Pristimantis astralos Lehr, Lyu & Catenazzi, 2021
|Species Description: Lehr E, S Lyu, and A Catenazzi. 2021. A new, critically endangered species of Pristimantis (Amphibia: Anura: Strabomantidae) from a mining area in the Cordillera Occidental of northern Peru (Región Cajamarca). Salamandra 57: 15-26.|
Pristimantis astralos can be differentiated from other closely related species by morphology and coloration. More specifically, P. astralos has dorsolateral folds, and dark dorsal coloring like P. attenboroughi, but P. attenboroughi lack vocal slits, nuptial pads, and bumps and grooves on the body. Pristimantis ardalonychus have a dark dorsum, tympanic membrane and annulus, however it lacks the bumps and grooves present on the dorsum and has females of a smaller size. Pristimantis atrabracus have a tympanic membrane and annulus, with fringes on the extremities like P. atsralos, however males of the former species don’t have nuptial pads. Pristimantis coronatus have similar coloring on the dorsum, however the coloring on the groin is orange and red. Pristimantis vilcabambae have the same coloration on the dorsum and groin, however it doesn’t have dorsolateral folds, a tympanic membrane or annulus, vocal slits, or nuptial pads (Lehr et al. 2021).
In life, P. astralos have a black dorsal background color spotted with white on the dorsum, flanks, and dorsal limbs. The background color of the area around the groin and the anterior surfaces of the thigh is a dark charcoal, but returns to black on the posterior surfaces of the thigh. The chest and belly are light grey and dark brown with a reticulated brown line along the ventral midline. The throat is greyish purple with a pale grey tint. The palms and plantar surfaces, including the digits, are brown. The iris is dark copper and has fine black lines. In preservative, the dorsal spotting becomes creamy white, the black background coloration becomes dark charcoal. Areas that were previously dark charcoal become creamy. The colors on the chest and belly become cream and dark brown. The throat and the ventral surface of the thighs, palms, planter and digits are cream. The iris becomes pale bluish grey (Lehr et al. 2021).
There is variation in both skin morphology and coloration. The dorsal folds vary from prominent to poorly defined. The prominence of the tubercle ridges on the flanks is also variable. Some specimens have fused postrictal tubercles while others have two distinct postrictal tubercles. Coloring ranges from dark black to dark brown. The groin area is speckled in some specimens and solid white in others (Lehr et al. 2021).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Peru
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Other herpetofauna found in the area included Pristimantis chimu, P. pinguis, P. simonsii, and a lizard, Stenocercus stigmosus, which all also used P. fastuosa for refuge (Lehr et al. 2021).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Based on Maximum Likelihood analysis of 16S rRNA, P. astralos is most closely related to the P. simonsii. However, this relationship, along with the relationship with many other related species, is not strongly supported (Lehr et al. 2021).
The species epithet, “astralos” comes from Greek, meaning “spotted with stars” It was given this name because of the speckled white blotches on its back that appear like stars against its solid black body (Lehr et al. 2021).
Lehr, E., Lyu, S., Catenazzi, A. (2021). "A new, critically endangered species of Pristimantis (Amphibia: Anura: Strabomantidae) from a mining area in the Cordillera Occidental of northern Peru (Región Cajamarca)." Salamandra, 57, 15-26. [link]
Originally submitted by: Beth Ruthford (2023-01-12)
Description by: Beth Ruthford, Ann T. Chang (updated 2023-01-12)
Distribution by: Beth Ruthford (updated 2023-01-12)
Life history by: Beth Ruthford (updated 2023-01-12)
Trends and threats by: Beth Ruthford (updated 2023-01-12)
Comments by: Beth Ruthford (updated 2023-01-12)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-01-12)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Pristimantis astralos <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/9325> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 4, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 4 Jun 2023.
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