21 agosto 2006

Bothrocophias of Ecuador


Distribution and natural history of the Ecuadorian Toad-headed Pitvipers of the genus Bothrocophias (Squamata: Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae)

Abstract: Limited information is available for pitvipers of the genus Bothrocophias. This article presents information on the three species of Bothrocophias known to occur in Ecuador: Bothrocophias campbelli (FREIRE LASCANO, 1991), B. hyoprora (AMARAL, 1935), and B. microphthalmus (COPE, 1875), including geographical distribution, altitudinal range, provincial records, sympatric pitviper species, activity patterns, behavior, size, reproductive biology, diet, and longevity. Bothrocophias campbelli inhabits the northern, central and southern regions of the Pacific slopes of the Andes in Ecuador between 800 and 2000 m; Bothrocophias hyoprora occurs in the northern and southern Amazonian lowlands and low eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador between 210 and 1500 m; Bothrocophias microphthalmus occurs in the south-eastern slopes of the Andes in Ecuador between 600 and 2350 m. We report the second known locality of B. campbelli in the province of Imbabura and the westernmost locality of B. hyoprora in the Nangaritza river valley. The sympatry between B. hyoprora and B. microphthalmus is confirmed, at the Makuma area, province of Morona-Santiago, increasing the vertical distribution range of B. microphthalmus to at least 600 m. The White-bellied Slender Mouse Opossum Marmosops noctivagus is reported for the first time as a prey of B. microphthalmus. We herein report some novel data on the reproductive biology of Bothrocophias pitvipers, including litter and neonates sizes for B. hyoprora and B. microphthalmus. Bothrocophias pitvipers can produce up to 47 enlarged follicles and known litter sizes range from three to 36 young. Enlarged ovarian follicles have been reported in April for B. campbelli, juveniles in December for B. microphthalmus and from August to September for B. hyoprora. The relative clutch mass values in Bothrocophias ranged from 0.22 (in B. microphthalmus) to 0.30 (in B. hyoprora).

Resumen: Limitada información se ha publicado sobre las serpientes venenosas del género Bothrocophias. Este artículo presenta información para las tres especies de Bothrocophias que habitan en Ecuador: Bothrocophias campbelli (FREIRE LASCANO, 1991), B. hyoprora (AMARAL, 1935), y B. microphthalmus (COPE, 1875); incluyendo datos sobre su distribución geográfica, rango altitudinal, registros provinciales, especies en simpatría, patrones de actividad, comportamiento, tamaño, biología reproductiva, dieta y longevidad. Bothrocophias campbelli habita las regiones norte, central y sur de la vertiente Pacífica de Ecuador entre 800 y 2000 m, B. hyoprora habita las regiones norte y sur de las tierras bajas de la Amazonía y vertientes bajas de la Cordillera Oriental entre 210 y 1500 m; y B. microphthalmus habita en las vertientes sureste de la Cordillera Oriental entre 600 y 2350 m. Se reporta la segunda localidad conocida para B. campbelli en la provincia de Imbabura y la localidad más occidental de B. hyoprora en el valle del Río Nangaritza. Se confirma la simpatría de B. hyoprora y B. microphthalmus en el área de Makuma, provincia de Morona-Santiago, incrementando el rango de distribución vertical de B. microphthalmus hasta al menos 600 m. La Raposa Chica de Vientre Blanco Marmosops noctivagus es reportada por primera vez como presa de B. microphthalmus. Se reporta nueva información sobre la biología reproductiva de Bothrocophias, incluyendo el tamaño de la camada y de los neonatos de B. hyoprora y B. microphthalmus. Las serpientes Bothrocophias pueden producir hasta 47 foliculos agrandados y el rango conocido del tamaño de las camadas incluye entre 3 a 36 individuos. Foliculos agrandados en el ovario han sido reportados en Abril para B. campbelli, y juveniles en Diciembre para B. microphthalmus y entre Agosto y Septiembre para B. hyoprora. Los valores de la masa relativa de la puesta en Bothrocophias varian entre 0.22 (en B. microphthalmus) hasta 0.30 (en B. hyoprora).

Cita / Citation: Cisneros-Heredia, D. F. (2006) Distribution and natural history of the Ecuadorian Toad-headed Pitvipers o the genus Bothrocophias (Serpentes: Viperidae: Crotalinae). Herpetozoa 19(1/2): 17-26.

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17 agosto 2006

Phylogeny Dart-Poison Frogs



Cita / Citation: Grant, Taran, Frost, D.R., Caldwell, J.P., Gagliardo, R., Haddad, C.F.B, Kok, P.J.R., Means, D.B., Noonan, B.P., Schargel, W.E. & Wheeler, W. 2006. Phylogenetic systematics of dart-poison frogs and their relatives (Amphibia, Athesphatanura, Dendrobatidae). BULLETIN OF THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY 299: 262 pp., 79 figures, 37 tables, 8 appendices.

