Caracas A, Venezuela
Caracas A, Venezuela

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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.


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.


Lampo M.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research | Celsa S.J.,Museo de Historia Natural La Salle | Rodriguez-Contreras A.,Museo de Historia Natural La Salle | Rojas-Runjaic F.,Museo de Historia Natural La Salle | Garcia C.Z.,Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research
Biotropica | Year: 2012

Atelopus is among the most threatened of all amphibian genera. Most species of harlequin frogs disappeared more than two decades ago and only a few still exist. From ten critically endangered Atelopus species endemic to Venezuela, Atelopus cruciger is the only one that can be located at present. To assess the status of remnant populations of A. cruciger and to provide the demographic data for designing in situ management programs, we estimated: (1) the population size; (2) the apparent survival; and (3) the recruitment rates of one remnant population using mark-recapture data. The adult population size varied (69-117), and this variation was not related to that of abundance indices based on visual counts at the river margins. Thus, caution is recommended when using visual counts as an index of abundance in Atelopus, because capture rates differ significantly among months and between seasons. Despite the observed variations, this population appears to be stable. Previous reports suggest that species of Atelopus are long-lived. For populations of long-lived species to remain approximately constant, recruitment must be low. Our mark-recapture study, however, showed that adults tend to remain in the population for approximately 15 mo, but an average of 165 new frogs are recruited every year. Although immigration and emigration are possibilities, the site fidelity and the absence of nearby streams suggests that movement in and out of the study area is less important than births and deaths. Under the proposed hypothesis of a short life expectancy/high recruitment, the risk of extinction must be lower than previously thought. © 2011 by The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation.


Rojas-Runjaic F.J.M.,Museo de Historia Natural La Salle | Infante-Rivero E.E.,University of Zulia | Barrio-Amoros C.L.,Fundacion AndigenA
Zootaxa | Year: 2011

A new species of diurnal frog of the genus Aromobates is described from the Sierra de Perijá in the Andes of western Venezuela. The new species is the first dendrobatid reported from this mountain range, though many other congeners are known from the Cordillera de Mérida, also in the Venezuelan Andes. It can be readily distinguished from all congeners by the unique combination of the following characters: dorsal skin granulate, paired and protuberant dorsal digital scutes, finger I shorter than finger II, fringes absent on fingers I and IV, present and conspicuous on all toes, toe webbing basal, dorsolateral stripe present, oblique lateral stripe diffuse, ventrolateral stripe absent. With this new species the number of Aromobates species from Venezuela increases to 13. Copyright © 2011 · Magnolia Press.


Barrio-Amoros C.L.,Fundacion AndigenA | Rojas-Runjaic F.,Museo de Historia Natural La Salle | Barros T.R.,University of Zulia
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

Two new species of Pristimantis are described from Cerro Las Antenas, on the Venezuelan versant of the Sierra de Perijá, a region that is being rapidly destroyed by extensive cultivation and civil unrest. The first species (P. lassoalcalai sp. nov.) has dirty-white spots surrounded by black in the groin and on the hidden surfaces of the hind limbs - a characteristic shared by members of the "lentiginosus" group (Rivero 1982) from the Cordillera de Mérida - and marbled to reticulated venter. The second species (P. rivasi sp. nov.) is currently the largest member of the genus known from Perijá, and presents conspicuous cranial crests. The two new species are assigned to the P. unistrigatus species group. Copyright © 2010 Magnolia Press.


Rojas-Runjaic F.J.M.,Museo de Historia Natural La Salle | Infante-Rivero E.E.,University of Zulia | Cabello P.,Museo de Historia Natural La Salle | Velozo P.,University of Zulia
Zootaxa | Year: 2010

A new species of diurnal gecko of the genus Gonatodes is described from Sierra de Perijá in western Venezuela. The new species is the only member of the genus lacking sexual dichromatism, and can be readily distinguished from all congeners by the unique combination of the following characters: medium body size; supraciliary spine absent; dorsolateral light spots coinciding with clusters of enlarged, conical to spinelike scales; males with escutcheon area on belly and undersurface of thighs; unique subcaudal scale pattern (1'2" followed by 1'1"); and both sexes with cryptic dorsal color pattern. The new species increases the number of Gonatodes known from Venezuela to 17. © 2010 Magnolia Press.


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.


Salerno P.E.,University of Texas at Austin | Salerno P.E.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador | Ron S.R.,Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador | Senaris J.C.,Museo de Historia Natural La Salle | And 3 more authors.
Evolution | Year: 2012

The flattop mountains (tepuis) of South America are ancient remnants of the Precambrian Guiana Shield plateau. The tepui summits, isolated by their surrounding cliffs that can be up to 1000 m tall, are thought of as "islands in the sky," harboring relict flora and fauna that underwent vicariant speciation due to plateau fragmentation. High endemicity atop tepui summits support the idea of an ancient "Lost World" biota. However, recent work suggests that dispersal between lowlands and summits has occurred long after tepui formation indicating that tepui summits may not be as isolated from the lowlands as researchers have long suggested. Neither view of the origin of the tepui biota (i.e., ancient vicariance vs. recent dispersal) has strong empirical support owing to a lack of studies. We test diversification hypotheses of the Guiana Shield highlands by estimating divergence times of an endemic group of treefrogs, Tepuihyla. We find that diversification of this group does not support an ancient origin for this taxon; instead, divergence times among the highland species are 2-5 Ma. Our data indicate that most highland speciation occurred during the Pliocene. Thus, this unparalleled landscape known as "The Lost World" is inhabited, in part, not by Early Tertiary relicts but neoendemics. © 2012 The Author(s). Evolution © 2012 The Society for the Study of Evolution..


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).


A new frog of the genus Pristimantis is named and described from the summit of Abakap-tepui in the Chimantd 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.

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