Overview

Brief Summary

Caption

This is the only pipid present in Panama and has very rarely been observed.
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Comprehensive Description

Description

Pipa myersi is a flat-bodied frog measuring about 36 - 42mm in snout-vent length. It has a narrow triangular shaped snout in the dorsal view and a rounded mandible in the lateral view. The snout has a "transverse, chevron-shaped depression" and protrudes over the lower jaw when viewed from the side at eye level. Trueb describes the distance between the lower mandible and tip of snout as marginally less than half the distance from the snout to the front of the eye. The eyes are relatively large, widely set, and directed dorsolaterally on the head. The arms are stout and short in length. The skin is covered in densely packed, uniform-sized tubercles along the dorsum while more varied sized tubercles are spread sporadically across the head and limbs. The skin on the ventrum is also covered tubercles, depressed and of uniform size. There are four fingers on the forelimbs that have trifurcated digits with two nubby projections straddling a larger, central projection. Relative finger lengths are 1 < 2 = 4 < 3. There are five toes on the hind limbs that are almost completely webbed. Relative toe lengths are 1 < 2 < 5 < 3 = 4 (Trueb 1984).

Pipa myersi is differentiated from sister species Pipa parva by having a denser collection of dorsal tubercles, a more rounded triangular shape of the snout and mandible, trifurcated digits, the absence of tubercles on the feet, lack of modification to skin around the mouth, ribs attached to transverse processes in adults, free-swimming, barbel-free, aquatic larvae, and lack of free, vestigial transverse processes for the coccyx (Trueb 1984).

In life, the dorsum is a dark grayish black and the venter is a grayish yellow. The irises appear pale bronze with brown-black speckling. Newly metamorphosed individuals were observed with a dark gray color with a silvery white peritoneum. When preserved, the dorsum appears reddish to gray-brown with dark brown spotting on hands and limbs. The venter is gray with red-brown spots on pectoral and gular areas concentrated about the mandible (Trueb 1984).

No variation in color has yet been documented. Some individuals were found to have six imbricate, presacral vertebrae while others were found to have seven (Trueb 1984).

This frog was formally described by Linda Trueb (1984) with references to the unpublished 1965 field notes of Charles W. Myers, containing species observations and ecological descriptions.

Based upon character-states among Pipiod frogs, Pipa myersi is a sister species to P. parva with the next closest relative being Pipa arrabali within the Pipa clade and genus Hymenochirus (Cannatella and Treub 1988).

The species epithet refers coincidentally to both the preferred habitat of the species, derived from the Old Norse ‘myrr’ meaning bog, swamp, or deep mud and Charles W. Myers, who collected the first known series of adults of the species. Myers’ name itself is derived from the French "myre", meaning "keeper of the swamp" (Trueb 1984).

  • Cannatella, D.C. and Trueb, L. (1988). ''Evolution of pipoid frogs: intergeneric relationships of the aquatic frog family Pipidae (Anura).'' Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 94, 1-38.
  • Trueb, L. 1984. Description of a new species of Pipa (Anura: Pipidae) from Panama. Herpetologica 40(3): 225-234.
  • Duellman, W. E. and Neil Schlager. 2003. Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. Volume 6, Amphibians n.p.: Gale, 2003. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
  • Solís, F., Roberto Ibáñez, César Jaramillo, Querube Fuenmayor, Manfred Beier 2010. Pipa myersi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
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Distribution

Range Description

This species has been recorded from the Río Ucurgantí and Río Canclón of Darien Province, Panama, and tentatively from Río Zulia in Norte de Santander, in northern Colombia. It occurs up to 30 masl.
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Distribution and Habitat

Pipa myersi has been encountered at low elevations in southeastern Panama and northeastern Columbia. It has been found along two locations of the Rio Chucunaque drainage of Provincia Darien in Panama, both of which locations involved the conjunction of smaller rivers. Notes from Charles W. Myers describe habitats that included clear/brown, shallow water within vernal pools lined with leaf litter, and vast overlaying canopy cover (Trueb 1984).

