Friday, December 22, 2017

[Herpetology • 2017] Rana dabieshanensis • A New Species of Rana (Anura, Ranidae) from the Dabie Mountains in eastern China

Rana dabieshanensis
Wang, Qian, Zhang, Guo, Pan, Wu, Wang & Zhang, 2017

A new species Rana dabieshanensis sp. n. is described from the Dabie Mountains in Anhui Province, China, based on morphological character differences and molecular analyses. The new species can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of diagnostic characters. The results of phylogenetic analyses (based on 12s rRNA, 16s rRNA, ND2, Cyt b, RAG1, BDNF and Tyr) and genetic distances (based on Cyt b) indicate that the new species belongs to the Rana longicrus group, and is placed as the sister taxon to R. hanluica.

Keywords: Amphibians, morphology, molecular phylogeny, taxonomy

Figure 3. Dorsal and lateral view of the holotype (AHU2016R001, male) of Rana dabieshanensis sp. n. in life. Figure 5. Typical habitat of Rana dabieshanensis sp. n. in Dabie Mountains, Anhui Province, China.

Figure 3(A)Dorsal view of the holotype (AHU2016R001, male) of Rana dabieshanensis sp. n. in life. 

Figure 3(B). Lateral view of the holotype (AHU2016R001, male) of Rana dabieshanensis sp. n. in life. 

Rana dabieshanensis sp. n.

 Holotype: Specimen AHU2016R001, an adult male (Figures 3, 4) from the Yaoluoping National Nature Reserve, Yuexi County, Anhui Province, China (elevation 1150 m a.s.l.) (Fig. 1), leg. Lifu Qian, 8 August, 2016.

Diagnosis: The new species is assigned to the genus Rana based on the morphological characteristics typical for this genus, including the possession of a prominent dorsolateral folds, dark temporal mask, and a body that is counter-shaded in various shades of brown. The species can be distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of morphological characteristics: (1) comparatively large body size (SVL 50.9–62.8 mm in males, N = 8 and females 53.0–68.3 mm, N = 2); (2) snout obtusely pointed in lateral view; (3) temporal fold distinct; (4) canthus rostralis distinct; (5) dark mask covering tympanum; (6) tympanum diameter equal to eye diameter (7) head length almost equal with head width (8) distinct transverse grayish brown bars on dorsal surface of lower arms, tarsus, thighs, and tibia; (9) dorsal skin smooth, small granules on legs, large tubercles absent; (10) tips of fingers not expanded, relative finger lengths III > I > IV > II, fingers webbing absent, toes two third webbed, toes webbing formula I 2–1– II 2+– 1+ III 3–2 IV 2–2+ V; (11) gray-blackish nuptial pad prominent and forming two groups in males, with minute nuptial spines; (12) external vocal sac absent; (13) a straight dorsolateral fold from temporal area to groin. (14) dorsum coloration varies from golden to brown.

Etymology: The epithet of the new species “dabieshanensis” is a Latinized toponymic adjective derived from the Dabie Mountains in central China where the new species was discovered.

Common names: We recommend the “Dabie Mountain Brown Frog” as a common name of the new species in English; “Da Bie Shan Lin Wa” in Chinese.

Figure 5. Typical habitat of Rana dabieshanensis sp. n. in Dabie Mountains, Anhui Province, China. 

Ecological notes: Rana dabieshanensis sp. n. appears closely associated with high altitudes of the southeastern mountains environments. Specimens were found at night between 20:00 and 01:00 h around a water pool in Yaoluoping National Nature Reserve, Yuexi, Anhui province, China (Figure. 1). The surrounding habitat consists of small hardwoods, mixed with shrubs and vines. Most of the specimens were found in grass nearby the water, few frogs were in the water. Air temperature was about 13.6 to 17.1 °C and water temperature about 12.1 °C to 14.7 °C. The relative humidity in this area was from 62 to 81%. Other amphibian species include R. chensinensis, Rhacophorus anhuiensis, Pelophylax nigromaculata, Fejervarya multistriata, and Yerana yei was also recorded during field survey in Yaoluoping National Nature Reserve (Pan et al. 2014).

Distribution: Currently, Rana dabieshanensis sp. n. is only found in the Yaoluoping National Nature Reserve (Anhui Province). This species might be found in other regions of the Dabie Mountains.

Chencheng Wang, Lifu Qian, Chenling Zhang, Weibo Guo, Tao Pan, Jun Wu, Hui Wang and Baowei Zhang. 2017. A New Species of Rana from the Dabie Mountains in eastern China (Anura, Ranidae).  ZooKeys. 724: 135-153.  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.724.19383

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