Thursday, April 23, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Limnonectes nguyenorum • More of the Same: A Diminutive New Species of the Limnonectes kuhlii complex (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from northern Vietnam

FIGURE 2. Two syntopic species of Limnonectes from northern Vietnam.
Holotype of Limnonectes nguyenorum (VMNH A.2015.1; adult male; SVL = 43.81 mm): (A) dorsal, (B) ventral, (C) plantar view of foot, (D) Palmar view of hand, (E) lateral view of head, (F) magnified view of tubercles on leg (reference in image A). Mature ova from female paratype (VMNH A.2015.3).
Specimen of L. bannaensis from type locality of L. nguyenorum (IEBR A. 2015.38; adult male; SVL = 64.50 mm): (H) lateral view of head, (I) magnified view of tubercles on leg (reference in image J), (J) dorsal, (K) ventral. All specimens imaged as they appear in alcohol.

ABSTRACT 

A new species in the dicroglossid genus Limnonectes known only from Ha Giang province, Vietnam is described. Analysis of DNA sequence data from the mitochondrial 12S and 16S gene regions places the species within the Limnonectes kuhlii Complex and demonstrates it to be the sister taxon to an Indochinese clade containing L. isanensis, L. jarujini, L. megastomias, and L. taylori. The new species occurs in syntopy with L. bannaensis. Both molecular and morphological data support the recognition of this lineage as a new species. Notably, the relatively diminutive size of this species distinguishes Limnonectes nguyenorum sp. nov. from all other members of the L. kuhlii Complex.

Keywords: dicroglossid, fanged frog, Limnonectes nguyenorum sp. nov., mitochondrial DNA, morphology, species complex


Distribution and ecology. Based on the specimens examined, Limnonectes nguyenorum is only known from Vi Xuyen District in northwestern Ha Giang Province, northern Vietnam (Fig. 3). As with other members of the L. kuhii Complex, L. nguyenorum is found along streams in submontane evergreen forests (Fig. 4). The new species seems to occur at elevations approximately between 600 and 900 m, corresponding generally to the transition between lowland and montane forests. Based upon the presence of gravid females of both L. nguyenorum and L. bannaensis during collecting events, it is possible that these species breed at similar times and under similar
conditions.

Etymology. The specific name, nguyenorum, is the plural possessive form of the family name Nguyen. This species is named in honor of two herpetologists who have contributed greatly to our understanding of Vietnamese herpetology and biodiversity, Truong Quang Nguyen and Tao Thien Nguyen. It is rare to find siblings working together in herpetological research, and more so to find brothers as productive as these. We commend them for their efforts and recognize that without them this and many other amphibians and reptiles in Vietnam would remain undescribed.


David S McLeod, Scuyler Kurlbaum and Ngoc Van Hoang. 2015. More of the Same: A Diminutive New Species of the Limnonectes kuhlii complex from northern Vietnam (Anura: Dicroglossidae). Zootaxa. 3947(2):201-214. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3947.2.4

David S. McLeod Lab at James Madison University: facebook.com/787110321326774/photos/823126644391808

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