A new tree frog species, Dendropsophus bromeliaceus, spends its tadpole stage in pooled water that collects in bromeliad plants in the Brazilian Atlantic forest, according to a study published December 9, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Rodrigo Ferreira from the Utah State University and Universidade Vila Velha and colleagues.
Scientists compared the tree frog molecular data with closely related frogs and found it is a new species in the Dendropsophus genus. They named the species Dendropsophus bromeliaceus and gave it the common name Teresensis' bromeliad treefrog, which refers to the people born in the municipality of Santa Teresa, Brazil where it was found.
They compared the appearance of 96 known related frogs and determined that the new species is distinguished by its small size, framed color pattern on the back, and short webbing between the 4th and 5th toes, among others qualities. Ecologically, the Teresensis' bromeliad treefrog tadpoles differs because it develops in accumulated rainwater stored in bromeliads tightly overlapping leaves, instead of in puddles or ponds on the ground.
Their field observations suggest that this new species uses a variety of bromeliad plant species to breed in, and may be both territorial and exhibit male parental care. The authors suggest that the discovery of this new species emphasizes the importance of this mountainous region for amphibian conservation.
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Citation: Ferreira RB, Faivovich J, Beard KH, Pombal Jr. JP (2015) The First Bromeligenous Species of Dendropsophus (Anura: Hylidae) from Brazil's Atlantic Forest. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0142893. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0142893
Funding: RBF received funding from The Herpetologists' League, Ecology Center at Utah State University, Dr. Dinesh and Kalpana Patel Fellowship, IdeaWild, Jack Berryman Institute, the Rufford Foundation and Centro Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq; 231020/2013-9). JF thanks Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (ANPCyT; PICTs 2011-1895, 2013-404), the Consejo Nacional de Investigaciónes Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET; PIP 1112008010 2422), and São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP; 2012/10000-5 and 2013/50741-7). JPP received financial support from CNPq and Fundação Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ). This research was supported by the Utah Agricultural Experiment Station, Utah State University, and approved as journal paper number 8807. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.