Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 621–638 | Cite as

A third microendemic to the Iwokrama Mountains of central Guyana: a new “cryptic” species of Allobates Zimmerman and Zimmerman, 1988 (Anura: Aromobatidae)

  • Philippe J. R. Kok
  • Monique Hölting
  • Raffael Ernst
Original Article


The aromobatid frog Allobates amissibilis sp. nov. is described from a very limited area in the Iwokrama Mountains at elevations between 160 and 950 m, in central Guyana, South America. The new taxon is diagnosed from other Allobates species by morphology, bioacoustics, and genetics, and can be distinguished readily from known congeners by cryptic colouration, small size (16.3–17.8 mm snout-vent length), absence of distinct dorsal pattern in living adult individuals, presence of a distinctly enlarged tubercle on each eyelid, diffuse broad oblique lateral stripe extending from groin to about midbody length, sexually dimorphic throat colouration (pinkish grey, suffused with dark pigment in male, immaculate cream to yellow in female), belly cream to yellow in both sexes, and distinct vocalisation formed by calls of usually 9–12 notes emitted between silent intervals of usually ca. 2–6 s, with a dominant frequency ranging from 5,064 to 5,845 Hz. The new species is the third microendemic reported from the Iwokrama Mountains together with the caecilian Caecilita iwokramae and the lizard Gonatodes timidus. We recommend considering the conservation status of the new species as Data Deficient, and highlight that environmental impact assessments are needed to refine its IUCN threat status.


Allobates amissibilis sp. nov Bioacoustics Guiana Shield Microendemicity Systematics Taxonomy 



Most observations were made during the Field Herpetology course provided in Guyana by PJRK to the second year students of Master in Herpetology at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium (VUB). Permission to conduct biodiversity research in Guyana was provided by the Guyana Environment Protection Agency under research permits number 180609 BR 112 and 30109 BR 117, and fieldwork was made possible through the help of the Iwokrama International Centre, particularly R. Thomas, I. Bovolo, and the assistance of A. Roopsind, H. Sambhu, M. George and E. Meyer. P.J.R.K. warmly thanks A. Simon and L. Antoin (Iwokrama), M. Wilkinson and D. Gower (NHM), J. Gower (London, UK), and J. Clegg, D. Grasso, C. Mayerl, W. Meilink, J. Sabino Pinto, M. Segal, and G. Stegen (VUB students) for field companionship. We thank Andreas Schlüter (SMNS) for letting us examine specimens under his care, P. Gaucher (CNRS Guyane) for the recording of a paratype of Allobates granti, and A. Fouquet (CNRS Guyane) for constructive discussions. R.E. and M.H. were supported by an Amphibian Fond Conservation Grant from the Stiftung Artenschutz and Verband Deutscher Zoodirektoren (VDZ) and a research grant to R.E. from the German Research Foundation (DFG ER 589/2–1). P.J.R.K. warmly acknowledges the financial support provided by the Percy Sladen Memorial Fund and M. Wilkinson (NHM).

Experiments comply with the current laws of the country in which they were performed.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe J. R. Kok
    • 1
    • 2
  • Monique Hölting
    • 3
    • 4
  • Raffael Ernst
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Biology Department, Unit of Ecology and SystematicsVrije Universiteit BrusselBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Vertebrates, Royal Belgian Institute of Natural SciencesBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Museum of Zoology, Senckenberg Natural History Collections DresdenDresdenGermany
  4. 4.Department of EcologyTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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