Detailed characterizations of the karyotypes of the Brazilian leptodactylid frogs Pleurodema diplolistris, the only species of Pleurodema not studied cytogenetically so far, and Physalaemus nattereri, a species in the Ph. biligonigerus group, are presented. Both karyotypes had 2n = 22 and their chromosomes had a very similar morphology, except for pair 11, which was metacentric in Pl. diplolistris and telocentric in Ph. nattereri. The localization of nucleolar organizer regions (NORs) and heterochromatic bands allowed the differentiation of chromosomes that were morphologically indistinguishable between these species, such as pairs 1, 3 and 10, which showed interstitial C-bands in Ph. nattereri, and pair 8, that had an NOR and an adjacent C-band in Pl. diplolistris. Pair 8 also has NOR-bearing chromosomes in many other Pleurodema species. However, in these species, the NOR is located proximal to the centromere on the short arm, while in Pl. diplolistris it occurred distally on the long arm, a condition that may be considered a derived state. In Ph. nattereri, the NOR occurred on chromosome 11 and differed from the other species of the Ph. biligonigerus group. In contrast, C-banding revealed a heterochromatic block near the centromere on the short arm of pair 3, a characteristic common to all members of this group of Physalaemus.
We present a description of the external morphology and internal oral features of the tadpole of Scinax catharinae and comparisons with the known tadpoles of the S. catharinae group. Two characters of the external morphology present some intraspecific variation: the row of submarginal papillae, which can be uniseriate or absent, and the tail tip, which can be large or small, truncated or not. That said, the tadpole of S. catharinae presents some distinguishing features that differentiate it from other tadpoles in the S. catharinae group: i) the marginal row of papillae with alternate disposition, ii) the spiracle opening on the midline of the body, iii) longest snout length, and iv) largest interorbital distance. The studied species were segregated into five ecomorphological guilds, characterized by external morphological features, tadpole habitat use and vegetation formation of species range. The taxonomy of the S. catharinae group is complex, due to the morphological similarities among the adults. Larval characters could help in the resolution of the taxonomic and phylogenetic complexities, since the morphological differences among the tadpoles in this group seem more conspicuous than those found among the adults.
Events of mass malformations in amphibian populations that have exceeded historical records have been reported over the past thirty years. Many of these events have been linked to human activities that occurred near amphibian breeding habitats. The rise in biofuels has promoted, and continues to promote, the growth of sugarcane plantations in Brazil, with the northwest region of São Paulo State having experienced the largest sugarcane expansion over the past few decades. In this region, we sampled temporary ponds located in agroecosystems dominated to different degrees by sugarcane. We found several larvae of Scinax fuscovarius with eye malformations (anophthalmia, aphakia, microphthalmia and sub-development). In this study, we assessed whether the distance from the ponds to the nearest sugarcane crop, the proportion of sugarcane surrounding the ponds, the presence of pesticides in the ponds, or the proportion of land uses with potential teratogens that surround the ponds were related to the frequencies of amphibian eye malformations. We found pesticides present in 11 of the 18 ponds, but none of the predictor variables was associated with the frequencies of amphibian eye malformations. Thus, our results suggest that the observed frequencies of amphibian eye malformations could be a consequence of natural mutation rates, and these data could be used as a malformation baseline for the region. This malformation baseline is the first reported for amphibians in South America and may be useful in future surveys on amphibian populations in tropical agroecosystems.