Opata Fauna: The Coa and the Sibori

Opata Fauna: The Coa and the Sibori

The following article is intending to illustrate what we are doing with the information that we are discovering. In this case, with the name of animals in the Opata region, “Opateria” that no one in the past matched it with its correct species or scientific name.

And this would not be possible in a faster way and with the greater probability of being correct without a professional in the field. A few months ago, Joseph Barron joined the team of official collaborators. This partnership has been possible thanks to Spencer Pote, an Opata from Arizona, currently studying a similar subject.

Here a window to his approach:

Methodology Overview

I used 276 reported occurrences of frogs within the Opata boundary layer given. These records were from citizen science reports and historical databases (collected using gbif.org). I then took the complete species list from these sightings (23 species) and cross-referenced their natural history, range map, and taxonomic name with amphibiaweb.org and some additional sources listed below.

Coa – Toad

Taxonomically, the term ‘toad’ is paraphyletic, that is, it groups species without a common ancestry together. There are several different families that fall under the term ‘toad.’ Bufonidae are often called the ‘true toads.’ Within this family is the American toad, Anaxyrus americanus, which is common throughout North America and displays many of the characteristics of what we would call a ‘toad.’ Its legs are stubby, its skin is dry and warty, and it displays poison glands behind the eye. There is also the family Scaphiopodidae, the “Spade-Foot Toads.” These are distinct from Bufonidae, but it is easy to see why they also were termed “toads.” Their skin is also warty, their legs are stubby, but unlike “true toads,” they lack poison glands behind the eye, and as their name suggests, they have a spade-like keratin growth on their feet to help them burrow. Finally, there are the “narrow mouth toads” in the family Microhylidae. I cannot find a good reason as to why this group also gained the toad moniker, as they lack many of the qualities we think of when we think of toads. Doing some searches, some databases prefer to call them “narrow-mouth frogs,” but the term ‘toad’ does persist.

I have put below three different species lists for this word. One only uses species in Bufonidae – the “true toads,” one includes Schaphiopodidae, due to similarity of appearance, and one includes Microhylidae and would cover any species we call a ‘toad’ today. The other collaborators may have better insight into what list would be best suited for this word. I would be interested to hear what they think!

Table 1- Species for the term Coa – if only using species in the family Bufonidae

Species Latin Name

Anaxyrus cognatus

Anaxyrus punctatus

Anaxyrus woodhousii

Table 2 – Species for the term Coa if using species that have toad-like qualities

Species Latin Name

Anaxyrus cognatus

Anaxyrus punctatus

Anaxyrus woodhousii

Scaphiopus couchii

Spea multiplicata

Table 3 – Species list for Coa if any group called a ‘toad’ today is listed

Species Latin Name

Anaxyrus cognatus

Anaxyrus punctatus

Anaxyrus woodhousii

Gastrophryne mazatlanensis

Gastrophryne olivacea

Scaphiopus couchii

Spea multiplicata

Sibori – Tadpole

One of the most impressive features of amphibians is the sheer diversity of their reproductive strategies. While many frogs have an aquatic larval stage, many also develop directly in the egg or even have “live birth.” In this region of the world however, most species lay eggs that form a tadpole stage. The following is a list of all frog/toad species that have a tadpole stage in the boundaries of the Opata Nation.

Latin Name

Agalychnis dacnicolor

Anaxyrus cognatus

Anaxyrus punctatus

Anaxyrus woodhousii

Gastrophryne mazatlanensis

Gastrophryne olivacea

Hyla arenicolor

Hyla eximia

Hyla wrightorum

Incilius alvarius

Incilius mazatlanensis

Rana berlandieri

Rana catesbeianus

Rana chiricahuensis

Rana magnaocularis

Rana tarahumarae

Rana yavapaiensis

Scaphiopus couchii

Smilisca fodiens

Spea multiplicata

Additional Papers Consulted

Georgina Santos-Barrera, Oscar Flores-Villela. 2010. Lithobates magnaocularisThe IUCN Red List of

Threatened Species 2010: e.T58656A11821339.  https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010- 2.RLTS.T58656A11821339.en. Downloaded on 11 May 2020.

Streicher, J. W., Cox, C. L., Campbell, J. A., Smith, E. N., & De Sá, R. O. (2012). Rapid range expansion in the Great Plains narrow-mouthed toad (Gastrophryne olivacea) and a revised taxonomy for North American microhylids. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 64, 645–653. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2012.05.020

Lowe, F. A. S. and C. H., & Jr. (n.d.). A New Subspecies of Bufo woodhousei from the Inland Southwest. In Herpetologica (Vol. 11, pp. 185–190). Allen PressHerpetologists’ League. https://doi.org/10.2307/3889354

Hedges, S. B., Duellman, W. E., & Heinicke, M. P. (2008). ZOOTAXA New World direct-developing frogs (Anura: Terrarana): Molecular phylogeny, classification, biogeography, and conservation. www.mapress.com/zootaxa/

 

Occurrence Data Citations

GBIF.org (08 May 2020) GBIF Occurrence Download https://doi.org/10.15468/dl.qvx8dh

GBIF.org (11 May 2020) GBIF Occurrence Download https://doi.org/10.15468/dl.3fqvc4

Although this research does not provide us with a precise answer, if it helps us to reduce the universe of probabilities and based on the observation after the rains in Opateria, we could, based on inference, take for granted which species our ancestors referred to or well, we can also decide to refer to any toad as “Coa” and tadpole as “Sibori”.

In your town from the Opateria, What is the species of Toad that you most frequently see?

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