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Two new charismatic Pristimantis species (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the tepuis of the "Lost World" (Pantepui region, South America)

Author(s): Philippe J.R. Kok

Journal: European Journal of Taxonomy
ISSN 2118-9773

Issue: 60;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Anura | Guiana Shield | systematics | taxonomy | Terrarana

Two new colourful species of direct-developing frogs of the genus Pristimantis are described from the summit of two isolated tepuis (sandstone table mountains) in the Eastern Pantepui District of the Guiana Shield highlands. Pristimantis jamescameroni sp. nov. is described from the summit of Aprada-tepui from 2557-2571 m elevation, and P. imthurni sp. nov. is described from the summit of Ptari-tepui at 2471 m elevation. Both species share the absence of a differentiated tympanic membrane and external tympanic annulus (but presence of tiny pharyngeal ostia), the presence of nuptial pads in males, and the presence of lateral fringes on fingers and toes, a combination of characters that immediately distinguishes them from all other known Pantepui congeners. The two new species are morphologically similar to each other and are phylogenetically closely related, but they can be distinguished based on colour pattern and morphological characters such as head proportions, dorsal skin texture, and condition of the supratympanic fold. The IUCN conservation status of the new species is considered as Endangered (EN) owing to their apparent very restricted ranges. The number of described Pristimantis species occurring exclusively on tepui (and faunistically related granitic mountains) summits and upper slopes now reaches eleven.
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