Psychrophrynella glauca sp. n., a new species of terrestrial-breeding frogs (Amphibia, Anura, Strabomantidae) from the montane forests of the Amazonian Andes of Puno, Peru

PeerJ. 2018 Feb 27;6:e4444. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4444. eCollection 2018.


We describe a new species of small strabomantid frog (genus Psychrophrynella) from a humid montane forest in the Peruvian Department of Puno. Specimens were collected at 2,225 m a.s.l. in the leaf litter of primary montane forest near Thiuni, along the Macusani-San Gabán road, in the province of Carabaya. The new species is assigned to Psychrophrynella on the basis of morphological similarity, including presence of a tubercle on the inner edge of the tarsus, and call composed of multiple notes. We also include genetic distances for 16S rRNA partial sequences between the new species and other strabomantid frogs. The species with lowest genetic distances are Psychrophrynella chirihampatu and Psychrophrynella usurpator. Psychrophrynella glauca sp. n. is readily distinguished from the three other species of Psychrophrynella (Psychrophrynella bagrecito, P. chirihampatu, and P. usurpator) by its small size, and by having belly and ventral surfaces of legs reddish-brown or red, and chest and throat brown to dark brown with a profusion of bluish-gray flecks. The new species is only known from its type locality. With the discovery of P. glauca, the geographic distribution of Psychrophrynella is extended to the Department of Puno, where it was no longer represented after the description of the genus Microkayla. Furthermore, the Cordillera de Carabaya is the only mountain range known to be home to four of the seven genera of Holoadeninae (Bryophryne, Microkayla, Noblella, and Psychrophrynella), suggesting an intriguing evolutionary history for this group in southern Peru.

Keywords: 16S rRNA; Bioacoustics; Carabaya; Cloud forest; Frog; Holoadeninae; Leaf litter amphibian; Ollachea; Taxonomy; Terrarana.

Grant support

This work was supported by grants from The Eppley Foundation, Wildlife Acoustics, and the Chicago Board of Trade Endangered Species Fund. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.