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Open AccessArticle

Glassfrogs of Ecuador: Diversity, Evolution, and Conservation

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Instituto BIÓSFERA-USFQ, Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales COCIBA, Laboratorio de Biología Evolutiva, Campus Cumbayá, Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, Quito 170901, Ecuador
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Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA
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Museo de Zoología & Laboratorio de Zoología Terrestre, Instituto de Diversidad Biológica Tropical iBIOTROP, Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales COCIBA, Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, Quito 170901, Ecuador
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Department of Geography, King’s College, London WC2R 2LS, UK
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Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad INABIO, Quito 170135, Ecuador
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USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, P.O. Box 37012, Washington, DC 20013, USA
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Ingeniería en Biodiversidad y Recursos Genéticos, Centro de Investigación de la Biodiversidad y Cambio Climático–BioCamb, Av. Machala y Sabanilla, Universidad Tecnológica Indoamérica, Quito 170103, Ecuador
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Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo, Isaac Peral, 23-28040 Madrid, Spain
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Biodiversity Institute and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045–7561, USA
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Museum of Natural Sciences and Department of Biological Sciences, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Diversity 2020, 12(6), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/d12060222
Received: 30 December 2019 / Revised: 20 April 2020 / Accepted: 6 May 2020 / Published: 2 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Systematics and Conservation of Neotropical Amphibians and Reptiles)
Glassfrogs (family: Centrolenidae) represent a fantastic radiation (~150 described species) of Neotropical anurans that originated in South America and dispersed into Central America. In this study, we review the systematics of Ecuadorian glassfrogs, providing species accounts of all 60 species, including three new species described herein. For all Ecuadorian species, we provide new information on the evolution, morphology, biology, conservation, and distribution. We present a new molecular phylogeny for Centrolenidae and address cryptic diversity within the family. We employ a candidate species system and designate 24 putative new species that require further study to determine their species status. We find that, in some cases, currently recognized species lack justification; specifically, we place Centrolene gemmata and Centrolene scirtetes under the synonymy of Centrolene lynchi; C. guanacarum and C. bacata under the synonymy of Centrolene sanchezi; Cochranella phryxa under the synonymy of Cochranella resplendens; and Hyalinobatrachium ruedai under the synonymy of Hyalinobatrachium munozorum. We also find that diversification patterns are mostly congruent with allopatric speciation, facilitated by barriers to gene flow (e.g., valleys, mountains, linearity of the Andes), and that niche conservatism is a dominant feature in the family. Conservation threats are diverse, but habitat destruction and climate change are of particular concern. The most imperiled glassfrogs in Ecuador are Centrolene buckleyi, C. charapita, C. geckoidea, C. medemi, C. pipilata, Cochranella mache, Nymphargus balionotus, N. manduriacu, N. megacheirus, and N. sucre, all of which are considered Critically Endangered. Lastly, we identify priority areas for glassfrog conservation in Ecuador. View Full-Text
Keywords: anura; biogeography; centrolenidae; systematics; taxonomy anura; biogeography; centrolenidae; systematics; taxonomy
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guayasamin, J.M.; Cisneros-Heredia, D.F.; McDiarmid, R.W.; Peña, P.; Hutter, C.R. Glassfrogs of Ecuador: Diversity, Evolution, and Conservation. Diversity 2020, 12, 222.

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