Species Description: Lehr E, Oroz A 2012 Two new species of Phrynopus (Anura: Strabomantidae) from the Cordillera de Carpish in central Peru (Departamento de Huanuco). Zootaxa 3512: 53-63.
The most distinguishing features of Phrynopus vestigiatus are the dark brown X- and Y-shaped dorsal ridges formed by large tubercles, the prominent undulated dorsolateral folds, and the distinct red blotches in the groin, resembling a footprint. Three other Phrynopus species are known in the Cordilla de Carpish: P. dagmarae, P. horstpauli and P. interstinctus. Phrynopus dagmarae lacks the dorsal X- and Y-shaped ridges that are present in P. vestigiatus. Phrynopus horstpauli females are much larger than P. vestigiatus females, and the venter is pale grey, with grey/brown blotches. Phrynopus interstinctus has continuous dorsolateral folds, a dorsum lacking ridges, and the venter is black with white blotches; P. vestigiatus has undulated dorsolateral folds and dorsal ridges. Phrynopus vestigiatus shares red, orange, or flesh colored blotches in the groin with seven other Phrynopus species: P. bracki, P. dagmarae, P. heimorum, P. interstinctus, P. nicoleae, P. paucari and P. peruanus, but P. vestigiatus is distinguished from these species by the dorsal X- and Y-shaped ridges, which are not present in any of these species (Lehr and Oroz 2012).
In life, the P. vestigiatus holotype was creamy brown on the dorsal surface, with dark brown specks. The dorsal X- and Y-shaped ridges were dark brown. The dorsal surfaces of the limbs were dark brown. The ventral skin of the back legs are darkened. The groin was dark brown with four distinct red blotches, one larger red blotch below three smaller ones, resembling a track or footprint. The ventral surfaces (throat, chest, stomach) were dark brown with white flecks (Lehr and Oroz 2012).
In preservative, the regions that had creamy brown and red coloring in life were white. Concealed ventral surfaces were dark brown with white blotches (Lehr and Oroz 2012).
Variation in the species is not reported, as the species is described based on a single female specimen (Lehr and Oroz 2012). However, seven more individuals were collected between 2014 - 2015 (IUCN 2020).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Most Phrynopus frog species live in moss or leaf litter on the forest floor, making them difficult to find (Lehr and Oroz 2012).
Much of the life history of P. vestigiatus remains unknown despite the holotype female specimen being gravid when collected (Lehr and Oroz 2012). However, based on the genus' characters, P. vestigiatus is assume to be a terrestrial-breeder (von May et al. 2018).
The species is earless and assumed to have no vocalizations. Their communication mechanism is unknown (von May et al. 2018).
Phrynopus vestigiatus shares its range with P. dagmarae, Cochranella sp., and Rhinella chavin (Lehr and Oroz 2012).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Based on Bayesian Inference on 16S, 12S, COI, RAG1, Tyr genes, P. vestigiatus is most closely related to P. interstinctus. The next most closely related species is P. tribulosus (von May et al. 2018).
The majority of Phrynopus frogs lack the tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus, including P. vestigiatus. The loss of hearing structures and advertisement calls is common in high elevation south American terrestrial breeding frogs (von May et al. 2018).
The species epithet, “vestigiatus” is derived from the Latin noun “vestigium”, meaning “footprint” or “track”. This is reference to the coloration found near the groin of the animal that resembles a red footprint (Lehr and Oroz 2012).
Duellman, W. E. (2000). ''Leptodactylid frogs of the genus Phrynopus in northern Peru with descriptions of three new species.'' Herpetologica, 56(3), 273-285.
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. 2020. "Phrynopus vestigiatus (amended version of 2017 assessment)." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T78535863A176944953. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T78535863A176944953.en. Downloaded on 15 June 2021.
Lehr, E., Oroz, A. (2012). “Two new species of Phrynopus (Anura: Strabomantidae) from the Cordillera de Carpish in central Peru (Departamento de Huanuco).” Zootaxa, 3512(1): 59-62. [link]
von May, R., Lehr, E., Rabosky, D. L. (2018). “Evolutionary radiation of earless frogs in the Andes: molecular phylogenetics and habitat shifts in high-elevation terrestrial breeding frogs.” PeerJ 6:e4313 [link]
Originally submitted by: Dulce Garcia, Jacob Paskell, Trinity Burnham-Pohlmann (2021-06-14)
Description by: Dulce Garcia, Jacob Paskell, Trinity Burnham-Pohlmann, Ann T. Chang (updated 2021-06-14)
Distribution by: Dulce Garcia, Jacob Paskell, Trinity Burnham-Pohlmann, Ann T. Chang (updated 2021-06-14)
Life history by: Dulce Garcia, Jacob Paskell, Trinity Burnham-Pohlmann (updated 2021-06-14)
Trends and threats by: Dulce Garcia, Jacob Paskell, Trinity Burnham-Pohlmann, Ann T. Chang (updated 2021-06-14)
Comments by: Dulce Garcia, Jacob Paskell, Trinity Burnham-Pohlmann (updated 2021-06-14)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2021-06-14)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Phrynopus vestigiatus <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/7918> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 27, 2021.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2021. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 27 Oct 2021.
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