Hyloxalus felixcoperari Acosta-Galvis & Vargas Ramírez, 2018
|Species Description: Acosta-Galvis AR, Vargas-Ramírez M. 2018. A new species of Hyloxalus Jiménez De La Espada 1871 "1870" (Anura: Dendrobatidae: Hyloxalinae) from a cloud forest near Bogotá, Colombia, with comments on the subpunctatus clade. Vertebrate Zoology 68: 123-141.|
Since this species was recently discovered, information about tadpoles is limited. Three observed tadpoles in stage 26 had a lotic body-type - depressed and ovoid. Tadpoles measure between 8.6 and 9.7 mm in length, with the the body is between 3.8 and 4.4 mm long. The snout is round when viewed from any angle. The nares are small and subcircular in an anterodorsal direction. The eyes are dorsal and directed in a lateral direction. The diameter of the eye is approximately 0.5 mm. The distance between the orbitals is between 0.7 and 0.9 mm. The tail is between 4.8 and 5.8 mm long. The dorsal fin slowly increases in height until it reaches the same level as the ventral fin. There is no detection of a lateral line system (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
As of 2018, there are eight other species of Hyloxalus found in the Cordillera Oriental in Colombia. In comparison to those, H. felixcoperari is medium-sized and has a dark chest and throat, but it lacks a black, pale or dark gray arm gland that is present in other Hyloxalus species; this color gland is typically found in H. lehmanni and H. saltuarius. The absence of an anal sheath and basal toe webbing sets H. felixcoperari apart from H. edwardsi and H. ruizi. Similarly, it is differentiated from H. vergeli due to the lack of webbing in its toes. This species does not have a dorsolateral stripe, which is present in H. cepedai; instead, it has a complete oblique lateral stripe. It can be differentiated from H. picachos as Finger I is a little shorter than or almost the same length as Finger II; in H. picachos, Finger I is longer than Finger II. Hyloxalus felixcoperari also has a larger body. Both H. felixcoperari and H. subpunctatus adult males have a complete oblique lateral stripe. However, the two species can be differentiated as H. felixcoperari adult males have a dark throat and chest, an incomplete pupil ring, the lack of a fringe on toe IV (and others), an elongated and tuber-like tarsal fold, and its trill-like call. As opposed to H. felixcoperari, H. subpunctatus does not have a dark throat and chest, has a complete pupil ring, has a fringe on toe IV, has a tarsal fold that is flat and hardly visible, and a call consisting of constant single notes. Hyloxalus felixcoperari has a trill-like call while H. subpunctatus emits single, regular “peeps” and H. pulchellus makes a buzzing call (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
In the larval stage, it is difficult to differentiate H. felixcoperari from other Hyloxalus species, as the tadpoles all share morphological similarities (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
In life, the upper lip is light brown or cream colored, and has small dark brown spots on the edge. They have sporadic spots and dark brown reticulations on their light brown dorsums. These spots and reticulations are also found on their reddish-brown forelimbs. The lateral side of the body is dark brown and has small white spots. The dorsal side of their thighs are also reddish brown, and consist of incomplete dark brown bands. The anterior side of the thigh is also reddish brown and has a single dark brown band that lays longitudinally. Typically, the axillary region of the thigh, as well as the inguinal region, is pale orange and have yellow spots, as well as a longitudinal brown band. The posterior side of the thigh in the distal area is yellow and has either a longitudinal band or dark brown reticulations. The region around the cloaca is dark brown and has small white melanophores. The species is sexually dimorphic: adult males have a dark brown chest and throat, but females have a cream-colored throat, chest, and stomach. There is no dorsolateral stripe or ventrolateral stripe; however, they do have a black, oblique lateral stripe that runs from the eye to the groin (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
In preservative, the dorsal side ranges from brown to blackish brown, and adult females are covered in irregular dark brown and white marks. The lateral surface of the body is dark brown with small, irregular white spots. The forelimbs are light brown, and maintain the dark brown spots and reticulations. The dorsal side of the thigh is light brown and has dark brown reticulations and spots. The anterior side of the thigh is light brown and has a dark brown longitudinal band. The axillary side of the thigh is cream-colored. There is a black band on the head that runs from the snout to the groin. The posterior side of the thigh is dark brown and has either a longitudinal band or dark brown and cream colored reticulations. The area around the cloaca is dark brown and has small white melanophores. A light brown oblique lateral stripe is present. The ventral side of the thigh is pale orange and also has small white melanophores. The palmar and plantar areas are light brown and have spots, as well as dark brown melanophores (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
