Thursday, December 27, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Microhyla beilunensis • A New Species of Genus Microhyla (Anura: Microhylidae) from Zhejiang Province, China

Microhyla beilunensis 
Zhang, Fei, Ye, Wang, Wang & Jiang, 2018

We described a new species, Microhyla beilunensis sp. nov., from Zhejiang Province of China. Phylogenetic analyses based on the mitochondrial 12S, 16S and CO1 gene sequences suggested that the new taxon was distinctly separated from its congeners and closed to M. mixtura and M. okinavensis. Morphologically, the new species could be identified from its congeners except M. mixtura by several characters: (1) rudimentary webs on toe base; (2) absence of disks and dorsal median longitudinal grooves on finger tips; (3) presence of disks and dorsal median longitudinal grooves on toe tips. As well, the new species could be identified from topotype M. mixtura by the combination of characters: (1) apart from the stripes, bar-shaped and oval-shaped patterns, the rounded spots present on the dorsum of body and legs; (2) the outer metacarpal tubercles prominently larger than the inner one; (3) of males, the ratios of HW, IND, UEW and LAW to SVL of the new species were significantly larger than those of M. mixtura (P < 0.01), and the ratios of SL, IOD, LAHL, HLL, TL, TFL and FL to SVL of the new species were significantly less than those of M. mixtura (P < 0.05).

Keywords: Microhyla; morphological comparison; new species; phylogenetic analysis; taxonomy; Zhejiang

Figure 6: Variation in Microhyla beilunensis sp. nov. from Chaiqiao Town, Beilun District, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province, China.
 A and B, dorsal and ventral views of the holotype in life, respectively; C and D, dorsal and ventral views of the allotype in life, respectively; E, mating couples; F, breeding site.

Microhyla beilunensis sp. nov.
 Microhyla mixtura: Fei, Ye, Xie and Cai. 1999. 
Chin Zool Res, Beijing (Beilun, Zhejiang): 239−240.

Etymology: This specific name beilunensis is a Latinize toponymic adjective that refers to Beilun District, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province of China, where the new species was collected. For the common name, we suggest Beilun Pygmy frog (English) and Bei lun ji wa (Chinese).

Diagnosis: The new species is allocated to the genus Microhyla, because it is consistent with the generic diagnostic characters: relatively small body size; maxillary and vomerine teeth absent; vomer divided into two parts and disappearing at the posterior edge of the choana; tongue posteriorly rounded; skin smooth or with tubercles; tympanum hidden or indistinct; 1−2 row of horizontal skin ridges on the palate; fingers without webbing; toes webbed or free of webbing; 2 or 3 metacarpal tubercles; the absence of supernumerary tubercles below the base of fingers and toes; the absence of skin ridge or skin projection between the subarticular tubercles of toes III and IV (Parker, 1934; Fei et al., 2005, 2009).

Distribution and habits: Microhyla beilunensis sp. nov. is now known only from the type locality, Beilun District, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province of China. This species lives in the water pits or ponds about 3 m diameter or adjacent grass thickets, subterranean holes and mud pits in the mountainous regions at elevation 1400 m a.s.l. The male frogs make vibrating calls on the last 10 days of March. Small tadpoles seen in the early April would dive to the bottom when disturbed. On the 9th April 1998, four gravid females, egg groups, and small tadpoles were found. Mating of females and males took place in the pond of imitated natural eco-breeding in Chengdu (Fei et al., 1999). Small tadpoles were found in the last 10 days April. It took 60 days for the fertilized eggs to finish metamorphosis. Newly metamorphic frogs were 8−10 mm. Sympatric species of amphibians in the Beilun District during the surveys includes Hynobius yiwuensis, Echinotriton chinhaiensis, Bufo gargarizans, Rana zhenhaiensis, Pelophylax nigromaculatus, Sylvirana latouchii, Fejervarya multistriata.

Meihua Zhang, Liang Fei, Changyuan Ye, Yufan Wang, Bin Wang and Jianping Jiang. 2018. A New Species of Genus Microhyla (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from Zhejiang Province, China. Asian Herpetological Research9(3); 135-148. DOI: 10.16373/j.cnki.ahr.180032

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