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A new species of Atelopus (Anura: Bufonidae) from southern Peru

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Abstract

We describe a new harlequin frog (genus Atelopus) from the cloud forest near Anchihuay (Anco District, Ayacucho Department) from 2000 to 2150 m elevation in southern Peru, representing the first record for the genus in the Department of Ayacucho. The new species has a maximum snout-vent length of 21.5 mm in females and 21.6 mm in males, and resembles A. erythropus in general appearance, small size, and dorsal coloration. The new species can be distinguished from A. erythropus by its unique pattern of ventral coloration, dorsal skin texture, and snout shape. We detected the presence of the pathogenic fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in individuals of the new species. This pathogen is threatening the survival of harlequin frogs throughout the Neotropics. In addition to chytridiomycosis, habitat loss further threatens the single locality where the new species is known to occur. Resumen Describimos una nueva especie de Atelopus del bosque nublado de la localidad de Anchihuay (Distrito de Anco, Departamento de Ayacucho) en elevaciones entre 2000 y 2150 msnm en el sur del Perú, la cual representa el primer registro del género para el Departamento de Ayacucho. La nueva especie tiene un tamaño de hocico-cloaca máximo de 21.5 mm en hembras y de 21.6 mm en machos y se parece a A. erythropus en su aspecto general, pequeño tamaño, y coloración dorsal; sin embargo, puede ser distinguida por su patrón de coloración ventral único, la textura dorsal de su piel y por la forma del hocico. Detectamos la presencia del hongo patógeno Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis en individuos de la nueva especie. Este patógeno es reconocido como una amenaza importante para la supervivencia de las ranas arlequines. Además de la quitridiomicosis, la pérdida de hábitat amenaza aún más la única localidad conocida para la nueva especie.

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