The frog genus Psychrophrynella currently includes 21 species distributed across the humid grasslands and forests in the Amazonian slopes of the Andes in southern Peru and Bolivia. These frogs are small, usually measuring between 14 and 33 mm.
Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Psychrophrynella inhabits high-elevation forests in the tropical Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution. The name of the new species is a combination of Quechua words meaning “toad” (“hampa’tu”) that lives in the “cold” (“chiri”). The name is a wordplay because genus and species names sharing the same meaning (frog inhabiting cold environments). Psychrophrynella is derived from the Greek psychros (cold) and phrynos (toad).
For the experts: We describe a new species of Psychrophrynella from the humid montane forest of the Department Cusco in Peru. Specimens were collected at 2,670–3,165 m elevation in the Área de Conservación Privada Ukumari Llakta, Japumayo valley, near Comunidad Campesina de Japu, in the province of Paucartambo. The new species is readily distinguished from all other species of Psychrophrynella but P. bagrecito and P. usurpator by possessing a tubercle on the inner edge of the tarsus, and from these two species by its yellow ventral coloration on abdomen and limbs. Furthermore, the new species is like P. bagrecito and P. usurpator in having an advertisement call composed of multiple notes, whereas other species of Psychrophrynella whose calls are known have a pulsed call (P. teqta) or a short, tonal call composed of a single note. The new species has a snout-vent length of 16.1–24.1 mm in males and 23.3–27.7 mm in females. Like other recently described species in the genus, this new Psychrophrynella inhabits high-elevation forests in the tropical Andes and likely has a restricted geographic distribution.