The genus Scinax is one of the most specious genera of treefrogs of the family Hylidae. Despite the high number of potential new species of Scinax revealed in recent studies, the rate of species descriptions for Amazonia has been low in the last decade. A potential cause of this low rate may be the existence of morphologically cryptic species. Describing new species may not only impact the taxonomy and systematics of a group of organisms but also benefit other fields of biology. Ecological studies conducted in megadiverse regions, such as Amazonia, often meet challenging questions concerning insufficient knowledge of organismal alpha taxonomy. Due to that, detecting specieshabitat associations is dependent on our ability to properly identify species. In this study, we first provide a description of a new species (including its tadpoles) of the genus Scinax distributed along heterogeneous landscapes in southern Amazonia; and secondly assess the influence of environmental heterogeneity on the new species' abundance and distribution. Scinax ruberoculatus sp. nov. differs from all nominal congeners by its small size (SVL 22.6-25.9mmin males and 25.4-27.5mmin females), by having a dark brown spot on the head and scapular region shaped mainly like the moth Copiopteryx semiramis (or a human molar in lateral view, or a triangle), bicolored reddish and grey iris, snout truncate in dorsal view, bilobate vocal sac in males, by its advertisement call consisting of a single pulsed note with duration of 0.134-0.331 s, 10-23 pulses per note, and dominant frequency 1,809-1,895 Hz. Both occurrence and abundance of the new species are significantly influenced by silt content in the soil. This finding brings the first evidence that edaphic factors influence species-habitat association in Amazonian aquatic breeding frogs.
Bibliographical noteCopyright the Author(s) 2018. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.
- environmental heterogeneity
- edaphic factors