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Concept: Cusco


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.

Concepts: Species, Forest, Montane, Andes, Amphibian, Peru, Cusco


Although the Andes have long been occupied by people, habitat loss, fragmentation through deforestation, and other human activities such as introduction of invasive species have increased drastically during the past century. The Ecuadorian Andes are considered a biodiversity hotspot. However, the fauna and threats to the region are poorly studied, and understanding of factors that shape the distribution of species in habitats disturbed by human activities is needed to identify and mitigate region-wide threats to wildlife. We evaluated factors associated with patterns of occurrence of Andean carnivores in landscapes of the northern Ecuadorian Andes, particularly habitat loss, fragmentation, and occupancy of domestic dogs, and determined whether thresholds occurred for these factors beyond which carnivore occurrence declined markedly. Five study areas (each 20 x 20 km) were surveyed with a total effort of 2,800 camera trap nights. Occupancies of four of the eight carnivores known from the region were best predicted by occupancy of domestic dogs rather than measures of habitat loss and fragmentation [Andean fox (Pseudalopex culpaeus), puma (Puma concolor), striped hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus semistriatus), and Andean bear (Tremarctos ornatus)]. The two largest carnivores, puma and Andean bear, demonstrated significant threshold responses to the presence of domestic dogs at two sites. Four smaller carnivores were recorded too infrequently to model occupancy, and at least two of these species appear to be in decline. The magnitude of domestic dog impacts on native species in tropical areas like the Ecuadorian Andes currently are not recognized. Results of our study indicate that small and large carnivores are in urgent need of conservation and clearly point to dogs as a significant threat to a broad range of native species.

Concepts: South America, Argentina, Chile, Andes, Canidae, Carnivora, Cusco, Spectacled Bear


When Francisco Pizarro and his small band of Spanish conquistadores landed in northern Peru in A.D. 1532 to begin their conquest of the vast Inca Empire, they initiated profound changes in the culture, language, technology, economics, and demography of western South America. They also altered anthropogenically modulated processes of shoreline change that had functioned for millennia. Beginning with the extirpation of local cultures as a result of the Spanish Conquest, and continuing through today, the intersection of demography, economy, and El Niño-driven beach-ridge formation on the Chira beach-ridge plain of Northwestern Peru has changed the nature of coastal evolution in this region. A similar event may have occurred at about 2800 calibrated y B.P. in association with increased El Niño frequency.

Concepts: Lima, Ecuador, Spanish colonization of the Americas, Peru, Cusco, Francisco Pizarro, Conquistador, History of Peru


The vector Lutzomyia sand flies and reservoir host mammals of the Leishmania parasites, causing the Andean cutaneous leishmaniasis (Andean-CL, uta) in Peru and Ecuador were thoroughly reviewed, performing a survey of literatures including our unpublished data. The Peruvian L. (V.) peruviana, a principal Leishmania species causing Andean-CL in Peru, possessed three Lutzomyia species, Lu. peruensis, Lu. verrucarum and Lu. ayacuchensis as vectors, while the Ecuadorian L. (L.) mexicana parasite possessed only one species Lu. ayacuchensis as the vector. Among these, the Ecuadorian showed a markedly higher rate of natural Leishmania infections. However, the monthly and diurnal biting activities were mostly similar among these vector species was in both countries, and the higher rates of infection (transmission) reported, corresponded to sand fly’s higher monthly-activity season (rainy season). The Lu. tejadai sand fly participated as a vector of a hybrid parasite of L. (V.) braziliensis/L. (V.) peruviana in the Peruvian Andes. Dogs were considered to be principal reservoir hosts of the L. (V.) peruviana and L. (L.) mexicana parasites in both countries, followed by other sylvatic mammals such as Phyllotis andium, Didelphis albiventris and Akodon sp. in Peru, and Rattus rattus in Ecuador, but information on the reservoir hosts/mammals was extremely poor in both countries. Thus, the Peruvian disease form demonstrated more complicated transmission dynamics than the Ecuadorian. A brief review was also given to the control of vector and reservoirs in the Andes areas. Such information is crucial for future development of the control strategies of the disease.

