Species Description: Venegas PJ, Duellman WE 2012 Two syntopic new species of the Pristimantis orestes Group (Anura: Strabomantidae) from northwestern Peru. Zootaxa 3249: 47-59.
There are currently 15 other species in the Pristimantis group. P. mariaelenae has tubercles on the upper eyelid, the heel, and the outer edge of the tarsus which distinguish it from P. atrabacus, P. melanogaster, P. pataikos, P. pinguis, and P. stictoboubonus (all of which lack this feature). P. mariaelenae also has well-defined circumferential grooves on its barely-expanded discs, which P. simonsii and P. stipa sp. nov lack on their narrow discs. P. mariaeleneae lacks lateral fringes on the fingers, which are present in P. corrungatus and P. ventrigattatus. P. mariaelenae lacks cranial crests on its barely-expanded discs, which distinguish it from P. chimu and P. seorsus, both of which have narrow discs and cranial crests. The lack of dorsal tubercle and papillae on P. mariaelenae distinguish it from P. cordovae, which has small rostral papillae. Its rounded snout and tuberculated heel and tarsus separate P. mariaelenae from P. bambu, which has a gradually tapering snout in dorsal view and lacking tubercles in the heel and tarsals. The weak or evident dorsolateral fold on P. mariaelenae distinguishes it from P. orestes and P. simonbolivari, which lack the dorsolateral fold altogether (Venegas and Duellman 2012).
Coloration in life: In the female holotype, the dorsum is entirely reddish-ochre. The lips, canthus rostralis (or rostral crest), and supratympanic fold are orange-ochre. The groin, posterior surfaces of the thighs, and dorsal surfaces of the feet are all red-ochre with irregular white patches. The chest and ventral surfaces are pearly white. The throat is pearly white with orange-ochre spots. The belly is also pearly white, but with dark brown spots. Palms of feet and hands are orange-ochre. The iris is dark copper with a network of thin, brown lines.
Coloration is highly variable in both males and females. The female dorsum can range from being homogenously red-ochre (as in the holotype), to being reddish brown flanked with well-defined, black lateral folds. Females could also have the same coloration as the holotype except have an additional orange-ochre spot in the middle of the scapular region. They can also have the ventral surface be orange ochre instead of pearly white. Male dorsal coloration can vary from dark brown with green interorbital (in between the eyes) and dorsolateral (along the sides) stripes to a homogenous dark brown dorsum. The mid-dorsal stripe can also vary in color ranging from cream, yellow, and dark brown in adults (Venegas and Duellman 2012).
Coloration in preservation: In ethanol, the dorsum becomes homogenously dark brown. The lips, canthus rostralis (or rostral crest), and supratympanic fold become cream. The groin, posterior surfaces of the thighs, and dorsal surfaces of the feet turn dark brown with jagged cream patches. The chest, belly, throat, and palmar and plantar surfaces are also cream while the belly has some scattered brown blotches (Venegas and Duellman 2012).
Variation: Females are larger than males. Prominence of dorsolateral fold of males and females varies. Degree of tuberculation on dorsal surface differs between adult males and juveniles; nodules on dorsum of juveniles are more distinct. The color of the dorsum of juvenile males is dark green, further distinguishing them from adult males (Venegas and Duellman 2012).
Distribution and Habitat
Trends and Threats
Venegas, P. J., and Duellman, W. E. (2012). ''Two syntopic new species of the Pristimantis orestes Group (Anura: Strabomantidae) from northwestern Peru.'' Zootaxa, 3249, 47-59.
Written by Adolfo Ivan Gomez (adolfoivangomez AT gmail.com), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, UC Berkeley
First submitted 2012-10-26
Edited by Michelle S. Koo (2012-10-28)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2012 Pristimantis mariaelenae <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/7792> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 20, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 20 Oct 2017.
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