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:
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
Table 2 – Species for the term Coa if using species that have toad-like qualities
Species Latin Name
Table 3 – Species list for Coa if any group called a ‘toad’ today is listed
Species Latin Name
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.
Additional Papers Consulted
Georgina Santos-Barrera, Oscar Flores-Villela. 2010. Lithobates magnaocularis. The 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?