Rulyrana mcdiarmidi

Twomey, Evan, Delia, Jesse & Castroviejo-Fisher, Santiago, 2014, A review of Northern Peruvian glassfrogs (Centrolenidae), with the description of four new remarkable species, Zootaxa 3851 (1), pp. 1-87 : 48

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Rulyrana mcdiarmidi


Rulyrana mcdiarmidi ( Cisneros-Heredia, Venegas, Rada, & Schulte 2008)

Figure 27 View FIGURE 27. a, b

Cochranella mcdiarmidi Cisneros-Heredia, Venegas, Rada, and Schulte 2008 . Holotype DFCH-USFQ D 132, an adult female from “a small rivulet tributary of the Jambue River, ca. 6 km S from Zamora (ca. 04°03’S, 78 ° 56 ’W, 1150 m), on the western slope of Contrafuerte de Tzunantza, Cordillera Oriental, eastern slopes of the Andes, Provincia de Zamora- Chinchipe, República del Ecuador ”

Rulyrana mcdiarmidi— Guayasamin, Castroviejo-Fisher, Trueb, Ayarzagüena, and Vilá 2009

Background information. This species was described from a series of five specimens collected from two sites in southern Ecuador and one site in northern Peru at elevations between 1100–1210 m. The species was assigned to Cochranella on the basis of the humeral spine being absent in males (Cisneros-Heredia et al. 2008). Guayasamin et al. (2009) assigned this species to the genus Rulyrana considering morphological similarity to R. flavopunctata , a species that had been sequenced in their analysis.

New data. Since 2010 we have encountered this species in a number of sites throughout northern Peru, extending the known range of this species roughly 100 km to the south and east of the Peruvian locality from the original description, and between elevations of 682–1811 m ( Fig. 14 View FIGURE 14 ). Here, we provide a list of new localities and associated voucher specimens (when collected): village of Cocachimba, Amazonas, Peru, near Gocta waterfall (CORBIDI-HE- 2010-6847 and CORBIDI-HE- 2010 -6848, 6° 3 ' 44.28 "S, 77 ° 53 ' 36.47 "W, 1811 m); near the village of La Oliva past the village of Muyo (a larger village roughly 49 km N from Bagua), Amazonas, Peru ( MNCN 45957 and MHNC 14015, 5° 18 ' 3.86 "S, 78 ° 23 ' 44.57 "W, 682 m); south slope of Utcubamba canyon, 4.7 km NW from Pedro Ruiz, Amazonas, Peru (uncollected individuals, 5 ° 55 ' 5.80 "S, 78 °0' 38.62 "W, 1238 m); north slope of Utcubamba canyon, 11.3 km WNW from Pedro Ruiz, Amazonas, Peru ( CORBIDI 10470, 5° 54 ' 50.93 "S, 78 ° 4 ' 35.20 "W, 1077 m); Quebrada Goca on Yambrasbamba road, about 1 km N from road entrance, Amazonas, Peru ( CORBIDI 10473, 5° 45 ' 50.78 "S, 77 ° 54 ' 46.52 "W, 1711 m).

Variation. We have not noted variation in this species beyond what is reported in Cisneros-Heredia et al. (2008), except that dorsal coloration ranges from light to dark green and the intensity of dorsal spotting varies among individuals. One juvenile ( CORBIDI 10470) had reduced spotting compared to adults photographed in a site nearby. Thus, intensity of spotting may exhibit ontogenetic variation.

Vocalizations. We have heard R. mcdiarmidi calling in two sites (4.7 km NW from Pedro Ruiz and Quebrada Goca, mentioned above). Unfortunately, we have been unable to obtain a recording of this species. The call sounds similar to that of R. saxiscandens (described below), consisting of a single, piercing “zip” of short duration. In the site near Pedro Ruiz, several males were observed calling from a vertical rock face of a small waterfall. In Quebrada Goca, one male was observed calling (and several others were heard) on a small branch hanging roughly 1 m above the edge of the stream. These frogs were concentrated around fast-flowing sections of the stream, but despite background noise, the call could be heard up to roughly 50 m away.

Distribution and ecology. Including the new localities mentioned above, R. mcdiarmidi is widely distributed in the Utcubamba and central Marañón drainages in Amazonas, Peru and eastern foothills of southern Ecuador at elevations between 682–1811 m. This species has not been found on the Huallaga-side of Abra Patricia in northern Peru. R. mcdiarmidi occurs in a wide variety of habitats, ranging from pristine rainforest (e.g, near Muyo) to heavily disturbed, scrubby habitats (e.g., near Cocachimba). Adults and juveniles have all been found on rocks or vegetation typically within 2 m of the water surface. Eggs and tadpoles remain unknown.

Rulyrana mcdiarmidi is sympatric with a number of species throughout its known range, including Nymphargus posadae in the southern Cordillera del Condor in Peru (Cisneros-Heredia et al. 2008), Cochranella erminea and Centrolene charapita in the Muyo site in Peru, and Espadarana cf. fernandoi in Quebrada Goca, Peru ( Fig. 27 View FIGURE 27. a, b f).

Taxonomic remarks. Some of the characters used to differentiate R. mcdiarmidi from R. saxiscandens (following our definition that considers R. tangarana as a junior synonym, see below) do not appear to be unambiguously diagnostic. For example, purple coloration in preservative is variable in R. saxiscandens , with some specimens appearing dull green or grayish lavender (see R. saxiscandens account below). On average, R. mcdiarmidi likely has a larger SVL, but the two species overlap with respect to this character (two R. mcdiarmidi males 25.4–26.9 mm, six R. saxiscandens males 22.3–26.6 mm). Ulnar folds are visible in life in some individuals of R. saxiscandens , but generally less-pronounced than in R. mcdiarmidi . Also, R. mcdiarmidi is described as having medium-sized eyes (ED/ 3 WD = 1.10–1.70), even though both male paratypes have ED/ 3 WD of 1.93, again, within the variation we observed in R. saxiscandens (ED/ 3 WD = 1.75–2.45, N = 6). However, presence of flat warts with low tubercles (which are typically lime green in life) in R. mcdiarmidi vs. skin uniformly spiculate and shagreened in R. saxiscandens may be a good diagnostic character between these two species. Nevertheless, the results from our phylogenetic analysis do not recover R. mcdiarmidi and R. saxiscandens as reciprocally monophyletic. Furthermore, nested within this clade is an individual referred to as R. flavopunctata ( Guayasamin et al. 2008) from Provincia Morona-Santiago, Ecuador ( Fig. 2 c View FIGURE 2 a View FIGURE 2 c ). Also, the genetic distances among these terminals are low (p-distances = 0.0– 0.6 %, Table 6 View TABLE 6 ). These results suggest the possibility of a single, widespread, morphologically variable species. However, our very limited sampling of R. flavopunctata ( DNA sequences retrieved from GenBank of a specimen identified by others and that we have not examined) preclude us from taking further taxonomic decisions.


Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales


Musee d'Histoire Naturelle - La Chaux-de-Fonds


Centro de Ornitologia y Biodiversidad


Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport














Rulyrana mcdiarmidi

Twomey, Evan, Delia, Jesse & Castroviejo-Fisher, Santiago 2014

Cochranella mcdiarmidi

Cisneros-Heredia, Venegas, Rada 2008
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