Saturday, May 17, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Scaphiophryne matsoko • An Enigmatic New Scaphiophryne toadlet (Anura: Microhylidae) from the Rainforests of north-eastern Madagascar

A new species of Scaphiophryne is described from north-eastern Madagascar. The new toadlet species is probably at least partly fossorial as can be judged from its large and sharp metatarsal tubercle, and seems to lead a secretive or strictly seasonal life since very few adult specimens were collected despite intensive field surveys in the region. The new species differs from all other Scaphiophryne, among other characters, by the absence of a tarsal tubercle and reminds the genus Paradoxophyla in its strongly marbled ventral pattern on belly and hindlimbs, and by its triangular head shape with pointed snout. 
Key words Anura; Microhylidae; Scaphiophryne; Scaphiophryne matsoko sp. n.; Marotondrano Special Reserve; tarsal tubercle.

Etymology. The species epithet is a noun in apposition to the genus name, derived from the Malagasy adjective "matsoko", used as to indicate something pointed for ward. It is used in this context to indicate to the pointed shape of the head of this species.

Distribution. The new species is known from (1) the type locality, Marotondrano Special Reserve, (2) Ambatovaky Special Reserve, (3) Ankarana River near Antalaha, (4) Tsararano and (5) Besariaka (see Fig. 5). All collecting sites are located at low to mid-altitudes (70 – 850 m asl) in north-eastern Madagascar.

Achille P. Raselimanana, Christopher J. Raxworthy, Franco Andreone, Frank Glaw & Miguel Vences. 2014. An Enigmatic New Scaphiophryne toadlet from the Rainforests of north-eastern Madagascar (Amphibia: Microhylidae). Vertebrate Zoology. 64 (1) 

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