In life, tadpoles have a dark brown dorsal surface and interorbital area. The area around the eyes and tail is a lighter brown with irregular spots. The eyes are black. On their lateral side, the cephalic area is light brown and has dark spots. The ventrolateral area is cream-colored. The tail muscle is also cream-colored with thin brown reticles and a dark brown longitudinal line. The dorsal fin is translucent and has varied, tiny dark spots. On the ventral side, the belly is translucent, but the organs are not very visible; the visible organs have a yellow-ish cream color. The rest of the surfaces are cream-colored (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
In preservative, the dorsal side of tadpoles, as well as the interorbital area, ranges from brown to dark brown. The venter is translucent and has irregular melanophores. The caudal muscles are cream-colored and have dark brown specks. The upper fin is translucent with irregular dark brown specks. The lower fin is also translucent (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
There is sexual dimorphism in this species with regards to coloration and size. In adult males, the ventral side is dark brown in the throat and chest area, and light brown in the belly area. In contrast, adult females have a cream-colored throat, chest and belly, which consists of irregular spots and/or dark brown reticulations. Adult males vary between 20.3 and 20.8 mm, while adult females vary between 21.4 and 23.8 mm (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Colombia
This species is found in the Andean cloud forests of the Cordillera Oriental in Colombia (on the western slope). Specifically, it was found in Las Nubes Private Natural Reserve in the San Francisco Municipality, which is part of the Cundinamarca Department. It was found at an elevation of 2500 – 2577 m above sea level (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Mating territories are separated by a distance of around 1 - 4 meters. From these territories, adult males produce advertisement calls while hidden under leaf litter near a slow flowing stream. These calls were made nearing the end of the rainy season in mid-December during late morning until the early evening. The temperature at the time was 16.7 degrees celsius and the humidity was 60%. Calls averaged between 13 and 19 notes per call and lasted for 1 - 2 seconds; the amplitude increased after the first four notes. Between 50 and 104 calls were made per minute. The duration of the note was between 0.030 and 0.061 seconds, with approximately 104 - 166 oscillations within every note. The average time between each note was 0.053 and 0.095 seconds. The spectral structure consisted of two harmonics. The main frequency was between 3028.9 Hz and 3861.2 Hz. The energy of the sound gradually increased. This species delivered a trill-like call (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
One female specimen was observed to be carrying three tadpoles on her back (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
Three observed tadpoles in stage 26 and were observed to be exotrophic and lotic (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
Hyloxalus felixcoperari is not believed to have aposematic body coloration, which warns of toxicity (Acosta- Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
Trends and Threats
While H. felixcoperari appears to be a relatively rare species, it is not directly under any conservation measures. The type locality is protected under Article 109 of Law 99 of 1993 of the Republic of Colombia. It is part of a system of private natural reserves protected by Article 109, called the “Reservas Naturales de la Sociedad Civil” (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
A phylogenetic analysis of 2590 base pairs of for the 16S and cytochrome b mitochondrial DNA gene fragments showed that H. felixcoperari is part of the H. subpunctatus clade. This subgroup consists of lineages of species that occur in high altitudes. It was also found that H. felixcoperari is a sister taxa of H. subpunctatus; the genetic distance between the two is 2.1% and 5.1%. The H. subpunctatus clade was determined to be sister to the H. bocagei clade. Phylogenetic analysis shows that divergence between the two occurred approximately 1.53 million years ago. The molecular data also suggests that the lineages of the H. subpunctatus clade diverged during the Pleistocene, most likely as a result of changes in the environment (Acosta-Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
The species epithet, "felixcoperari," is dedicated to Felix Acosta-Gualtero, a figure in Colombia who fought for cooperativism in Colombia (Acosta- Galvis and Vargas-Ramírez 2018).
Acosta-Galvis AR, Vargas-Ramírez M. (2018). "A new species of Hyloxalus Jiménez De La Espada, 1871 ‘‘1870’’ (Anura: Dendrobatidae: Hyloxalinae) from a cloud forest near Bogotá, Colombia, with comments on the subpunctatus clade." Vertebrate Zoology, 68(2), 123 - 141.
Originally submitted by: Katia Villamil (2021-11-08)
Description by: Katia Villamil (updated 2021-11-08)
Distribution by: Katia Villamil (updated 2021-11-08)
Life history by: Katia Villamil (updated 2021-11-08)
Trends and threats by: Katia Villamil (updated 2021-11-08)
Comments by: Katia Villamil (updated 2021-11-08)
Edited by: Ash Reining (2021-11-08)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2021 Hyloxalus felixcoperari <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/8892> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 28, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 Mar 2023.
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