Concepts: Leishmaniasis, Leishmania, Colombia, Andes, Ecuador, Peru, Quechua, Cusco


A total of 41 cestodes were collected during necropsy examination on 2 pumas (Puma concolor) that were found in 2 communities in Canchis province, Cuzco region, Peru, at 4500 meters above sea level (Peruvian Andes). The cestodes were evaluated morphologically and molecularly. A fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) was used as a genetic marker. All the cestodes were identified as Taenia omissa. In the present report, we give a brief description by molecular and morphological diagnosis of the cestodes and compare nucleotide sequences with previous isolates from GenBank. Upon comparison, the sequences showed a difference in the cox1 gene of 5.1 to 5.3% with other teniids sequences. This finding constitutes the first report of T. omissa in Peru and expands the geographic distribution of this parasite.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, South America, Cytochrome c, Andes, Cougar, Peru, Cusco


Triclabendazole is reported to be highly effective in treatment of human fascioliasis. We present 7 of 19 selected cases of human fascioliasis referred to our center in the Cusco region of Peru that failed to respond to triclabendazole. These were mostly symptomatic adults of both sexes that continued passing Fasciola eggs in the stool despite multiple treatments with 2 doses of triclabendazole at 10 mg/kg per dose. We documented the presence of eggs by rapid sedimentation and Kato Katz tests after each treatment course. We found that repeated triclabendazole courses were not effective against fascioliasis in this group of people. These findings suggest that resistance to triclabendazole may be an emerging problem in the Andes.

Concepts: Andes, Lima, Ecuador, Peru, Inca Empire, Arequipa, Quechua, Cusco


We describe a new species of terrestrial frog of the genus Bryophryne (Anura: Craugastoridae) from the wet puna and elfin forests of the Amazonian versant of the Andes. The new species seems to be restricted to high altitude environments at elevations between 3506-3651 m in the area now protected by Megantoni National Sanctuary and Manu National Park (Distrito de Echarate, Provincia La Convención, Departamento Cusco, Peru). The new species is characterized by lacking vomerine processes of vomers, by having tympanic annulus and tympanic membrane not evident through the skin, smooth dorsal skin with scattered warts, conspicuous dorsolateral, middorsal, and occipital folds, warty flanks, areolate skin on ventral surfaces of the body, and by lacking finger and toe fringes and basal web on feet. In life, specimens have bright and highly variable dorsal coloration that ranges from olive-green to red with variable combinations of red or orange marks (red or orange in the green form and olive-green in the red form). Molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA place the new species within the genus Bryophryne and as sister group of B. cophites. Bryophryne bustamantei, also sequenced for this study, is found as the sister group of the clade formed by B. cophites and the new species. Bryophryne is found as sister group of Psychrophrynella in maximum likelihood analyses and as the sister group of a large clade of holoadenines in parsimony analyses. The genus Bryophryne now contains nine species, all of them distributed along the Cordillera Oriental of the Peruvian Andes, southeast of the Apurimac River valley.

Concepts: Biology, Species, Phylogenetics, Colombia, Amazon Basin, Andes, Peru, Cusco


Sexting (sexual messaging via mobile devices) among adolescents may result in increased risky sexual practices, psychological distress and in some cases, suicide. There is very little research on sexting in developing nations, such as Peru. In particular, little is known about gender differences in the correlates of sexting. The purpose of this study was to determine the sexting prevalence and correlates of sexting among adolescent boys and girls in Cusco, Peru.

Concepts: Spanish language, Brazil, Human Development Index, Lima, Peru, Inca Empire, Cusco


A Mexican airline pilot had clinical manifestations of illness after a five-day stay in Lima, Peru. Six months later in Mexico, he was given a diagnosis of infection with Cyclospora cayetanensis by using coproparasitoscopic serial tests. He was treated twice with nitazoxadine successfully.

Concepts: Spanish language, Pacific Ocean, Mexico, Lima, Mexico City, Aircraft, Aviator, Cusco