Species Description: Duellman WE, Catenazzi A, Blackburn DC 2011 A new species of marsupial frog (Anura: Hemiphractidae: Gastrotheca) from the Andes of southern Peru. Zootaxa 3095: 1-14.
© 2013 Alessandro Catenazzi (1 of 3)
G. nebulanastes is placed in the genus Gastrotheca because of its unique feature of a closed brood pouch on the dorsum of females. It is similar to G. excubitor but can be distinguished from other closely related members by its longer second finger than first, frequency call range between 1653-1730 Hz, bluntly rounded snout in dorsal view, coarsely granular skin, and absence of stripes (Duellman et al. 2011).
In life, dorsal surfaces present dull green with dark brown to black markings. The flanks are colored like dorsum except with orange-brown suffusion. The hidden surfaces of limbs are orange-brown. Ventral surfaces appear metallic tan (Duellman et al. 2011).
In preservation, dorsal surfaces exhibit pale brown with darker brown markings. The flanks are creamy tan with three large dark brown to black vertical marks. The anterior surfaces of thighs appear tan with dark brown transverse bars extending over dorsal surfaces while the posterior surfaces are dark brown (Duellman et al. 2011).
Males are slightly larger than females. The skin on dorsum is variously granular. The dorsal coloration varies from being beige to dark brown, gray or green with numerous green flecks and a darker pattern of two continuous or interrupted longitudinal marks connected to the interorbital bar. In some individuals the darker pattern is most visible and green flecks are overshadowed by the background dorsal coloration, whereas in other individuals the green flecks are predominant and cover the darker longitudinal marks. The dorsal coloration extends onto the dorsal surfaces of digits and limbs, with transverse bars on thighs barely noticeable in some individuals and presenting a distinct contrast in other individuals. In juveniles the dorsal surface is brown with bronze tones, and green or bluish green flecks are predominant over the darker longitudinal markings; the throat and chest are yellow or cream, whereas the ventral surfaces of abdomen and limbs are vermillion (Duellman et al. 2011).
Distribution and Habitat
G. nebulanastes inhabits, the montane scrub, ridges of steep slopes covered with Andean alder, shrubs, and abundance of terrestrial mosses, lycophites, and lichens. It is sympatric with G. antoniiochoai and parapatric with G. excubitor and G. marsupiata (Duellman et al. 2011).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis causes an infectious disease to amphibians known as chytridiomycosis, which affects the superficial, keratin-containing layers of amphibian skin (Berger et al. 1998). As the infection advances, the skin becomes much thicker and sloughs off (Berger et al. 1998). Consequently, osmoregulation is compromised and electrolyte blood levels drop, leading to death from cardiac arrest (Voyles et al. 2009). Infection intensity appears to be a key factor in facilitating death (Vredenburg et al. 2010). However, in many frog species, even low levels of initial infection can lead to death (Skerratt et al. 2007).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
According to phylogenetic analysis of 16S mitochondrial genes, this species is the sister taxon to G. atympana, a species from farther north in the Cordillera Oriental in Peru (Duellman et al. 2011).
Berger, L., Speare, R., Daszak, P., Green, D. E., Cunningham, A. A., Goggin, C. L., Slocombe, R., Ragan, M. A., Hyatt, A. D., McDonald, K. R., Hines, H. B., Lips, K. R., Marantelli, G., and Parkes, H. (1998). "Chytridiomycosis causes amphibian mortality associated with population declines in the rain forests of Australia and Central America." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 95(15), 9031-9036.
Catenazzi, A., Lehr, E., Rodríguez, L. O., and Vredenburg, V. T. (2011). ''Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the collapse of montane anuran communities in the upper Manu National Park, southeastern Peru.'' Conservation Biology, 25, 382-391.
Duellman, W. E., Catenazzi, A., and Blackburn, D. C. (2011). ''A new species of marsupial frog (Anura: Hemiphractidae: Gastrotheca) from the Andes of southern Peru.'' Zootaxa, 3095, 1-14.
Skerratt, L. F., Berger, L., Speare, R., Cashins, S., McDonald, K. R., Phillott, A. D., Hines, H. B., and Kenyon, N. (2007). ''Spread of chytridiomycosis has caused the rapid global decline and extinction of frogs.'' EcoHealth, 4, 125-134.
Voyles, J., Young, S., Berger, L., Campbell, C., Voyles, W. F., Dinudom, A., Cook, D., Webb, R., Alford, R. A., Skerratt, L. F., and Speare, R. (2009). ''Pathogenesis of chytridiomycosis, a cause of catastrophic amphibian declines.'' Science, 326, 582-585.
Vredenburg, V. T., Knapp, R. A., Tunstall, T. S., and Briggs, C. J. (2010). ''Dynamics of an emerging disease drive large-scale amphibian population extinctions.'' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(21), 9689-9694.
Written by David Wong (davidwong8442 AT berkeley.edu), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2012-11-30
Edited by Michelle S. Koo (2013-01-29)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2013 Gastrotheca nebulanastes <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/7735> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 30, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 30 Apr 2017.
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