By Luis Castillo and César Aguilar, Grupo RANA and Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos

The Amable Maria Frog (Telmatobius brachydactylus) is a semiaquatic amphibian species endemic to the high Andes of the central region in Peru, occurring at altitudes between 4000 and 4600 m. According to the IUCN, the species is currently categorized as globally Endangered (EN) due to the habitat reduction and loss, and its use in the traditional medicine.

In August 2017, a Bioblitz was carried out in the Junin National Reserve in Peru by ASA partner Grupo RANA. On that occasion, a tadpole of T. brachydactylus was found in a gravel stream of shallow depth and low water flow with abundant aquatic vegetation. Curiously, the tadpole was reported for the first time in syntopy with tadpoles of the Lake Junin Giant Frog (T. macrostomus).

Motivated by that encounter, we decided to describe the tadpole of T. brachydactylus. Since we did not collect the individual that we found in the wild, we used museum specimens collected in 1988. The description of the tadpole was published by Luis Castillo (Grupo RANA) and César Aguilar (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos) in the Revista Peruana de Biología. You can find the publication here.

Photo © Rogger Moreno