New Species

The Cerro Chucantí Private Nature Reserve is little more than a decade old, yet a suprising amount of new species have already been discovered there! Although some of these species have been found in other parts of Panama since their original discovery, the majority are endemic to (meaning they only live in) Cerro Chucantí.

new species have been discovered in the Private Nature Reserve

of the new species are endemic to Cerro Chucantí

new species have been discovered in the Private Nature Reserve

of the new species are endemic to Cerro Chucantí

new species have been discovered in the Private Nature Reserve

The main reason that so many new species have been discovered in the Cerro Chucantí Private Nature Reserve is that the higher elevations of the reserve contain a rare cloud forest habitat. Many of the species that live in the colder cloud forest cannot survive in the warmer forest near the foot of the mountain, which has turned the cloud forest into a sort of “island” isolated from the surrounding landscape. Cerro Chucantí is especially isolated because it is more than 100 km from the nearest patch of cloud forest!

Number of species per kingdom

S. sebastiani
Strophaeus sebastiani

Year collected/observed: 2008

Year described: 2010

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: Its name is dedicated to Sebastián Miranda, the son of the first author of the describing paper.

Description: A type of trapdoor spider. Males are mostly black, while females are dark or reddish brown with some reddish leg segments. Their “trapdoor” shelters are found in open areas and are very similar to those built by another species: Actinopus robustus. Body length = 21.5 - 27.1 mm (females are larger).

Click here to see a photo of a shelter of S. sebastiani.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Miranda, R.J., & S.E. Bermúdez. 2010. Strophaeus sebastiani, nueva especie de Barychelidae (Aranae: Mygalomorphae) de Panamá. S.E.A. 47: 175-179. *Only in Spanish

T. elizabeth
© Scott Kinnee
Tessaropa elizabeth

Year collected/observed: 2012

Year described: 2013

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: It is named after the daughter of the first author of the describing paper.

Description: A type of small beetle (total length = 10.3mm) with antennae longer than its body, this is the first species of its genus to be described in Central America! Unlike its relatives, the pronotum (the covering behind the head) of this species is orange with a dark central stripe; their orange-tipped antennae also help distinguish them from other similar beetles.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Bezark, L.G., W.H. Tyson & N.M. Schiff. 2013. New species of Cerambycidae from Panama, with new distribution records (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Zootaxa. 3608(4): 273–277. *Only in English

A. cordiforme
© Bezark et al.
Anelaphus cordiforme

Year collected/observed: 2012

Year described: 2013

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: The species name "cordiforme" refers to the heart-shaped area on its elytra (wing covers).

Description: A type of small beetle (total length = 14mm) with antennae longer than its body. It is distinguished from similar species by the heart-shaped, as opposed to oval, marking on its elytra.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Bezark, L.G., W.H. Tyson & N.M. Schiff. 2013. New species of Cerambycidae from Panama, with new distribution records (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). Zootaxa. 3608(4): 273–277. *Only in English

E. tristis
© Eleandro Moysés
Epropetes tristis

Year collected/observed: 2012

Year described: 2013

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: From the Latin "tristis", meaning sad, due to its dark color.

Description: A type of small beetle (total length = 10.3 mm) with long antennae. It is mainly black and dark gray in color, except for two triangular yellow spots on its elytra (wing covers), the small white hairs over much of its body, and its yellowish-brown antennae.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Martins, U.R., & M.H.M. Galileo. 2013. New species and records of Cerambycinae and Lamiinae (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) from the Neotropical Region. Zootaxa. 3683(5): 571-580. *Only in English

B.chucantiensis
© Abel Batista
Chucantí Salamander Bolitoglossa chucantiensis

Year collected/observed: 2013

Year described: 2014

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: The name of this species refers to the type locality where the first individual was discovered, the Cerro Chucantí Private Natural Reserve.

Description: A slim-bodied salamander that ranges in color from pale orange to reddish or dark brown, usually with yellow spots. This species also has completely webbed hands. Although species in this genus vary in their preferred habitat, this species appears to be at least partially arboreal; the first known individual was found on a palm leaf approximately 1 m above the ground.

Conservation status: B. chucantiensis is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) by the IUCN primarily due to its limited habitat (see the “Other Resources” section below for more information).

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Batista, A., G. Köhler, K. Mebert, & M. Vesely. 2014. A new species of Bolitoglossa (Amphibia: Plethodontidae) from eastern Panama, with comments on other members of the adspersa species group from eastern Panama. Mesoam. Herpetol. 1(1):96-120. *Only in English

Other resources:

Diasporus majeensis
© Abel Batista et al. 2016
Chucantí Tink Frog Diasporus majeensis

Year collected/observed: 2012

Year described: 2016

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: This species takes its name from the Serranía de Majé, the mountain range containing Cerro Chucantí.

Description: A small, reddish frog (total length = 9.5 mm) with mostly smooth skin, this species seems to prefer living in bromeliads around 0.5 - 2 m above the ground. Although their specific diet is not yet known, they are expected to eat the same food as other species in the genus Diasporus: small crickets, cockroaches, ants, and isopods.

