA-A 8813, SVL 20.1 mm, holotype; (B) MHUA-A 8814, SVL 20.5 mm, paratype; (C) MHUA-A 8815, SVL 20.3 mm, paratype, adult male; (D) MHUA-A 8816, SVL 19.5 mm, paratype; (E) MHUA-A 8817, SVL 21.5 mm, paratype; (F) MHUA-A 11165, SVL 20.1 mm, paratype; (G) MHUA-A 11166, SVL 21.3 mm, paratype; (H) MHUA-A 11167, SVL 20.8 mm, paratype. Photos by Adriana Restrepo, Carlos Marín and Juan M. Daza.

Pristimantis zorro sp. nov. 

Etymology. The specific name is a patronym in reference to the character El Zorro (fox in Spanish). El Zorro is the secret identity of Don Diego de la Vega, a fictional hero created in 1919 by pulp writer Johnston McCulley. The character has a distinctive black garb, coat, hat and a mask that covers the top of the head from eye level upwards. The name alludes to the facial mask of the new species.

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