Species Description: Castroviejo-Fisher S, Perez-Pena PE, Padial JM, Guaysamin JM 2012 A second species of the family Allophyrnidae (Amphibia: Anura). Amer Mus Novitates 3739:1-17.
The main distinguishing feature between Allophryne resplendens, and Allophryne ruthveni, the only other known species in the family Allophrynidae, is its color pattern. The dorsolateral surface of A. resplendens is black and displays large, bright and glossy spots formed by the accumulation of iridophores, most of which also contain irregular yellow blotches forming its striking appearance. In contrast, the dorsolateral surface of A. ruthveni varies in color from cream to light brown, and the aforementioned spots are absent. The ventral surface of A. resplendens is black and opaque, and also has spots formed by the accumulation of iridophores, except on the palmar and plantar surfaces. The ventral surface of A. ruthveni is unpigmented and translucent, and the spots are absent, or if present, are limited to a few off-white spots on the throat/chest, and also on the distal part of the legs (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012).
In life, the dorsolateral surface has washed black reticulum while the ventral surface is black and opaque. The accumulation of iridophores results in large, bright, glossy spots on the dorsolateral surface, most of which contain blotchy, yellow patches. On the ventral surface, these spots are less bright, and have brown spicules rising up from them. They can vary in shape from oval to pentagonal, and are not found on the palmar and plantar surfaces. There is sexual dimorphism in color patterns, as the females have fewer spicules and more ventral spots than males. The iris is dark bronze with dark reticulations. The pupillary ring is absent, and the pupil is black. In preservative, the dorsolateral surface has large white spots due to iridophore accumulation, and the yellow irregular blotches are absent. These spots are set in a dark brown reticulum, which shows smaller and less bright oval to pentagonal-shaped iridophore accumulations with brown spicules. The ventral surface is dark brown with large, bright and glossy spots due to iridophore accumulation except in the palmar and plantar surfaces. In preservative, the iris is brown and the pupil is white (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Attempts to locate individuals of this species have largely been in vain. Rodriguez and Knell only found one specimen in 200 hours of searching (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012), and William Lamar, who has visited the Quebedra Hungurahui locality in different months over the past 10 years, has been unable to find any specimens (pers. comm. in Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012). The great difficulty in finding members of this species may reflect very low densities, at least in the lower strata of the forest outside the breeding season (the sister species is an explosive breeder).
The phylogenetic relationships of A. ruthveni have been puzzling, as it was the only species identified within the family Allophrynidae until the discovery of A. resplendens. A combination of characteristics has been identified that has been proposed to be diagnostic of this family. Since only one specimen of A. resplendens has been examined, only some of these characteristics have been compared in the two species (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012).
Castroviejo-Fisher, S., Pérez-Peña, P.E., Padial, J.M., and Guayasamin, J.M. (2012). ''A second species of the family Allophrynidae (Amphibia: Anura).'' American Museum Novitates, (3739), 1-17.
Written by Aditi Dubey (aditid26 AT gmail.com), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2012-10-26
Edited by Michelle S. Koo (2012-10-28)
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