Conservation status: D. majeensis is classified as Critically Endangered (CR) by the IUCN primarily due to its limited habitat (see the “Other Resources” section below for more information).

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Batista, A., G. Köhler, K. Mebert, A. Hertz, & M. Vesely. 2016. An integrative approach to reveal speciation and species richness in the genus Diasporus (Amphibia: Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) in eastern Panama. Zool J Linnean Soc. 178:267-311. *Only in English

Other resources:

S.austrella
© Makario González-Pinzón
Chucantí Centipede Snake Tantilla berguidoi

Year collected/observed: 2012

Year described: 2016

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: This species is named in honor of Guido Berguido, founder of ADOPTA and the Cerro Chucantí Private Natural Reserve.

Description: A small, slender snake (total length = 40.3 cm) that lives in leaf litter. It is distinguished by its thinner and paler dorsal stripe and the pale, subdued coloration of the ring on its neck (other similar species have more defined neck stripes and rings). This species is not poisonous.

Conservation status: The authors of the paper that first described T. berguidoi suggest that the IUCN should classify this species as Critically Endangered (CR) due mainly to its limited habitat.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Batista, A., K. Mebert, S. Lotzkat, & L.D. Wilson. 2016. A new species of centipede snake of the genus Tantilla (Squamata: Colubridae) from an isolated premontane forest in eastern Panama. Mesoam. Herpetol.. 3(4):948-960. *Only in English

Other resources:

A.annularum
© Orlando O. Ortiz
Anthurium annularum

Year collected/observed: 2014

Year described: 2016

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: From the Latin "annularis" which means in the form of or arranged in a ring. This name refers to the ring-shaped swellings on its stems near where the leaves sprout.

Description: A hemieepiphytic climbing herb (which sprouts in the canopy but eventually grows to the ground) with distinct ring-shaped swellings near where its leaves sprout. Its unobtrusive, greenish flower structures develop into a purplish fruiting body with light green berries. Both flowers and fruits have been observed in August (although more studies are needed to clarify the exact flowering and fruiting seasons).

Conservation status: The authors of the paper that first described A. annularum suggest that the IUCN should classify this species as Critically Endangered (CR) due mainly to its limited habitat.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Ortiz, O.O., R.M. Baldini, G. Berguido, & T.B. Croat. 2016. New species of Anthurium (Araceae) from Chucantí Nature Reserve, eastern Panama. Phytotaxa. 255(1): 47-56. *Only in English

A.chucantiense
© Orlando O. Ortiz
Anthurium chucantiense

Year collected/observed: 2012

Year described: 2016

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: It takes its name from Cerro Chucantí, where it was discovered.

Description: An epiphytic herb (a plant that grows on other plants) with short stems and somewhat inconspicuous flowers that develop into showy fruiting bodies with red berries. All the specimens examined so far had fruit and flowers between August and September (although more studies are needed to clarify the exact flowering and fruiting seasons). They have generally been found growing close to the ground.

Conservation status: The authors of the paper that first described A. chucantiense suggest that the IUCN should classify this species as Critically Endangered (CR) due mainly to its limited habitat.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Ortiz, O.O., R.M. Baldini, G. Berguido, & T.B. Croat. 2016. New species of Anthurium (Araceae) from Chucantí Nature Reserve, eastern Panama. Phytotaxa. 255(1): 47-56. *Only in English

Other resources:

H.berguidoi
© Rodolfo Flores
Heliconia berguidoi

Year collected/observed: 2006

Year described: 2017

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: This species is named in honor of Guido Berguido, founder of ADOPTA and the Cerro Chucantí Private Natural Reserve.

Description: An herb that grows like a banana plant, it is distinguished from other Heliconias by its long leaf stalks that are mostly smooth (except for their hairy bases), leaves that split into narrow parts, and the color of its inflorescence (the flower structure). It blooms around March (the exact flowering and fruiting season has not yet been published). This plant grows up to 5 m tall; the length of the inflorescence can be more than 2 m!

Conservation status: The authors of the paper that first described H. berguidoi suggest that the IUCN should classify this species as Critically Endangered (CR) due mainly to its limited habitat.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Flores, R. C. Black, & A. Ibáñez. 2017. A new species of Heliconia (Heliconiaceae) with pendent inflorescence, from Chucantí Private Nature Reserve, eastern Panama. Phytokeys. (77):21-32. *Only in English

Other resources:

P.interdius
© A. Konstantinov
Photinus interdius

Year collected/observed: 2006

Year described: 2017

Distribution: They live in lowland forests to 800 m of elevation in central and eastern Panama.

Etymology: From the Latin "interdius", meaning during the day. This name refers to this species’s unique behavior of flashing during the day as opposed to at night like other fireflies.

