The herpetofauna of southern Ecuador has been poorly
studied, many areas remain unexplored and several
species unreported or undescribed (Cisneros-Heredia
and McDiarmid, 2006; Lehr and Coloma, 2008). Recent
expeditions conducted by the Departamento de Zoología
of the Universidad Nacional de Loja—LOUNAZ in
the eastern Andean slopes of the province of Zamora-
Chinchipe resulted in the collection of novel species
for the country. Herein, we are glad to present the rst
record of Pristimantis metabates from Ecuador and a
distribution extension for Pristimantis skydmainos.
All specimens were collected at the Centro de Estudios
y Desarrollo para la Amazonía (CEDAMAZ), a reserve
managed by Universidad Nacional de Loja. It is located
at the region of “El Padmi”, ca. 68 km from the city of
Zamora and 128 km from the city of Loja (by road that
leads to Gualaquiza), province of Zamora-Chinchipe,
Republic of Ecuador (03.733° S, -78.6° W, 775–1150 m
a.s.l.). CEDAMAZ protects 103.5 hectares of Lowland
and Foothill Evergreen forests (Fig. 1) with a mean
annual precipitation of about 2000 mm. All specimens
are deposited in the herpetological collection of the
Departamento de Zoología, Universidad Nacional de
Loja (LOUNAZ), province of Loja, Ecuador.
Pristimantis metabates (Duellman and Pramuk) was
recently described based on two specimens collected at
the River Marañon Valley, department of Amazonas,
Peru (Duellman and Pramuk, 1999). Six specimens of
P. metabates were collected at CEDAMAZ at elevations
Herpetology Notes, volume 2: 185-188 (2009) (published online on 29 October 2009)
First country record of Pristimantis metabates
(Duellman and Pramuk) and distribution extension of
Pristimantis skydmainos (Flores and Rodríguez) in eastern Ecuador
(Amphibia, Anura, Strabomantidae)
Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia1,2 *, Diego Armijos-Ojeda2, Katiusca Valarezo2
1 Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Colegio de Ciencias
Biológicas & Ambientales, Campus Cumbayá, calle Diego
de Robles y Vía Interocéanica, edif. Darwin, DW-010A,
Casilla Postal 17-1200-841, Quito, Ecuador;
2 Universidad Nacional de Loja, Departamento de Zoolo-
gía—LOUNAZ, Ciudadela Universitaria “Guillermo Falconí
Espinosa” Loja, Ecuador;
* Corresponding author
Abstract. We report the rst country record of Pristimantis metabates (Duellman and Pramuk) from Ecuador (previously known
just from its type-locality in north-eastern Peru) and the second known Ecuadorian locality of Pristimantis skydmainos (Flores
and Rodríguez) based on voucher specimens collected on Lowland Evergreen Amazonian forests of the province of Zamora-
Chinchipe, south-eastern Ecuador.
Keywords. Strabomantidae, Pristimantis metabates, Pristimantis skydmainos, geographic range, Ecuador.
Figure 1. Riverine habitat at the Centro de Estudios y
Desarrollo para la Amazonía (CEDAMAZ), Universidad
Nacional de Loja, province of Zamora-Chinchipe, Republic
Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia et al.
between 815 and 860 m a.s.l. Specimen LOUNAZ-
PAD022 was collected on 17 April 2009; LOUNAZ-
PAD036, PAD038, and PAD039 on 05 May 2009; and
LOUNAZ-PAD050–51 on 08 May 2009 (Fig. 2). This
new locality (Fig. 3) is the second known for the species
(formerly known just from its type locality in Peru), the
rst record for Ecuador, and an extension of ca. 489
km NW from the type locality (Duellman and Pramuk,
The type locality of Pristimantis metabates was
reported as being covered by Thorn forests, but the
Ecuadorian locality herein reported is covered by
Foothill Evergreen forests. Pristimantis ockendeni
sensu lato and P. percnopterus are also known from
xeric forests nearby the type locality of P. metabates
and from evergreen or montane forests towards the
north (Duellman and Pramuk, 1999). The specimens of
Pristimantis metabates discovered by us were collected
at night under stones or dead logs on sandy point bars
of streams inside ravines. They were excellent rapid-
swimmers, usually jumping into the water after being
disturbed. Similar behaviour has been observed in
Pristimantis malkini (D.F. Cisneros-Heredia, pers.
obs.); a species sharing with P. metabates the presence
Figure 2. Pristimantis metabates (LOUNAZ-PAD022) from the Centro de Estudios y Desarrollo para la Amazonía (CEDAMAZ),
Universidad Nacional de Loja, province of Zamora-Chinchipe, Republic of Ecuador.
