A new species of Craugastor (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the montane rainforest of the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica
A new species of Craugastor (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the montane rainforest of the Cordillera de Talamanca, Costa Rica. A new dirt frog of the Craugastor podiciferus Species Group is described from Costa Rica; it is restricted to elevations between 2330 and 2700 m a.s.l. in the montane rainforest of the Cordillera de Talamanca. Analysis of DNA sequences of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA (16S) and cytochrome oxidase I (COI) genes reveals a distinct lineage within the C. podiciferus Species Group. Additional morphological and morphometric analyses support the distinctiveness of this lineage that is described as a new species herein. The species is distinguished from other members of the C. podiciferus Species Group by its unique coloration: a violet-brown to blackish brown venter with white pigment forming blotches, and dark brown palmar surfaces with prominent white folds between subarticular tubercles in the adults. The genetic divergence of the species from other members of the C. podiciferus Species Group is signifcant (higher than 9.2% in 16S and 13.3% in COI). Although not closely related, it resembles C. podiciferus morphologically, a species that also inhabits montane rainforest. The discovery of this new species highlights the importance of montane rainforest as a center of species richness and endemism.
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