We describe a new species of Pristimantis (Anura: Strabomantidae) from the Pacific coast of the Darién Province, Panama. The type locality is on Cerro Piña, in the Serranía de Sapo, at 700–800 m elevation. This new species is readily distinguished from all other known congeners from the region based on external morphology. Despite the small size of the two type specimens, histological analysis of the gonads shows these individuals were potentially reproductive males. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on the ND2-WANCY mitochondrial gene region reveal that this new species is genetically distinct. Molecular and morphological data place the new species in the Pristimantis (Hypodictyon) ridens species series, and suggest that P. cerasinus be moved to this group as well. Molecular analyses also reveal a potential synapomorphy of the genus Pristimantis relative to the other five genera sampled here: the loss of the D-stem of the tRNACYS gene. Our finding of another endemic frog from eastern Panama lends further support to the concept of the Darién as a center of endemism and not just a conduit between continents.
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Vol. 66 • No. 2