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Development of the nidicolous tadpoles of Eupsophus emiliopugini (Anura: Cycloramphidae) until metamorphosis, with comments on systematic relationships of the species and its endotrophic developmental mode

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Abstract:

Abstract

Vera Candioti, M.F., Nuñez, J.J. and Úbeda, C. 2011. Development of the nidicolous tadpoles of Eupsophus emiliopugini (Anura: Cycloramphidae) until metamorphosis, with comments on systematic relationships of the species and its endotrophic developmental mode. —Acta Zoologica (Stockholm) 92: 27–45.

Species of Eupsophus are unique within Alsodinae in having nidicolous tadpoles. They are characterized by traits typical of generalized exotrophic (e.g., oral disc and spiracular tube) and endotrophic larvae (e.g., scant pigmentation and large hind limbs). The larval morphology and development of E. emiliopugini, including external, buccal, and musculoskeletal features, is described herein. Like the larvae of other alsodines, these larvae have four lingual and four infralabial papillae, quadratoethmoid process, and an m. rectus cervicis with a double insertion. Among the traits exclusive to the genus are: the absence of the pseudopterygoid process and quadrato-orbital commissure; presence of the m. subarcualis rectus I with two slips; and presence of the m. subarcualis rectus II–IV inserting on Ceratobranchial II. The development and metamorphosis of Eupsophus include some characters that develop later (e.g., degeneration of mouthparts and chondrocranium with minimum calcification), characters that develop earlier (e.g., hind-limb appearance and jaw and suspensorium ossification), and characters that develop at the same time (e.g., most external features and cranial muscles) than in most exotrophic species. Some distinctive characters (third lower labial ridge absent, general configuration of the hyobranchial skeleton, skeletal development with retention of larval traits) resemble those of other endotrophic species, and the precocious ossification of jaws and suspensorium is shared with several direct-developing species among recent amphibians.

Keywords: Alsodinae; cranial morphology; early development; heterochrony

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1463-6395.2010.00448.x

Affiliations: 1: CONICET – Instituto de Herpetología, Fundación Miguel Lillo, Miguel Lillo 251, 4000 Tucumán, Argentina 2: Instituto de Zoología, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile 3: Departamento de Zoología, Centro Regional Universitario Bariloche, Universidad Nacional del Comahue, Unidad Postal Universidad, R 8400 FRF Bariloche, Argentina

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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