The Smallest Frog of the Andes

Full title: A New Species of Minute Noblella (Anura: Strabomantidae) from Southern Peru: The Smallest Frog of the Andes

Abstract:

We describe a new species of Noblella from the upper Cosñipata Valley in southern Peru (Cusco Region).

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Specimens were found in the leaf litter of a cloud forest between 3025 and 3190 m elevation.

The most distinctive character of the new species is its diminutive size (maximum SVL female 12.4 mm, male 11.1 mm). With an average snout–vent length of 11.4 mm (n = 7) in adult specimens, the new species is the smallest Andean frog, and one of the smallest anurans in the world. The new frog is rare (between 30 and 75 frogs/ ha) and found only in montane scrub and forest habitats near the ecotone with the high-Andean puna grasslands.

Although the amphibian fungal infection (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis) has been recorded in southern Peru, no infections were detected in the new species.

Source: BioOne, Copeia 2009(1):148-156. 2009
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Kirtland Peterson

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