Distributional and natural history notes on five species of amphibians and reptiles from Isla Ometepe, Nicaragua

T. Stark, C. Laurijssens, M.J.A. Weterings

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Relative to the size of the country, the herpetofauna of Nicaragua remains one of the most understudied in Central America (Sunyer et al., 2014). The discovery of new herpetofaunal species in the country and distributional records for certain taxa, however, are not uncommon (Sunyer and Köhler, 2007; Sunyer et al., 2008; 2011). Isla Ometepe is located in Lago de Nicaragua, with the heavily populated land area of the Pacific versant to the west (Fig. 1). The island consists of two volcanoes, Maderas (elev. 1,394 m) and Concepción (elev. 1,610 m), and the wide range of habitats allow for a diverse fauna. Volcán Concepción is active and only a small amount of forest is present at the highest elevations, but the lower elevations contain the largest expanse of dry forest on the island (2,450 ha). Conversely, Volcán Maderas is dormant and contains expanses of lowland dry forest (1,120 ha) and humid forest (1,640 ha), and the higher elevations support the largest expanse of cloud forest (1,166 ha) on the island (Pérez et al., 2004). A wetland isthmus connects the two volcanoes. New species and distributional records for known species of flora, invertebrates, and vertebrates have been reported from Ometepe, including the discovery and description of an endemic salamander, Bolitoglossa insularis (Woodman et al., 2002; McCrary et al., 2005; Scheffrahn et al., 2005; Sunyer et al., 2008). These discoveries are an indication of the species richness of Ometepe, and the potential for more discoveries. The objective of our study was to conduct a herpetofaunal survey of the island, with an emphasis on examining species richness and species distribution. We did not collect any specimens, but voucher photographs are deposited at The University of Texas at Arlington Collection of Vertebrates Digital Collection (UTADC).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-312
JournalMesoamerican Herpetology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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