Thursday, August 3, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Uncovering A Hidden Diversity: Two New Species of Breviceps (Anura: Brevicipitidae) from northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa; Breviceps carruthersi & B. passmorei


Breviceps carruthersi Minter, Netherlands & Du Preez, 2017


Abstract

Breviceps carruthersi sp. nov. and Breviceps passmorei sp. nov. are described from northern KwaZulu-Natal. Both new species are distinguished from B. adspersus, B. mossambicus, B. poweri and B. cf. sopranus by substantial interspecific genetic divergence (> 6.8 uncorrected p-distance) in the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene, differences in advertisement call structure and limited morphological variation. Breviceps carruthersi sp. nov. has a short, pulsatile call with minimal amplitude modulation and groups its calls. Breviceps passmorei sp. nov. differs significantly from B. adspersus and B. mossambicus in call duration and pulse number, but not in pulse rate or dominant frequency. For both new species morphological characters are of limited diagnostic value, necessitating a re-evaluation of the taxonomic status of populations currently assigned to B. adspersus and B. mossambicus in KwaZulu-Natal.

Keywords: Amphibia, Breviceps carruthersi sp. nov., Breviceps passmorei sp. nov., advertisement calls, bioacoustics, cryptic species, molecular genetics, morphology, Zululand


Breviceps carruthersi sp. nov. from Hluhluwe, KwaZulu-Natal; holotype male (SAIAB 204591). 

Breviceps carruthersi sp. nov. Minter, Netherlands & Du Preez

Etymology. This species is named for Vincent Carruthers who, through his numerous books and articles on the natural history of southern Africa in general, and frogs in particular, has done much to stimulate interest in these much-maligned creatures. 

Distribution and habitat. Currently known only from the area around Hluhluwe and Phinda Game Reserve. .... 

Field observations. Calls were recorded between 18h45 and 01h15, during and after moderate to heavy rain. Two males were calling from shallow depressions at the base of grasstufts, while the remainder called from exposed positions on the surface. When the vocal sac is inflated, the white stripe separating the gular patch from the dark eyestripe is conspicuous and may function as a visual signal. 

Available earlier names. Breviceps adspersus adspersus Pienaar, 1963, B. adspersus pentheri Poynton, 1964, B. mossambicus var. occidentalis Werner, 1903, B. parvus caffer Hewitt, 1932, B. parvus Hewitt, 1925, B. pentheri caffer Parker, 1934, B. pentheri pentheri Parker, 1934, B. pentheri Werner, 1899, B. pretoriensis FitzSimons, 1930 and B. mossambicus adspersus Broadley, 1971, considered to be junior synonyms of B. adspersus (see Poynton 1964); B. mitchelli Hoffman, 1944, Engystoma granosum Cuvier, 1829 and Systoma granosum Parker, 1868 considered to be junior synonyms of B. mossambicus.


Breviceps passmorei sp. nov. from northern KwaZulu-Natal; holotype male (SAIAB204596). เพิ่มคำอธิบายภาพ

Breviceps passmorei sp. nov. Minter, Netherlands & Du Preez

Etymology. This species is named for Neville Passmore in recognition of his contributions to South African herpetology in the field of bioacoustics, and for instilling a lifelong interest in frogs among his students, many of whom have also made significant contributions in this and other fields. 

Distribution and habitat. Currently known only from the area West of Tembe Elephant Reserve, in the vicinity of the Phongolo River. .... All sites were situated in natural but disturbed roadside vegetation on sandy loam to clay loam soils. 

Field observations. Calls were recorded after rain in summer, between 17h40 and 00h15. Calling continued for several days following heavy rain. Four males were calling from shallow depressions, concealed under vegetation, while the majority called from exposed sites on the surface

. Available earlier names. Breviceps adspersus adspersus Pienaar, 1963, B. adspersus pentheri Poynton, 1964, B. mossambicus var. occidentalis Werner, 1903, B. parvus caffer Hewitt, 1932, B. parvus Hewitt, 1925, B. pentheri caffer Parker, 1934, B. pentheri pentheri Parker, 1934, B. pentheri Werner, 1899, B. pretoriensis FitzSimons, 1930 and B. mossambicus adspersus Broadley, 1971, all considered to be junior synonyms of B. adspersus (see Poynton 1964); B. mitchelli Hoffman, 1944, Engystoma granosum Cuvier, 1829 and Systoma granosum Parker, 1868 considered to be junior synonyms of B. mossambicus. 


   Leslie R. Minter, Edward C. Netherlands & Louis H. Du Preez. 2017. Uncovering A Hidden Diversity: Two New Species of Breviceps (Anura: Brevicipitidae) from northern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Zootaxa. 4300(2); 195–216.  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4300.2.3


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