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In South America, frogs of the genus Pristimantis are diverse and can be found from lowland forests to elevations of about 4000 m in the Andes. The 444 known species of Pristimantis belong to 16 species groups. One of these groups is the Pristimantis orestes Group, the 14 members of which inhabit the páramo, puna, and upper montane forests in southern Ecuador (3 species) and Peru (11 species). Species of the Pristimantis orestes Group are characterized by having snout-vent lengths ranging from 18.0 to 29.4 mm, short robust bodies, relatively short snouts, narrow digital discs, and areolate ventral skin. Some species have variously colored pale spots in the groin. Herein, I describe a new, diminutive species of Pristimantis from the Andes of northern Peru that I assign to the Pristimantis orestes Group. The new species, denoted Prsitimantis sp. 1, has a snout-vent length of 17.35–29.08 mm (n = 47) in adult females, and 14.39–22.97 mm (n = 40) in adult males, and it differs from all other members of the Pristimantis orestes Group in having prominent scapular tubercles. Ectoparasitic mites (Trombiculidae) of the new species were studied to determine any relation between the degree of infestations and body regions, size, sex, and age. No relationships were found among sexes or ages of frogs. Larger females were 3.85 times more likely to be infested than small females, but no difference was seen between different sized males. The throat had significantly more mites than other body regions and the legs had significantly fewer mites than other regions. Mites were examined using scanning electron microscopy and their morphology was compared to drawings of a previously described mite. The mite on Pristimantis sp. 1 was not Hannimania sp., the genus commonly reported to infest frogs.


Biology | Evolution | Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology