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We describe a new species of minute, terrestrial-breeding frog in the genus Noblella. We collected a single specimen in the leaf litter of primary montane forest (2,225 m a.s.l.) near Thiuni, in the Provice of Carabaya, Department of Puno, in the upper watershed of a tributary of the Inambari River of southern Peru, the same locality where we found the types of Psychrophrynella glauca Catenazzi & Ttito 2018. We placed the new species within Noblella on the basis of molecular data, minute size, and overall morphological resemblance with the type species N. peruviana and other species of Noblella, including having three phalanges on finger IV (as in N. coloma, N. heyeri, N. lynchi, N. madreselva, N. peruviana, and N. pygmaea), and terminal phalanges T-shaped and pointed. Noblella thiuni sp. n. is distinguished from all other species of Noblella by having ventral surfaces of legs bright red, and chest and belly copper reddish with a profusion of silvery spots. The new species further differs from known Peruvian species of Noblella by the combination of the following characters: tympanic membrane absent, eyelids lacking tubercles, dorsal skin finely shagreen, tarsal tubercles or folds absent, three phalanges on Finger IV, tips of digits not expanded, no circumferential grooves on digits, inguinal spots present. The new species has a snout–vent length of 11.0 mm in one adult or subadult male. Our new finding confirms the high levels of endemism and beta diversity of small, terrestrial-breeding frogs inhabiting the moss layers and leaf litter in the montane forests of the Amazonian slopes of the Andes and adjacent moist puna grasslands, and suggests much work remains to be done to properly document this diversity.


Originally published in Peer J Life and Environment.

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