Rediscovery, redescription and identity of Pristimantis nebulosus (Henle, 1992), and description of a new terrestrial-breeding frog from montane rainforests of central Peru (Anura, Strabomantidae)

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The taxonomic status of the strabomantid frog species Pristimantis nebulosus (Henle, 1992), originating from the southern Cordillera Azul in central Peru, is investigated based on examination of the holotype and its comparison with freshly collected topotypic material. Following current standards, we provide a redescription of the holotype. It is in a rather poor state and exhibits certain damages and preservation artifacts, conditions that have hampered an allocation of this nominal taxon to any known living population of Pristimantis in the past. Our detailed specimen-to-specimen comparison provided morphological evidence for the conspecifity of the holotype and freshly collected topotypes. Molecular phylogenetic analysis, based on the mitochondrial 16S gene fragment places P. nebulosus in the P. conspicillatus species group, being closely related to P. bipunctatus and an undescribed candidate species from the Cordillera de Carpish. From both, P. nebulosus differs by considerable divergence in the 16S gene (p-distance 4.1–6.2%). Based on the specimens available, we provide an updated diagnosis for P. nebulosus, compare it to other species in the P. conspicillatus group and describe its advertisement call. In addition, we describe and name the closely related candidate species from the Cordillera de Carpish. It is sister to P. bipunctatus and P. nebulosus, but differs from both mainly by its tuberculate dorsal skin (versus shagreen) and divergence in the 16S gene (3.3–4.1%). We briefly discuss cryptic species diversity in the P. conspicillatus and P. danae species groups and provide justification for the description of a singleton species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-232
Number of pages20
JournalZoosystematics and Evolution
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are indebted to the Servicio Nacional Forestal y de Fauna Silvestre (SERFOR), particularly to Ana Luisa Calderón Valenzuela, Raúl Javier Dancé Sifuentes and Víctor Vargas García, for dealing with our research proposals and issuing research and collection permits (RGD 071-2020-MINAGRI-SERFOR-DGGSPFFS and D000067-2021-MINAGRI-SERFOR-DGGSPFFS). We thank Claudia Koch, Ursula Bott and Morris Flecks for access to and information on specimens deposited in ZFMK. Edgar Lehr, Pedro Taucce and an anonymous reviewer provided valuable comments on the manuscript. Jiří Moravec kindly provided photographs of P. bipunctatus from the Cordillera Yanachaga.

Publisher Copyright:
© Köhler, J. et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


  • Amphibia
  • Bioacoustics
  • Cordillera azul
  • Cordillera de carpish
  • Molecular genetics
  • Morphology
  • Pristimantis conspicillatus species group
  • Systematics
  • Taxonomy


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