Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Telmatobius atahualpai belongs to a clade where there are no proposed synapomorphies supporting the monophyly of Telmatobius, Telmatobiini, Telmatobinae, or Leptodactylidae, though the presumptive synapomorphies for the group are (1) frontoparietals fused posteriorly, and (2) nuptial excresence on Finger 1 only (which are not universal across all Telmatobius). T. atahualpai has been placed within Telmatobius based on the presence of long, recurved, fanglike teeth on the maxilla, premaxilla, and vomer, a condition Wiens (1993) has found in all the Telmatobius in his study. This character is also found in the closely related Alsodes and Insuetophrynus. T. atahualpai is located closer to the rest of the Telmatobius in the northern Andes (rather than the other two Patagonian genera) and is thus placed within the genus (not a very strong argument for taxonomic placement). This species can be differentiated from its congeners based on the following characters (1) premaxillary teeth present, (2) tympanum present, (3) dorsum, in life, is black with green flecks, (4) ventral coloration is an unpatterned gray, (5) dorsal skin is smooth.
Head is slightly narrower than the body; head is wider than long (head width is 34.2-36.6% SVL). Nostrils are not protuberant and are located at the anteriormost portion of the snout. Snout is short and bluntly rounded. Tympanum is absent. Relative lengths of fingers are as follows: III>I³IV>II; webbing and lateral fringes absent. Relative toe lengths: V>IV=III>II>I. Cloacal opening is round, unornamented and located at upper level of thigh.