Psychrophrynella bagrecito (Lynch)

Riva, Ignacio De La, Chaparro, Juan C. & Padial, José M., 2008, A new, long-standing misidentified species of Psychrophrynella Hedges, Duellman & Heinicke from Departamento Cusco, Peru (Anura: Strabomantidae), Zootaxa 1823, pp. 42-50 : 48-49

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.274383


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Psychrophrynella bagrecito (Lynch)


Comments on Psychrophrynella bagrecito (Lynch)

Lynch (1986) described the small species Psychrophrynella bagrecito (as Phrynopus ) from the Marcapata Valley, 2740 m, Departamento Cusco, Peru, and he stressed that the skulls of P. bagrecito and P. usurpator (as P. peruvianus ) were almost identical. Also, he observed that both species share a tarsal tubercle, which he described as sickle-shaped in P. bagrecito and prominent, elongate, sigmoid-shaped, not continuous with inner metatarsal tubercle in P. usurpator . For these reasons, he considered P. bagrecito as the second species in his Phrynopus peruvianus group. Furthermore, the morphology of P. bagrecito led Lynch (1986) to comment on the overall similarity and possible close relationships of the Phrynopus peruvianus group with the genus Noblella (as Phyllonastes ). Recently, Lehr et al. (2004) described Noblella duellmani (as Phyllonastes duellmani ) and considered it as the species of Noblella morphologically closest to Phrynopus , because of the absence of several characters previously considered diagnostic of Noblella , including circumferential grooves; the only diagnostic feature of Noblella remaining in N. duellmani is the presence of tips slightly acuminate in Toes III–V. More recently, Lehr (2006) noted that P. bagrecito shares some morphological features with Noblella . Our examination of the holotye ( KU 196512 View Materials ) and some paratypes of P. bagrecito ( KU 196513 View Materials –18, 196520–21, 196523– 25; Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 ) from the type locality and other recent specimens collected nearby (Quebrada de Iskaybamba, Marcapata, Cusco, 13 ° 30 ' 15.22 "S, 70 ° 54 ' 58.84 "W, 2244 m; MHNC 5255 – 56) confirms Lehr’s (2006) impression. These specimens have weakly pointed tips of the digits and even possess rudiments of circumferential grooves. We think that if Noblella duellmani is correctly placed in this genus, P. bagrecito might make a stronger case to be included in Noblella as well. However, we refrain from formally transfer P. bagrecito to Noblella because characters such as circumferential grooves have high intrageneric variation in Strabomantidae . On the other hand, specimens of what seem to be undescribed species of Noblella from Bolivia show all the typical characters of the genus plus a prominent tarsal tubercle, like the one in P. bagrecito or even P. usurpator (I. De la Riva, unpublished.) Phylogenetic analyses based on DNA sequences by Hedges et al. (2008) placed Noblella lochites in a different clade than P. usurpator . Thus, it seems that the character of a prominent tarsal tubercle might have evolved more than once in Holoadeninae . For the moment, the phylogenetic relationships between Lynch's putative " peruvianus " group and Noblella are still obscure, and the osteological peculiarities of P. usurpator commented by Lynch (1975) suggest that all these species need a more detailed study.

Four specimens in the type series of P. bagrecito are from Hacienda Huyro, a locality at an elevation of 1830 m between Huayopata and Quillabamba (Departamento Cusco), almost 200 km (airline) NW from the type locality. We examined two of these specimens ( KU 196527 View Materials – 28) and observed some differences in relation to those from the type locality, being the most remarkable a much weaker tarsal tubercle. The taxonomic status of this population deserves further research.


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