  • Cannatella, D.C. and Trueb, L. (1988). ''Evolution of pipoid frogs: intergeneric relationships of the aquatic frog family Pipidae (Anura).'' Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 94, 1-38.
  • Trueb, L. 1984. Description of a new species of Pipa (Anura: Pipidae) from Panama. Herpetologica 40(3): 225-234.
  • Duellman, W. E. and Neil Schlager. 2003. Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. Volume 6, Amphibians n.p.: Gale, 2003. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
  • Solís, F., Roberto Ibáñez, César Jaramillo, Querube Fuenmayor, Manfred Beier 2010. Pipa myersi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
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Countries

Countries

This species has only been found in Panama, but may occur in adjacent Colombia.

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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Identification

Adult

Species description based on Trueb (1984).  An aquatic frog with a unique flattened body, stout arms and legs, small head, and pointed snout (females to 42 mm).

Dorsal

The dorsal surface is dark grey. The skin of the dorsum is covered in small bumps.

Eye

The iris is light bronzy brown with black specks.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is an aquatic species restricted to swamps and other suitable wetlands. The eggs presumably develop on the back of the female, either by larval or direct development.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Habitat

Lowland swamp forest to 30 m elevation.

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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Life History

Tadpole

The body is rather flat (Trueb 1984). The tail sits quite high on the body of the tadpole (Trueb 1984). The tadpole is dark grey above and greyish-white below (Trueb 1984). See Trueb (1984) for excellent illustrations of the tadpole.

Metamorph juvenile

Metamorphs are dark grey with a silvery white ventral surface (Trueb 1984).

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
EN
Endangered

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Frank Solís, Roberto Ibáñez, César Jaramillo, Querube Fuenmayor, Manfred Beier

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson, Neil Cox and Bruce Young)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in Panama.

History
  • 2004
    Endangered
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Population

Population
There is no information available on the population status of this species.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

As Pipiods, fertilized eggs are deposited onto the backs of females to complete development, however, after hatching the larvae leave the skin chambers and complete development as free-swimming tadpoles in open water. The aquatic larvae also lack barbels around the mouth area (Duellman and Schlager 2003).

Tadpoles were often observed to be swimming near the surface of vernal pools at night as opposed to daytime, according to Myers’ field notes (Trueb 1984).

  • Cannatella, D.C. and Trueb, L. (1988). ''Evolution of pipoid frogs: intergeneric relationships of the aquatic frog family Pipidae (Anura).'' Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 94, 1-38.
  • Trueb, L. 1984. Description of a new species of Pipa (Anura: Pipidae) from Panama. Herpetologica 40(3): 225-234.
  • Duellman, W. E. and Neil Schlager. 2003. Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. Volume 6, Amphibians n.p.: Gale, 2003. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
  • Solís, F., Roberto Ibáñez, César Jaramillo, Querube Fuenmayor, Manfred Beier 2010. Pipa myersi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
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Threats

Major Threats
The major threat is habitat loss and destruction of forests surrounding the wetlands (due to logging, subsistence agriculture, and livestock farming); water pollution is also a threat.
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Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

The quality and extent of suitable habitat is declining leading to greater habitat fragmentation, however, no population level data has been reported by the IUCN Red List (Solis et al. 2010).

  • Cannatella, D.C. and Trueb, L. (1988). ''Evolution of pipoid frogs: intergeneric relationships of the aquatic frog family Pipidae (Anura).'' Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 94, 1-38.
  • Trueb, L. 1984. Description of a new species of Pipa (Anura: Pipidae) from Panama. Herpetologica 40(3): 225-234.
  • Duellman, W. E. and Neil Schlager. 2003. Grzimek’s Animal Life Encyclopedia. Volume 6, Amphibians n.p.: Gale, 2003. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost)
  • Solís, F., Roberto Ibáñez, César Jaramillo, Querube Fuenmayor, Manfred Beier 2010. Pipa myersi. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It has been recorded from the Reserva Canclón Hidrológica in Panama, but additional protection of the wetland habitat of this species is needed. Further research is necessary to determine the current population status of this species.
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Wikipedia

Myers' Surinam toad

Myers' Suriname toad (Pipa myersi) is a species of frog in the Pipidae family found in Panama and possibly Colombia. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and rivers. It is threatened by habitat loss.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Solís, F., Ibáñez, R., Jaramillo, C. & Fuenmayor, Q. 2004. Pipa myersi. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 23 July 2007.
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