Figure 3. Map of Ecuador showing the location of the new
locality of Pristimantis metabates and P. skydmainos herein
reported: Centro de Estudios y Desarrollo para la Amazonía
(CEDAMAZ), province of Zamora-Chinchipe, Republic of
Ecuador (black dot).
Record of P. metabates and distribution of P. skydmainos in eastern Ecuador 187
of webbing among the toes, thus suggesting that these
two species are probably semi-aquatic. All specimens
exhibit all diagnostic features of P. metabates, including
the presence of basal webbing, a tubercular dorsum
lacking a n-like mid-dorsal tubercle, snout rounded in
dorsal and lateral views, inner edge of tarsus bearing a
distinct fold distally, dorsum brown with dark X-mark,
and posterior surfaces of thighs brown with small cream
ecks. In addition, we found the presence of one axilar
and one inguinal large wart on each side, not mentioned
on the original description and present on all specimens.
The original description of this species was based on
males only, and no females have been reported so far.
Two females discovered by us (LOUNAZ-PAD022
and PAD051) are chromatic and structurally similar to
males, but differ by the absence of nuptial pads and by
larger sizes (snout-vent length: 48.1 and 51.4 mm vs.
28.4–31.4 mm in males).
Pristimantis skydmainos (Flores and Rodríguez) has
been reported at several localities on the Amazonian
lowlands and Andean foothills of Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia,
and Brazil (Flores and Rodríguez, 1997; Padial et al.,
2004; Rodríguez et al., 2004; Padial and De la Riva,
2005; Cisneros-Heredia, 2006). Seven specimens of P.
skydmainos were collected at CEDAMAZ at elevations
between 740 and 950 m. Specimens LOUNAZ-
PAD007, PAD010, and PAD015–16 were collected on
14–15 April 2009, and LOUNAZ-PAD068, PAD077,
and PAD080 on 09–10 May 2009 (Fig. 4). This new
locality (Fig. 3) corresponds to the second known for
the species in Ecuador (previously known from just
one locality on the Amazonian lowlands—Tiputini
Biodiversity Station, province of Orellana; Cisneros-
Heredia 2006), it represents a range extension of ca.
418 km SW-ward from the previous known Ecuadorian
locality, and lls the gap between the Amazonian
Ecuadorian populations and the northern Peruvian
Most specimens of P. skydmainos were collected at
night, active on leaves of bushes at a ravine or inside
the forest, and on the leaf litter of the forest and
grasslands. One specimen was collected by day hidden
amidst leaf litter. All specimens exhibit all diagnostic
features of P. skydmainos, including the granular skin
texture of posterior and lateral margins of the belly, a
n-like middorsal tubercle on a bold black spot, a pair
of dorsolateral ridges, and an interocular fold (low in
most specimens). Three female specimens have snout-
vent lengths of 31.9–43.6 mm, and males of 24.6–29.8
Figure 4. Pristimantis skydmainos (LOUNAZ-PAD077) from the Centro de Estudios y Desarrollo para la Amazonía
(CEDAMAZ), Universidad Nacional de Loja, province of Zamora-Chinchipe, Republic of Ecuador.
Diego F. Cisneros-Heredia et al.
Acknowledgments. We are thankful to the staff of CEDAMAZ
and LOUNAZ, both part of Universidad Nacional de Loja, for
their continuous nancial and institutional support to carry
on this work. We are grateful to Universidad San Francisco
de Quito for institutional and laboratory assistance; to Max
González, Ma. Elena Heredia, and Laura Heredia for their
constant help; and to Andrea Patiño, Jackson Romero, and
Lissett Carrión for their assistance in the eld and laboratory.
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Accepted by Angelica Crottini; Managing Editor: Dennis Rödder