Species Description: Diaz LM, Hedges SB 2015 Another new cryptic frog related to Eleutherodactylus varleyi Dunn (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae), from eastern Cuba. Solenodon 12: 124-135.
Eleutherodactylus beguei has a less robust body, a smaller head, a different ventral patterning, and a more conspicuous, swollen, subtriangular musculus submentalis then E. intermedius and E. tetajulia. Eleutherodactylus beguei is most similar to E. feichtingeri and E. varleyi. All have small body sizes, pale bellies and ventral surfaces of the legs, a partially areolated venter, enlarged tubercles forming dorsolateral rows, black stripes crossing the supratympanic fold that surround a lighter glandular area, small discs on their digits, and accentuated polychromatism. However, they also have several features that distinguish them. One feature that distinguishes E. beguei from both species is the former’s head is as wide as it is long. More specifically, from E. feichtingeri the focal species can be differentiated by being smaller, having a larger tympanum, having a reduced vocal sac when its inflated, and having vocalizations of one-note chirps. From E. varleyi, the focal species can be distinguished by having a smaller spacing between their vomerine odontophores and their snout, having a vocal sac that is small during calling and doesn’t fold over the gular region when deflated, and having a one-note advertisement call (Díaz and Hedges 2015).
In life, the overall coloration varies from grayish brown to reddish brown and some with a greenish hue. The majority of the population contains marbling or vermiculation pattern on their head, dorsum, and hind leg. Typically, a dark area is visible on the sacral and supra scapular. The groin is yellow, the forearms have a yellowish tone, and the inguinal gland is yellow. Some are lined with a cream to orange dorsolateral stripe. One specimen has a pair of wide pale paravertebral stripes. Above the tympanic membrane is a black stripe, which has a strong contrast against the paler tone beneath; this makes the black more evident. They have two dark patches above the suprainguinal. The legs possess bands that are either barely visible or fragmented. In alcohol, all background coloration becomes gray to gray-brown. While the overall pattern remains, the yellow, green, and red pigments are lost (Díaz and Hedges 2015).
Individuals can vary in pattern and coloration. Additionally, the supraxillary, postfemoral, and inguinal glands vary in their distinctiveness. Sexual dimorphism cannot be determined because of low female sample sizes, but the lone female specimen was larger than the male range (Díaz and Hedges 2015).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The advertisement call of E. beguei is most commonly a one-note call that is similar to the sound of a chirp. Yet, they have been known to produce two, three, and four note calls. The one-note call’s frequency resembles that of an inverted V, increasing then sharply decreasing. Each call is produced at a low rate and last roughly 19 - 26 milliseconds and has a frequency of 3.2 - 5.1 kHz. The highest amplitude of the call occurs around the middle. The duration between calls usually last 12.7 - 21.1 seconds. In the two-note call the first note last 22 - 28 milliseconds while the second last 19 - 30 milliseconds. This call has a frequency of 3.5 - 4.4 kHz and also follows the inverted V-shape. The frequency has the inverted V-shaped pattern as well and produces 2.9 kHz. The female call is similar to males but with two well-defined harmonics at 5.9 and 8.9 kHz (Díaz and Hedges 2015).
The single female specimen and male to whom she was reciprocally calling to were placed in a container together and found in axillary amplexus five hours later surrounded by nine ivory white eggs with diameters of 3.5 – 3.7 mm. An additional yolk filled egg was found inside the female (Díaz and Hedges 2015).
At 9 – 10 eggs, the clutch size of E. beguei is the largest known of its species group. The clutch size for E. varleyi and E. adelus is three to four eggs and clutch sizes for E. intermedius and E. tetajulia is five to six eggs (Díaz and Hedges 2015). It is unknown as to whether or not the male or female species participate in any means of parental care.
Based on maximum likelihood analysis of ~800 base pairs of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome B, E. beguei appears to be sister to the clade formed by E. feichtingeri and E. varleyi. However, this relationship is not highly supported (Días and Hedges 2015) and requires more investigation.
Eleutherodactylus beguei was the sixth species to be described in the E. gundlachi group. However, because of recent evidence indicating E. gundlachi belongs to the E. luteotus group, a new group, the E. varleyi group, has been proposed to include E. beguei, E. feichtingeri, E. intermedius, E. tetajulia, and E. varleyi (Días and Hedges 2015).
The species epithet, "beguei" is in honor of Gerardo Begué Quiala, a collaborator of the authors of the species description and a specialists on the biodiversity at Humboldt National Park (Días and Hedges 2015).
Díaz, L.M., Hedges, S.B. (2015). ''Another new cryptic frog related to Eleutherodactylus varleyi Dunn (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae), from eastern Cuba.'' Solenodon, 12, 124-135.
Originally submitted by: Laura Casals (first posted 2018-03-21)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2018-03-27)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2018 Eleutherodactylus beguei <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/8343> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 18, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 18 May 2021.
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