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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science




New World Microhylids are fossorial, leaf-litter, terrestrial frogs. They are grouped into three subfamilies: Adelastinae, Otophryninae, and Gastrophryninae (de Sá et al. 2019). Gastrophyrninae is the most diverse family consisting of 11 genera and 76 species (de Sá et al. 2012). Within the family, Gastrophyninae, Chiasmocleis is the largest genus in the subfamily Gastrophyrninae with 36 recognized species. Chiasmocleis species occur to the east of the Andes in South America and occupy both forested and dry or open habitats (de Sá et al. 2019).

Historically, little has been known about the species because of their ecology and small size; i.e., species are fossorial or semi-fossorial, they only come to the surface for a few days during breeding season (Forlani et al. 2017). Additionally, Chiasmocleis species are difficult to tell apart through external morphological characteristics alone (Forlani et al. 2017). Researchers have distinguished species by using molecular characters in addition to differences in size, foot webbing, dermal spines, and coloration patterns (Tonini et al. 2014). Forlani et al. 2017 provided the first full osteological description for a Chiasmocleis species which showed that osteological characters can be of use in identifying species.

Herein, I describe the osteology of five Chiasmocleis species, representing the three subgenera, to assess morphological trends within the context of our recently published phylogeny of the genus (de Sa et al. 2019).

Available for download on Friday, June 28, 2080