Friday, April 1, 2016

Bromeliad-dwelling Treefrog, Phytotriades auratus (Family Hylidae)

Amphodus auratus Boulenger, 1917:185. Syntypes: BMNH 1917.9.27.39-41. Type locality: Mount Tucuche, a little above 3000 feet altitude, Trinidad.

Phyllodytes auratus — Bokermann, 1968, Rev. Brasil. Biol., 28: 157-160.

Phytotriades auratus — Jowers, Downie, and Cohen, 2009, Stud. Neotrop. Fauna Environ., 43: 186.

Previously known from the type locality at the summit of Mt. Tucuche and Mt Aripo. it has been recently discovered on Cerro de Humo, Península de Paria, Sucre, Venezuela , in Venezuela. It does not occur on Tobago. The total range of the species is estimated to be 10km² or less on Trinidad, and about 2 hectares in Venezuela. It is known from 940-1250 m asl. It is found in montane rainforest and elfin woodland. It has a very specific microhabitat and is associated with the giant epiphytic bromeliad, Glomeropitcairnia erectiflora. It breeds by larval development in bromeliads. Probably the greatest threat to this species is climate change. As the climate becomes warmer and drier, it could be threatened by fires. Rivas and Freitas. 2015. Herp Review 46(2):153-156. 

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