An arboreal poison frog (Dendrobates) from western Panama. American Museum novitates ; no. 2783

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New York, N.Y. : American Museum of Natural History
"Dendrobates arboreus, new species, is a small arboreal frog with a dorsal and ventral pattern of vivid yellow spots on a brown or black field. It is abundant at 1100-1300 m. above sea level on a low section of the continental divide in western Panama, where, in undisturbed cloud forest, virtually the entire population resdies high aboveground on trees laden with bromeliads and other epiphytes. A few specimens also come from a locality in the adjacent Caribbean lowlands. The pale-spotted color pattern of Dendrobates arboreus is similar to that of the enigmatic D. maculatus, also from western Panama, but these two species differ significantly in morphology and are not closely related. Dendrobates arboreus is assigned to the histrionicus species group, which includes two species occurring macrosympatrically with arboreus, D. speciosus (highlands) and D. pumilio (lowlands). The monophyly of the histrionicus group is indicated by very similar-sounding chirp calls - given as long trains of harsh notes that differ among species in rate of note repetition, note duration, and dominant frequency. New spectrographic analysis of pulse rates compels a restatement of Myers and Daly's original distinction between chirp calls and buzz calls, two important classes of dendrobatid vocalization. Courtship and egg laying of Dendrobates arboreus, and cannibalism of eggs by an adult female, were observed in captivity. There is no amplexus during mating, although typical cephalic amplexus (primitive within the Dendrobatidae) is retained in the behavioral repertory, possibly in an aggressive context. Courtship includes tactile signals by both sexes prior to their assuming a vent-to-vent position for egg laying and fertilization. An instance of mate piracy was observed when a second male successfully intruded at a late stage of courtship, bypassing the preliminary tactile signaling of the original pair. Defensive skin secretions of Dendrobates arboreus contained 14 piperidine alkaloids, including members of the pumiliotoxin-A class and its allopumiliotoxin-A subclass. Remaining alkaloids, including two new compounds, are left unclassified. Histrionicotoxins were not detected"--P. [1]-2.
20 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 20).