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20 June 2012

NEW DENDROBATID FROG FROM THE VENEZUELAN ANDES

A new species of dendrobatid frog has been described in the most recent issue of the journal Herpetotropicos.

Source: HERPETOTROPICOS Vol. 7(1-2):55-74



Abstract: In this paper we discuss the rediscovery of the types of Colostethus meridensis (= Aromobates meridensis), during long time believed to be lost, give a redescription of the holotype, and redescribe its sympatran Aromobates mayorgai, a taxon previously known only from the type specimens. In addition, we describe a new species from the mountains of Piñango, Merida State, in the Andes of Venezuela. The new species can be diagnosed from its closely resembling Aromobates meridensis by being a smaller frog, bearing conspicuous lateral dermal folds on toes, having the tympanum with paler coloration, larger dark brown dorsal spots, two irregular pale bands from upper eyelids to the level of shoulders, larger oblique pale inguinal band, throat and chest with inconspicuous spots made up of fine dark stippling that do not form well-defined spots; ventral surfaces of arms and thighs almost immaculate, tarsal fold evident, more extended foot web, tip of snout more acute, and metacarpal tubercle more pronounced.


[Spanish/Español] Resumen: E. La Marca y L.M. Otero López. “Redescubrimiento de los ejemplares tipo de Colostethus meridensis, con descripción de una nueva especie emparentada y redescripción de Aromobates mayorgai (Amphibia: Anura: Dendrobatidae)”. En este trabajo discutimos el redescubrimiento de los tipos de Colostethus meridensis (= Aromobates meridensis), que por mucho tiempo se creyó estaban perdidos, damos una redescripción de su holotipo, y redescribimos una especie simpátrica, Aromobates mayorgai, un taxón previamente conocido sólo por sus ejemplares tipo. Adicionalmente, describimos una especie nueva proveniente de las montañas de Piñango, Estado Mérida, en los Andes de Venezuela. La nueva especie puede ser diagnosticada de la muy parecida Aromobates meridensis por ser una rana más pequeña, con pliegues dérmicos a los lados de los dedos el pie, tímpano con coloración más clara, manchas dorsales pardo oscuras de mayor tamaño, dos bandas claras irregulares desde los párpados superiores hasta el nivel de los hombros, banda clara inguinal oblicua más larga, garganta y pecho con manchas inconspicuas conformadas por un fino punteado oscuro que no constituye manchas bien definidas; superficies ventrales de brazos y muslos casi inmaculadas, pliegue tarsiano evidente, membrana del pie con mayor extensión, punta de la nariz más aguda, y tubérculo metacarpiano más pronunciado.

04 June 2012

NEW AMPHIBIAN DISCOVERIES FROM THE BIODIVERSE PHILIPPINES

The tropical forests of Philippines still amaze us with new biological discoveries. A study aimed to generate inventories of the biological diversity in Leyton Province has revealed a high endemicity of plants and vertebrates. Among the 64 species of herpetofauna, two frogs turn out to be new to science.
Both wrinkled ground frogs belong to the genus Platymantis, with about 70 species known to occur, besides Philippines, only on Papua-New Guinea (Papua and Indonesia) and the islands of Admiralty, Bismarck, Fiji, Palau and Solomon. 
Read the complete note at: Flora and Fauna International.

03 June 2012

MOUNTAIN CHICKENS: WELCOME BACK TO THE ISLAND!

Leptodactylus fallax, a large frog inhabiting the Caribbean island of Montserrat, have declined by 80% and is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™. 


Once an abundant species in the wild, it went to the brink of extinction mainly to human consumption (hence its common name of mountain chicken) and because of a deadly fungal infection by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.
A sotck of 50 frogs from an uninfected wild population was taken out of the island for ex-situ breeding purposes.  33 healthy offsprings born in captivity were released last January 2012 back into the island, and a field team have been tracking their movements.
Read the complete conservation news at the IUCN site.

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