Tuesday, July 2, 2019

[Herpetology • 2019] Nidirana yaoica • A New Species of Music Frogs (Anura, Ranidae, Nidirana) from Mt Dayao, southern China

Nidirana yaoica  
Lyu, Mo, Wan, Li, Pang & Wang, 2019

A new species of Music frogs, Nidirana yaoica sp. nov. is described based on a series of adult male specimens collected from Mt Dayao, Guangxi, southern China, providing valuable new information on the phylogeny, bioacoustics, and biogeography of related species within the genus Nidirana. The new species forms the sister taxon to N. daunchina from western China and together the sister taxon to N. chapaensis from northern Vietnam. Nidirana yaoica sp. nov. can be distinguished from all known congeners by a significant genetic divergence in the mitochondrial 16S and CO1 genes, the advertisement call containing 1–3 rapidly repeated regular notes, and the combination of morphological characteristics including a medium-sized body with SVL 40.4–45.9 mm in adult males; lateroventral grooves on every digit, not meeting at the tip of disk; tibio-tarsal articulation reaching the nostril; the presence of a pair of subgular vocal sacs in males; and one single developed nuptial pad on dorsal surface of first finger in males.

Keywords: bioacoustic, Guangxi, mitochondrial DNA, morphology, Nidirana yaoica sp. nov.

Figure 3. Morphological features of the adult male holotype SYS a007022 of Nidirana yaoica sp. nov. in life.
 A dorsolateral view B ventral view C left hand D poorly developed nuptial pad E left foot F surface of posterior dorsum and hind limbs. 

Nidirana yaoica sp. nov.

Nidirana adenopleura: Fei et al. 2009 (Mt. Dayao, Jinxiu, Guangxi); 
Mo et al. 2014 (Jinxiu, Guangxi)

Etymology: The specific name yaoica is an adjective derived from Yao, referring to the type locality of the new species, Mt Dayao in Jinxiu Yao Autonomous County, where the settlement of the Yao people is located. We suggest its English common name to be Mt Dayao music frog and its Chinese name Yao Qin Wa (瑶琴蛙).

Differential diagnosis: Nidirana yaoica sp. nov. is distinguished from its congeners by the following combination of the morphological characteristics: (1) body medium-size and stocky, with SVL 43.8 ± 1.7 (40.4–45.9, n = 13) mm in adult males; (2) disks of digits dilated, pointed; (3) lateroventral grooves present on every digit; (4) heels overlapping; (5) tibio-tarsal articulation reaching at the nostril; (6) mid-dorsal stripe present; (7) posterior of dorsal skin rough with dense tubercles but without spinules; (8) week supernumerary tubercles below the base of fingers III and IV, palmar tubercles prominent and distinct; (9) a pair of subgular vocal sacs present; (10) one single nuptial pad present on the first finger, nuptial spinules invisible; (11) suprabrachial gland large; (12) calling: 1–3 fast-repeated regular notes.

Figure 4. A, B paratypes SYS a007009 and SYS a007021 of  Nidirana yaoica sp. nov.
C habitat of Nidirana yaoica sp. nov. in the type locality in Mt Dayao D the holotype SYS a007022 in wild.

Distribution and ecology: Currently, Nidirana yaoica sp. nov. is known only from the type locality, Mt Dayao, Jinxiu, Guangxi, in southern China. This frog inhabits in the swamps and ponds surrounded by moist subtropical secondary evergreen broadleaved forests (Fig. 4C, D). The adult male calls in the brushwood at the bank, from mid-March to late May. Nevertheless, the females, tadpoles, and much of the ecology and behavior of this species remain unknown.


 Zhi-Tong Lyu, Yun-Ming Mo, Han Wan, Yu-Long Li, Hong Pang and Ying-Yong Wang. 2019. Description of A New Species of Music Frogs (Anura, Ranidae, Nidirana) from Mt Dayao, southern China. ZooKeys. 858: 109-126. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.858.34363


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