Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Eleutherodactylus beguei: A new species of Grass Frog from Guantánamo Province in southeast Cuba.

Small Grass Frogs are found across Cuba. Until 2012 these were all placed within a single species, Eleutherodactylus varleyi, but it was subsequently shown that many populations across the southeast of the island belonged to a second, cryptic species, Eleutherodactylus feichtingeri, which resembles Eleutherodactylus varleyi in appearance but which has a different call, and which subsequently shown to be genetically distinctive. Such cryptic species have profound implications for conservation, as apparent healthy species, with large populations and wide distributions can be shown to be groups of less widely distributed species, each with smaller, localized populations and different conservation needs.

In a paper published in the journal Solenodon in February 2015, Luis Díaz of the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de Cuba and Blair Hedges of the Department of Biology at Pennsylvania State University describe a new species of Grass Frog from Pine Forests in the Humboldt National Park in Guantánamo Province in southeast Cuba.

The new species is named Eleutherodactylus beguei, in honour of Gerardo Begué Quiala, an expert on the biodiversity of the Humboldt National Park. As with Eleutherodactylus feichtingeri this species was initially detected due to its distinctive call, then demonstrated to be a separate species by genetic analysis. Eleutherodactylus beguei is smaller than the two previously described species with males reaching only 12.3-14.2 mm in length, compared to a maximum of 17.4 mm for Eleutherodactylus feichtingeri and a maximum of 18.5 mm for Eleutherodactylus varleyi. Only a singe female Eleutherodactylus beguei, was discovered, this was 15.2 mm in length, and mated with one of the males and produced a clutch of 10 ivory white eggs, 3.5-3.7 mm in diameter. Surprisingly this is a larger clutch size than recorded in either of the other two Grass Frog species, despite the smaller size of the adults, with 3-4 eggs more typical. The female also called prior to laying her eggs, which is unusual in Frogs, but which has been recorded in members of the genus Eleutherodactylus before.

Eleutherodactylus beguei, male specimen perching on horizontal leaf from which it was calling. Díaz and Hedges (2015).

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/cryptic-diversity-in-west-african.htmlCryptic diversity in West African Torrent Frogs.                                                                           The West African Torrent Frog, Odontobatrachus natator, is found in fast moving streams and waterways in the forests of Guinea, Sierra Leone Liberia, and western Côte d’Ivoire, part of the Upper Guinean...
Robber Frogs of the genus Eleutherodactylus are found from Texas to Guatemala and Belize and across the islands of the Caribbean. The genus was formerly the most specious of any genus of Vertebrate Animals (i.e. it contained more species than any other Vertebrate...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/the-enigmatic-pleistocene-amphibians-of.htmlThe enigmatic Pleistocene Amphibians of Okinawa Island.                                              In the late 1960s and early 1970s a series of anthropological excavations were carried out at Minatogawa Fissure on southern Okinawa Island, producing a number of Late Pleistocene Human...
Follow Sciency Thoughts on Facebook.

No comments:

Post a Comment