Thursday, 27 November 2014

A new species of Fanged Frog from Sarawak.


Fanged Frogs of the genus Limnonectes get their name from fang-like protrusions on the jaws of the male Frogs. They are unusual for Frogs in that the males are larger than the females (the reverse is usually the case), and apparently defend territories through physical contests with other males, with females mating with the males with the best territories. The males also often have greatly enlarged heads, sometimes forming as much as half the body, apparently also an adaptation to this lifestyle.

In a paper published in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on19 September 2014, Masafumi Matsui and Kanto Nishikawa of the Graduate School of Humanand Environmental Studies at Kyoto University and Koshiro Eto of the Kyoto University Museum describe a new species of Fanged Frog from Samarahan Division in the state of Sarawak in East Malaysia (Borneo).

The new species is named Limnonectes cintalubang, meaning ‘hole-lover’ in Malay, due to its being found dwelling in burrows. The species is described from nine specimens, one male, two females and seven juveniles. The male was 45 mm in length, the females 32.0 mm and 43.1 mm. The Frogs are a dark chocolate brown colour, with pale undersides and small blue-white spots. They did not appear to dig their own burrows, instead occupying what appeared to be abandoned Rat burrows – although no Rats could be found living in the area. The skin of Limnonectes cintalubang is exceptionally fragile, which Matsui et al. suggest may be a defence mechanism, the Frog losing part of its skin to an attacker to evade capture.

Limnonectes cintalubang, male. Matsui et al. (2014).

See also…

Fanged Frogs of the genus Limnonectesare found across southern China and Japan, as well as the Philippines, Southeast Asia and much of Indonesia. They are unusual in that the males are considerably...

Cryptic species are species that closely resemble other species, and cannot be separated by simple, non-invasive examination. While taxonomists have known about cryptic species for a long time, it was not...
 Cryptic species are species which resemble one-another physically, and which cannot generally be separated using traditional taxonomic methodology, but which are nevertheless genetically and reproductively isolated. Genetic studies of many groups of...
 
 
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