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Keywords:

  • amphibians;
  • Andes;
  • osteology;
  • Melanophryne gen. nov.;
  • systematics

A new genus and species of microhylid frogs are described from localities at elevations of 2500–2960 m on the eastern slopes of the Andes in central Peru. These are the first microhylids recorded from the Peruvian Andes and they differ from all other neotropical microhylids by their lack of a tympanum, tympanic annulus and stapes. Phrynopus carpish is removed from Leptodactylidae and placed in Microhylidae. Several novel morphological characters for microhylids are described, among them dermal body spines, expanded nuptial pads in males and heterotopic cartilages. Osteological descriptions and comparison of the new genus with Nelsonophryne revealed a number of intriguing characters that may prove to be useful in phylogenetic studies. Among these are the presence of a double, rather than single, wall between the olfactory capsules in one genus and the presence of a pair of previously undescribed bones in the nasal capsules of one species in each genus. In addition, some of these taxa have spinous projections on the ventral surface of the hyoid plates, and one species has only seven presacral vertebrae, owing to the fusion of Presacrals I and II. © 2007 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2007, 149, 583–609.