Monday, June 19, 2017

[Herpetology • 2015] Liuixalus feii • A New Species of the Genus Liuixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from southern China

Liuixalus feii 
Yang, Rao & Wang, 2015 


A new tree frog species of the genus Liuixalus was described from Heishiding Nature Reserve, Guangdong Province, China based on a combination of morphological characters and molecular phylogenetic analyses. Liuixalus feii sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of following characters: small size (SVL 16.2–17.6 mm in adult males and 18.0–18.7 mm in adult females); snout obtusely pointed; tympanum distinct, about half size of eye diameter; nostril closer to eye than to the tip of snout; fingers free of webbing; toe III longer than toe V; toes weakly webbed; tibiotarsal articulation reaching the naris or loreal; dorsal skin smooth and scattered with fine granulars; a subtle longitudinal median ridge present on dorsum; weak skin folds present on dorsal surface of body and thighs; supratympanic fold distinct and curved; ventral surface dull white with more or less irregular dark spots; iris bicolored. The new species appears to be forest-dependent and to date has only been found on the forest floor in primary forests at elevations between 350–800 m. Based on our molecular analyses, we consider Liuixalus catbaensis as a junior synonym of L. calcarius. Thus, with the description of the new species, the genus Liuixalus hitherto contains five recognized species, four of which are endemic to China.

Keywords: Amphibia, Rhacophoridae, Liuixalus, new species, taxonomy, China

FIGURE 5. Liuixalus feii sp. nov. from its type locality, showing the color variation in life.
A: SYS a003049, adult male; B: SYS a002158, adult male; C: adult female, photographed on 2 May 2010, not collected; D: adult male, photographed on 29 May 2009, not collected. 

FIGURE 6. A: a male individual of Liuixalus feii sp. nov., photographed on 2 May 2010, not collected; B: L. hainanus from Diaoluoshan, NR Hainan (type locality); C: L. ocellatus from Wuzhishan NR, Hainan (type locality); D: L. romeri from Hong Kong (type locality); E: paratype of L. calcarius from Cat Ba Island, Vietnam; F: L . cf. romeri from Mt. Shiwan, Guangxi. 

Etymology. The specific epithet “feii” is a patronymic noun in the genitive singular; derived from the name of Professor Liang Fei of the Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China, in recognition of his long-term great contribution to the advancement of amphibian research in China. For the common name, we suggest “Fei’s Small Tree Frog” in English, “Fei Shi Xiao Shu Wa” in Chinese.  

Jian-Huan Yang, Ding-Qi Rao and Ying-Yong Wang. 2015. A New Species of the Genus Liuixalus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from southern China. ZOOTAXA. 3990(2); 247–258.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3990.2.5

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