A new, morphologically cryptic, leaf-nesting frog of the genus Phyllomedusa

Male holotype of Phyllomedusa chaparroi sp. nov. (MUBI 13986) 

Casttoviejo-Fischer and colleagues describe and name the new leaf-nesting frog, Phyllomedusa chaparroi, a medium-sized species (67.9–77.5 mm) from the Amazonian rainforests of northern Peru. Morphologically the new species is most similar to P. boliviana and P. camba, it is indistinguishable from the latter in external qualitative and quantitative traits). However, phylogenetic analysis of combined mitochondrial and nuclear markers place the new species sister to a clade containing P. neildi, P. tarsius, and P. trinitatis. Phyllomedusa chaparroi can be readily differentiated from these species by having a dark reddish-brown iris with indistinct tiny orange spots versus an orange iris with marked dark reticulation found in P. neildi, P. tarsius, and P. trinitatis. Furthermore, the genetic distances for a 532 bp sequence of the 16S gene between the new species and its sister species are 2.8–4.1%, whereas distances are 4.5–5.5% to the morphologically cryptic P. camba. The type series of Phyllomedusa chaparroi includes specimens from two sites, this species seems to occur at various localities in the area of Tarapoto in the Peruvian Amazon. Nonetheless, it seems that this species has been confused with Phyllomedusa camba and the distributional range of both species needs to be thoroughly evaluated, especially at the northern western limits of the known distribution of P. camba.

Castroviejo-Fisher SA, Köhler J, De La Riva IG, Padial JM.. A new morphologically cryptic species of Phyllomedusa (Anura: Phyllomedusidae) from Amazonian forests of northern Peru revealed by DNA sequences. Zootaxa. 2017 May 22;4269(2):245-64.

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