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Salerno P.E.,University of Texas at Austin | Senaris J.C.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Rojas-Runjaic F.J.M.,Museo de Historia Natural la Salle | Rojas-Runjaic F.J.M.,Grande Rio University | Cannatella D.C.,University of Texas at Austin
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2015

The tepuis of South America are massive flattop mountains with cliffs up to 1000. m and summits up to 3100. m. Tepuis hold enormous endemicity levels, but little is known about the origins of the endemic flora and fauna. Recently diverged lineages offer the possibility of understanding the origins of summit endemicity by examining population dynamics and dispersal. We examine species delimitation, clade relationships, and demographic patterns of three recently diverged lineages of Tepuihyla, an endemic treefrog clade. These three lineages represent two currently recognized species, T. edelcae and T. rodriguezi. Given the low divergences in both nuclear and mitochondrial genes among lineages, we find unexpectedly high numbers of unique nuclear haplotypes and moderate levels of lineage sorting. We also find support from multiple analyses for a cryptic, undescribed summit species within T. edelcae. We suggest that the genetic and distribution patterns of the four most recently diverged Tepuihyla lineages support a concurrent speciation event during the Pliocene, and suggest a biogeographic hypothesis in which a widespread climatic change made mid- and low-elevation habitat unsuitable for the common ancestor within the timeframe of their divergence. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. Source

Rojas-Runjaic F.J.M.,Museo de Historia Natural la Salle | Delgado C. J.A.,National University San Antonio Abad del Cusco | Guayasamin J.M.,Technological Amerindian University, Ambato
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

A new frog of the Pristimantis myersi Group is described from a bamboo patch within the Reserva Ecológica Verdecocha (0°5'46.9″S, 78°36'15.3″W; 2851 m), located at northwestern flank of the Volcán Pichincha, in the vicinities of Quito, Ecuador. The new species is known from eight adult males, whereas the females remain unknown; it can be readily distinguished from all species of the P. myersi Group that inhabit the highlands of the Ecuadorian Andes by the unique combination of the following characters: body small (adult male SVL 14.9-19.7 mm; females unknown); dorsal skin shagreen, with a barely visible middorsal raphe, scapular and dorsolateral folds; tympanum small but well-defined; upper eyelid with one enlarged tubercle; males with prominent vocal slits, but without nuptial pads on thumbs; fold-like tarsal tubercles. With this new species, the number of Pristimantis assigned to the P. myersi Group raises to 16, of which, 12 are in Ecuador. We provide notes on morphology and color variation, advertisement call, and natural history of the new species. © 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

Rojas-Runjaic F.J.M.,Museo de Historia Natural la Salle | Salerno P.E.,University of Texas at Austin | Celsa Senaris J.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Pauly G.B.,Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

A new frog of the genus Pristimantis is named and described from the summit of Abakapa-tepui in the Chimanta massif, south-eastern Venezuela. The new species is known from two adult specimens and is the second craugastorid species described from this massif. It can be readily distinguished from all congeners inhabiting the highlands of the Guiana Shield by the unique combination of the following characters: dorsal skin shagreen and ventral skin coarsely areolate, tympanum small and ill-defined, vocal slits absent in males, finger I shorter than II, thumbs with two whitish and non-spinous nuptial pads in adult males, fingers and toes with broad lateral fringes, basal webbing between all toes, throat and chest nacreous white in life. Also, based on five specimens of Pristimantis muchimuk recently collected from Churi-tepui, we provide new information on this little known species, including an amended diagnosis, notes on morphology, color variation, advertisement calls, and natural history. © 2013 Magnolia Press. Source

Lasso-Alcala O.M.,Museo de Historia Natural la Salle | Posada J.M.,Simon Bolivar University of Venezuela
Aquatic Invasions | Year: 2010

We report the presence of the invasive Indo-Pacific red lionfish (Pterois volitans) in 23 localities of the Venezuelan coast, southeastern Caribbean Sea. This finding is based on ten specimens collected at Parque Nacional Archipiélago de Los Roques (PNAR, Dependencias Federales), Playa Cal, Caraballeda and Puerto Carayaca (Estado Vargas) and 30 specimens observed in 18 localities of PNAR, Parque Nacional Morrocoy (Estado Falcón), Bahía de Cata, Ensenada de Cepe (Estado Aragua), Puerto Cruz, Chichiriviche de La Costa, Mamo, Catia La Mar, La Guaira, Macuto, Caraballeda (Estado Vargas) and Farallón Centinela (Dependencias Federales). The specimens were collected and observed from November 2009 to June 2010. This is the first published report documenting their occurrence in Venezuela. © 2010 The Author(s). Source

Olivares E.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Colonnello G.,Museo de Historia Natural la Salle | Pena E.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Rodriguez L.,Central University of Venezuela
Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science | Year: 2010

This study describes the aluminum (Al) accumulation in relation to macronutrient and micronutri-ent elements in 19 Melastomataceae species in the Guayana Region in Venezuela. The purpose was to investigate the Al accumulation in four tribes and different life forms. Aluminum accumulation was predicted in the basal tribes Miconieae and Merianieae in contrast to the derived tribes and herbs from any tribe, which generally do not accumulate Al. The survey was done in a vegetation continuum, which includes a savanna shrubland, a palm-swamp community, and an evergreen forest in the Guayana region in southeastern Venezuela. The highest value of soil Al concentration was found in the savanna shrubland, where ten lignified Miconiae and one Meria-neae Al accumulators were present. At the forest, the site with highest soil acidity, four Al-accu-mulator tree species from Miconiae were found. Miconia lepidota showed similar Al foliar concentrations in the savanna shrubland and forest, but foliar Ca was lower in the forest, even though it was the site with highest Ca in the soil. At the palm-swamp community, the Melasto-meae shrub Macairea pachyphylla was found with an Al concentration of 0.59 gkg -1 in leaves and 0.16 g kg-1 in bark. At the same site, Al accumulation occurred in one Microlicieae species, one Miconieae species, and in the Melastomeae herbs Pterogastra divaricata (13.25 g[kg dry mass]-1) and Pterolepis trichotoma (17.83 gkg-1). The report of Al hyperaccumulation in P. tri-chotoma is new for the genus, and Al accumulation in herbs is considered exceptional. The foliar Al concentration was positively correlated (p < 0.005) with Fe (r = 0.64, n = 20) and Zn (r = 0.63). The analysis of the relationships between soil Al, Fe, or Zn and the concentrations of these elements in leaves revealed they were not significantly correlated. The results indicate Al hyperaccumulation in two herbaceous Melastoamataceae species and suggest Al accumulation in this life form deserves future research. However, they also confirm the highest number of Al accumulators in lignified species of the ancient tribe Miconiae (14 out of 19 species studied).©2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim. Source

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