Monday, December 26, 2011

[Herpetology • 2002] Rhacophorus achantharrhena, R. barisani & R. catamitus • 3 New parachuting frogs Rhacophorus from Sumatra

Rhacophorus achantharrhena sp. nov.
Fig. 1
Holotype.— An adult male, UTACV 53961 (collector’s tag M. B. Harvey 5390), collected 31 May 1996 by Michael B. Harvey and Eric N. Smith on the western slope of Bukit Kaba, Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia, 03 30 02 S, 102 38 08 E, 1415 m (Fig. 2).

Etymology.— The name of the new species is a masculine noun in apposition derived from the Greek nouns akantha meaning thorn or prickle and arrhen meaning male. Males of the new species are covered in tiny spicules, and the new name alludes to this sexually dimorphic character.

Natural history.—At the type locality, calling males were found between 2100– 2200 hrs on low vegetation along a rocky stream through secondary growth. The stream lacked current; its water was clear, shallow, and restricted to pools separated by dry patches of streambed. At 2100 hrs, the temperature was 19 C. When a full moon appeared overhead, males stopped calling.
At Gunung Dempo, the single male specimen was found at 2115 hrs. (air temperature 18 C) calling from low vegetation above a pool of still water separate from, though adjacent to a large, fast flowing stream. This specimen was found where a road through a tea plantation crosses the stream. The nearest forest was about 1 km higher up the mountain where the stream originated.
The lower abdomen of the single female is filled with greatly distended ovaries containing seemingly mature eggs (visible through the skin of the flanks). The yolks are pale yellow. To avoid damaging the specimen, we made no attempt to count the eggs; however, the largest eggs protruding through a small gash on the specimens flank were 1.3 mm in diameter.

FIG. 4.— Head shape of four species of Rhacophorus:
A. Rhacophorus barisani, holotype, UTACV 53971; B. Rhacophorus margaritifer, UTACV 54009;
C. Rhacophorus catamitus, holotype, UTACV 53981. D. Rhacophorus achantharrhena, holotype, UTACV 53961. Each specimen is a male.

We report on a small collection of parachuting frogs from Sumatra and Java. Three new species are described. Rhacophorus achantharrhena is similar to R. dulitensis and R. prominanus and differs from these species by a suite of characters including morphology of the supratympanic fold, digital webbing, coloration, and morphometrics. These three species are unusual in having white visceral and parietal peritonea. Rhacophorus catamitus is a small species similar to R. angulirostris and differing from this species by having a calcar at the heel and reduced digital webbing. Rhacophorus barisani resembles R. baluensis but differs from this species in color pattern, habitus, webbing of the fingers, and morphology of the dermal appendages. A new specimen of Sumatran R. pardalis is described and compared to the holotype of R. pulchellus. Rhacophorus prominanus is reported from Gunung Rajabasa, Lampung. Two specimens are described and compared to Bornean R. dulitensis and R. prominanus from the Malay Peninsula. Rhacophorus tunkui Kiew is a junior subjective synonym of Rhacophorusprominanus Smith. Finally, we describe new specimens of Rhacophorus margaritifer from Cibodas, Java. Skeletons of the new species and of R. margaritifer are described in detail. Superficial jaw and throat musculature appears to be relatively conservative within the genus.

Key words: Rhacophorus achantharrhena new species; Rhacophorus catamitus new species; Rhacophorus barisani new species; Rhacophorus prominanus; Rhacophorus pardalis; Rhacophorus margaritifer; Osteology; Sumatra

FIG. 2.— Distributions of six species of parachuting frogs in Western Indonesia.

Rhacophorus barisani sp. nov.
(Fig. 7)
Holotype.— An adult male, UTACV 53971 (collector’s tag M. B. Harvey 5396), collected 31 May 1996 by Michael B. Harvey and Eric N. Smith on the western slope of Bukit Kaba, Bengkulu, Sumatra, Indonesia, 03 30’ 02’’ S, 102 38’ 08’’ E, 1440 m.

Etymology.—The new name barisani is a masculine noun in apposition and refers to the Bukit Barisan Range. Occurring at high elevations in primary rainforest, the new species is likely endemic to this mountain range.

Natural history.—The type series was found along a stream trickling through tall, upper montane rainforest. Where the stream flattened out, none of these frogs were found. Rather, they were found calling from vegetation 1.3–2.0 m above deep pools where the stream flowed down a steep, basaltic slope. Foam nests were found floating on the water’s surface. The notes of the laugh-like call are short in duration and repeated numerous times in quick succession.

Rhacophorus cf. catamitus

Rhacophorus catamitus sp. nov.
(Fig. 11)
Holotype.—An adult male, UTACV 53981 (collector’s tag M. B. Harvey 5444), collected 3 June 1996 by Michael B. Harvey and Eric N. Smith on the southeastern slope of Gunung Dempo, Sumatera Selatan, Sumatra, Indonesia, 04 03’ 05’’ S, 103 , 08’, 40’’ E, 1695–1630 m.

Etymology.— The specific epithet catamitus is a noun in apposition derived from the Latin name for the cup bearer of the gods in Greco-Roman mythology. Catamitus was a boy kept forever young by Jupiter. Although male Rhacophorus are usually smaller than females of the same species, the difference in size is rarely as dramatic as in R. catamitus. In addition, males of this species have much smaller nuptial pads and testes than congeners examined by us; the Wolffian ducts are only weakly convoluted.

Natural history.— Rhacophorus catamitus occurs in forest of the Bukit Barisan range. All but the female specimen were collected between 1040 and 1695 m. At the type locality and at Bukit Kaba, males called from low vegetation near streams.
The single female was inactive atop a leaf about 2 m above a small stream through forest between 600–650 m.

Harvey, M.B.; Pemberton, A.J. & Smith, E.N. 2002. New and poorly known parachuting frogs (Rhacophoridae: Rhacophorus) from Sumatra and Java. Herpetological Monographs. 16: 46-92.: DOI: 10.1655/0733-1347(2002)016%5B0046:NAPKPF%5D2.0.CO%3B2

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