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Article
Published: 2022-01-10

Rediscovery of the rare Phrynomedusa appendiculata (Lutz, 1925) (Anura: Phyllomedusidae) from the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil

Programa de Pós Graduação em Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil. 2Coordenação de Biodiversidade, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, 69067-375, Manaus, AM, Brazil.
Centro de Investigação em Biodiversidade e Recursos Genéticos da Universidade do Porto, Universidade do Porto, Campus de Vairão, R. Padre Armando Quintas, 4485-661, Vairão, Portugal. Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Quinta da Boa Vista, 20940-040, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
Programa de Pós Graduação em Zoologia, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-900, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
Universidade Federal de São Carlos—Campus Lagoa do Sino, Centro de Ciências da Natureza, 18245-970, Buri, SP, Brazil.
Ecosfera Consultoria e Pesquisa em Meio Ambiente, 29714-000 Itapina, ES, Brazil.
Amphibia Alto Paranapanema Continuum of Paranapiacaba lost species Parque Estadual Nascentes do Paranapanema—PENAP protected area

Abstract

The genus Phrynomedusa Miranda-Ribeiro, 1923 comprises rare and little known phyllomedusid species from southern Atlantic Forest, Brazil. Phrynomedusa appendiculata (Lutz, 1925) is known from three localities since its description and considered a “lost species” because it was last sighted 51 years ago. This pervasive lack of knowledge raised a significant concern about its threat status. Here, we present the rediscovery of P. appendiculata from a breeding population in the Atlantic Plateau forests of the state of São Paulo. This new record allowed the gathering of novel ecological, acoustic and morphological data for this species. Most of the novel data agreed with the variation historically reported for the species, but we found subtle divergences that we interpret as intraspecific variation. Moreover, this record also allowed a reassessment of geographic distribution of the species, and the first inference of its phylogenetic relationships based on molecular data (mitochondrial and nuclear DNA). The resulting phylogeny corroborated the generic placement and evolutionary distinctiveness of P. appendiculata, evidencing the species as sister to the clade P. marginata + P. dryade. Based on novel and historical data, we discuss some putative factors influencing the rarity of P. appendiculata and its congeners, and provide conservation perspectives. We expect that the novel data can support further assessments of threat status for this rare species, as well as initiatives aiming its conservation.

 

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