Myers' Surinam Toad
Pipa myersi is differentiated from sister species Pipa parva by having a denser collection of dorsal tubercles, a more rounded triangular shape of the snout and mandible, trifurcated digits, the absence of tubercles on the feet, lack of modification to skin around the mouth, ribs attached to transverse processes in adults, free-swimming, barbel-free, aquatic larvae, and lack of free, vestigial transverse processes for the coccyx (Trueb 1984).
In life, the dorsum is a dark grayish black and the venter is a grayish yellow. The irises appear pale bronze with brown-black speckling. Newly metamorphosed individuals were observed with a dark gray color with a silvery white peritoneum. When preserved, the dorsum appears reddish to gray-brown with dark brown spotting on hands and limbs. The venter is gray with red-brown spots on pectoral and gular areas concentrated about the mandible (Trueb 1984).
No variation in color has yet been documented. Some individuals were found to have six imbricate, presacral vertebrae while others were found to have seven (Trueb 1984).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia, Panama
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Tadpoles were often observed to be swimming near the surface of vernal pools at night as opposed to daytime, according to Myers’ field notes (Trueb 1984).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Based upon character-states among Pipiod frogs, Pipa myersi is a sister species to P. parva with the next closest relative being Pipa arrabali within the Pipa clade and genus Hymenochirus (Cannatella and Treub 1988).
The species epithet refers coincidentally to both the preferred habitat of the species, derived from the Old Norse ‘myrr’ meaning bog, swamp, or deep mud and Charles W. Myers, who collected the first known series of adults of the species. Myers’ name itself is derived from the French “myre”, meaning "keeper of the swamp" (Trueb 1984).
Cannatella, D.C. and Trueb, L. (1988). ''Evolution of pipoid frogs: intergeneric relationships of the aquatic frog family Pipidae (Anura).'' Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 94, 1-38.
Duellman, W. E. and Neil Schlager. 2003. Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. Volume 6, Amphibians n.p.: Gale, 2003. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
Solís, F., Roberto Ibáñez, César Jaramillo, Querube Fuenmayor, Manfred Beier 2010. Pipa myersi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
Trueb, L. 1984. Description of a new species of Pipa (Anura: Pipidae) from Panama. Herpetologica 40(3): 225-234.
Written by Monica Ramirez (mdramirez AT utexas.edu), The University of Texas at Austin
First submitted 2013-07-12
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2013-07-22)
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