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New Species of Andean Water Frog Discovered in Peru

February 4, 2015



A new species of Andean water frog that hails from the Pacific slopes of the Andes Mountains in Peru has been discovered and described in the February 2 edition of Pensoft Journal.


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Telmatobius ventriflavum

Photographs by V. Vargas García (A) and A. Catenazzi (B)

Habitat of T. ventriflavum at the type locality (A) and detail of stream pool used by adults and tadpoles (B). 

The amphibian, Telmatobius ventriflavum was found during a 2012 herping expedition. It was first discovered at 3900 meters elevation in the upper drainage of the Pisco river near Huaytará, Huancavelica, Peru. Telmatobius ventriflavum  is yellowish orange in coloration with yellow spots on a greenish body and a yellow belly. Females are 52.5 mm in length, snout to vent, while males are smaller at 48.5 mm. 

The scientists conducted several surveys for the Biodiversity and Monitoring Assessment Program of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute’s Center for Conservation Education and Sustainability and it was during one of those surveys that they happened upon Telmatobius ventriflavum in the Pisco river.  

The scientists swabbed the specimens for chytrid fungus and detected the presence of the debilitating disease, but its impact on this newly described species is unknown. The scientists suggest that disease surveillance of the amphibians be conducted to prevent outbreaks.


John B. Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 

 

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