Description: A large firefly (total length = 24.1mm) that seems to be the only species that flashes during the day! Its elytra (wing covers) are light brown with no obvious stripes; their antennae appear striped. The coloration of its pronotum (which covers the area behind the head) varies according to the populations: those found in the Canal zone have a clear pronotum with a salmon-colored spot, while the spots for those living in Cerro Chucantí are yellow.

Although this is not the only firefly species that is diurnal (active during the day), it is unique in that it does not demonstrate the normal traits of other diurnal species that rely on chemicals rather than light cues for their courtship displays. It's still not entirely clear why this species has adapted to blink during the day, but the current best guess is that this behavior helps them avoid more specialized nocturnal predators.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Vencl, F.V., X. Luan, X. Fu, & L.S. Maroja. 2017. A day-flashing Photinus firefly (Coleoptera: Lampyridae) from central Panamá: an emergent shift to predator-free space? INSECT SYST EVOL. *Only in English

Q.kuna
© Ricardo Pinto-da-Rocha
Quindina kuna

Year collected/observed: 2013

Year described: 2017

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: The name of the species recognizes the indigenous Kuna people who live in the province of Darién and the Guna Yala region in Panama.

Description: A dark brown harvestman with yellowish-white bumps on its upper body (the exact location of the bumps helps with identification). Total body length = 2.9 - 3.1 mm, although it appears larger due to its long legs.

Al igual que otras especies estrechamente relacionadas, los machos de Quindiana kuna construyen y protegen los nidos del barro debajo de los troncos caídos para atraer a las hembras, cuidar sus huevos y proteger a sus crías.

Click here to see a photo of a Q. kuna mud nest.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Pinto-da-Rocha, R., & C. Bragagnolo. 2017. Cladistic analysis of the family Nomoclastidae with descriptions of a new genus and eight new species (Opiliones, Laniatores). INVERTEBR SYST. 31:91-123. *Only in English

N.sallydavidsoniae
© Rodolfo Flores
Notopleura sallydavidsoniae

Year collected/observed: 2009

Year described: 2018

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: It is named after Sally Davidson, a conservationist from Washington, D.C., USA, to recognize her work as a board member of the Rainforest Trust, an organization that has been very supportive of ADOPTA and the Chucantí reserve.

Description: A type of epiphytic plant (a plant that grows on other plants) with fleshy leaves and stems. It has opposite leaves (they grow symmetrically on both sides of the stem) and flowers which sprout from the end of its stems, although the new stems quickly grow beyond the flowers. It blooms between December and April and bears fruit until October.

Conservation status: The authors of the paper that first described N. sallydavidsoniae suggest that the IUCN should classify this species as Critically Endangered (CR) due mainly to its limited habitat.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Flores, R., C.M. Taylor, G. McPherson, & A. Ibáñez. 2018. A new epiphytic species of Notopleura (Rubiaceae) from Chucantí Nature Reserve, eastern Panama. Webbia. *Only in English

Other resources:

D. mortoniana
© Ortiz & Croat 2021
Dieffenbachia mortoniana

Year collected/observed:

Year described: 2021

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: The name of this species honors Jess Morton, a poet and philanthropist dedicated to the arts and conservation, who, along with the Friends of Palos Verdes South Bay Audubon, has shown unwavering support to ADOPTA in its efforts to preserve the cloud forests of Cerro Chucanti.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Ortiz, O.O. & T.B. Croat. 2021. Dieffenbachia Batistae and D. mortoniana (Araceae, Aroideae, Spathicarpeae), New Species from Panama. Annales Botanici Fennici. 58(1-3): 95-99. *Only in English

N.chucanti
© G. González & J. Větrovec
Neaporia chucanti

Year collected/observed: 2017

Year described: 2021

Distribution: This species has only been found in Cerro Chucantí.

Etymology: This species received its name from the Cerro Chucantí Private Natural Reserve, where the first individual was collected.

Description: A small species of ladybug (total length = 2.2 mm). Males are distinguished from other similar species by having a yellow head with a dark yellow-rimmed patch between the eyes. It is also the only species in its genus with a dark pronotum (the hard covering behind its head) rimmed with yellow.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

González, G. & J. Větrovec. 2021. New species and records of Neotropical ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae). Revista Chilena de Entomología. 47(2): 331-374. *Only in English

S.austrella
© J. Longino onAntWeb
Syscia austrella

Year collected/observed: 2015

Year described: 2021

Distribution: Panama, Colombia and Ecuador.

Description: A reddish-brown ant in the same subfamily as army ants. The workers have no eyes and live in leaf litter and the ground (all known individuals of this species have been collected from leaf litter or rotten wood).

Although the original specimen identified as S. austrella was collected in 2015, other individuals collected as early as 1987 have since been identified as this species.

First publication (click on the paper icon for the article):

Longino, J.T. & M.G. Branstetter. 2021. Integrating UCE Phylogenomics With Traditional Taxonomy Reveals a Trove of New World Syscia Species (Formicidae: Dorylinae). Insect Systematics and Diversity. 5(2):1-51. *Only in English

Other resources: