Genetic and morphological evidence reveal another new toad of the rhinella festae species group (Anura: Bufonidae) from the cordillera azul in central peru

Ernesto Castillo-Urbina, Frank Glaw, César Aguilar-Puntriano, Miguel Vences, Jörn Köhler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We studied the status of toads of the genus Rhinella collected in the southern Cordillera Azul, central Peru. Molecular analysis of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene revealed them to be members of the recently proposed Rhinella festae species group, and sister to R. lilyrodriguezae, a species known from northern areas of the Cordillera Azul. The new specimens are differentiated from R. lilyrodriguezae and other species of Rhinella by substantial genetic divergence in the studied gene fragment (> 5% uncorrected pairwise distance) and several qualitative morphological characters, providing combined evidence for a divergent evolutionary lineage. We consequently describe the specimens from the southern part of the Cordillera Azul in Departamento Huánuco as a new species, Rhinella chullachaki sp. n. We briefly discuss the definition and content of species groups in Rhinella as well as the difficulties hampering taxonomic resolution within this species-rich genus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-218
Number of pages23
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are indebted to the Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (SERFOR), particularly to Ana Luisa Calder?n Valenzuela, Ra?l Javier Danc? Sifuentes and V?ctor Vargas Garc?a, for dealing with our research proposals and issu-ing research and collection permits (RGD 071-2020-MINAGRI-SERFOR-DGGSPFFS and D000067-2021-MINAGRI-SERFOR-DGGSPFFS). We express our gratitude to Santiago Gonz?lez Torrej?n for providing the possibility to produce radiograph images at the Zoo Dx Veterinary Center (http://www.zoodx. com). Stefan L?tters provided information on specimens collected in the northern parts of the Cordillera Azul. Two anonymous reviewers and the editor provided valuable comments that have improved the manuscript. Part of the fieldwork was supported by funds provided through the BIOPAT initiative.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Deutsche Gesellschaft für Herpetologie und Terrarienkunde e.V. (DGHT), Germany.


  • Amphibia
  • Molecular genetics
  • Morphology
  • New species
  • Rhinella
  • Species groups
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy


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