Descargar / Download: http://digitallibrary.amnh.org/dspace/handle/2246/5781

ABSTRACT: "The known diversity of dart-poison frog species has grown from 70 in the 1960s to 247 at present, with no sign that the discovery of new species will wane in the foreseeable future. Although this growth in knowledge of the diversity of this group has been accompanied by detailed investigations of many aspects of the biology of dendrobatids, their phylogenetic relationships remain poorly understood. This study was designed to test hypotheses of dendrobatid diversification by combining new and prior genotypic and phenotypic evidence in a total evidence analysis. DNA sequences were sampled for five mitochondrial and six nuclear loci (approximately 6,100 base pairs [bp]; x¯53,740 bp per terminal; total dataset composed of approximately 1.55 million bp), and 174 phenotypic characters were scored from adult and larval morphology, alkaloid profiles, and behavior. These data were combined with relevant published DNA sequences. Ingroup sampling targeted several previously unsampled species, including Aromobates nocturnus, which was hypothesized previously to be the sister of all other dendrobatids. Undescribed and problematic species were sampled from multiple localities when possible. The final dataset consisted of 414 terminals: 367 ingroup terminals of 156 species and 47 outgroup terminals of 46 species.

Direct optimization parsimony analysis of the equally weighted evidence resulted in 25,872 optimal trees. Forty nodes collapse in the strict consensus, with all conflict restricted to conspecific terminals. Dendrobatids were recovered as monophyletic, and their sister group consisted of Crossodactylus, Hylodes, and Megaelosia, recognized herein as Hylodidae. Among outgroup taxa, Centrolenidae was found to be the sister group of all athesphatanurans except Hylidae, Leptodactyidae was polyphyletic, Thoropa was nested within Cycloramphidae, and Ceratophryinae was paraphyletic with respect to Telmatobiinae. Among dendrobatids, the monophyly and content of Mannophryne and Phyllobates were corroborated. Aromobates nocturnus and Colostethus saltuensis were found to be nested within Nephelobates, and Minyobates was paraphyletic and nested within Dendrobates. Colostethus was shown to be rampantly nonmonophyletic, with most species falling into two unrelated cis- and trans-Andean clades. A morphologically and behaviorally diverse clade of median lingual process-possessing species was discovered.

In light of these findings and the growth in knowledge of the diversity of this large clade over the past 40 years, we propose a new, monophyletic taxonomy for dendrobatids, recognizing the inclusive clade as a superfamily (Dendrobatoidea) composed of two families (one of which is new), six subfamilies (three new), and 16 genera (four new). Although poisonous frogs did not form a monophyletic group, the three poisonous lineages are all confined to the revised family Dendrobatidae, in keeping with the traditional application of this name. We also propose changes to achieve a monophyletic higher-level taxonomy for the athesphatanuran outgroup taxa.

Analysis of character evolution revealed multiple origins of phytotelm-breeding, parental provisioning of nutritive oocytes for larval consumption (larval oophagy), and endotrophy. Available evidence indicates that transport of tadpoles on the dorsum of parent nurse frogs— a dendrobatid synapomorphy—is carried out primitively by male nurse frogs, with three independent origins of female transport and five independent origins of biparental transport. Reproductive amplexus is optimally explained as having been lost in the most recent common ancestor of Dendrobatoidea, with cephalic amplexus arising independently three times."

09 agosto 2006

Glassfrogs of Yanayacu


Glass frogs (Centrolenidae) of Yanayacu Biological Station, Ecuador, with the description of a new species and comments on centrolenid systematics

Abstract: We describe Centrolene bacatum, C. buckleyi, Cochranella posadae, and a new species of Cochranella from Yanayacu Biological Station on the Amazonian slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. The new species differs from other species in Centrolenidae by a combination of characters, including reduced webbing between Fingers III and IV, and kidneys covered with white peritoneum. We summarize the current generic and infrageneric classification in Centrolenidae and discuss some of its problems. A phylogenetic analysis of morphological and behavioural data shows that the genera Centrolene and Cochranella might not be monophyletic; the genus Hyalinobatrachium and, in particular, the group H. fleischmanni seem to be monophyletic. However, an analysis with many more characters is needed to resolve the relationships of glass frogs.

Cita / Citation: Guayasamin, J.M., M.R. Bustamante, D. Almeida-Reinoso W.C. Funk. 2006. Glass frogs (Centrolenidae) of Yanayacu Biological Station, Ecuador, with the description of a new species and comments on centrolenid systematics. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 147, 489–513.

Descargar / Download: http://www.puce.edu.ec/zoologia/vertebrados/personal/colaboradores/jmguayasamin/index.html

03 agosto 2006

Eleutherodactylus skymainos Ecuador


Amphibia, Brachycephalidae, Eleutherodactylus skydmainos: First country record, Ecuador

Se reporta el primer registro de la rana Eleutherodactylus skydmainos para Ecuador. Dos ejemplares colectados en la Estación de Biodiversidad Tiputini, Amazonia de Ecuador, confirman este hallazgo. Este nuevo registro incrementa el numero de especies de Eleutherodactylus en Ecuador a 139, y a 24 para la Amazonia Ecuatoriana.

Cita / Citation: Cisneros-Heredia, D. F. (2006) Amphibia, Brachycephalidae, Eleutherodactylus skydmainos: First country record, Ecuador. Check List 2(2): 47-49.

Descargar / Download: http://www.cisneros-heredia.org/public.html