Saturday, June 25, 2011

[Herpetology • 2010 / Invalid] Microhyla nepenthicola • Old World’s smallest frogs crawl out of miniature pitcher plants on Borneo

Microhyla nepenthicola Das & Haas 2010 [Invalid]

A new diminutive species of microhylid f rog (genus Microhyla) is described from the Matang Range, Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. The new species is an obligate of the pitcher plant, Nepenthes ampullaria, breeding in senescent ormature pitchers, and is Old World’s smallest frog and one of the world's tiniest: adult males range between SVL 10.6–12.8 mm (n = 8). The new species is diagnosable from congeners in showing dorsum with low tubercles that are relatively more distinct on flanks; a weak, broken, mid-vertebral ridge, starting from forehead and continuing alongbody; no dermal fold across forehead; tympanic membrane and tympanic annulus absent; Finger I reduced to a nubproximal to Finger II in males; toe tips weakly dilated; phalanges with longitudinal grooves, forming two scale-like structures; webbing on toe IV basal; toes with narrow dermal fringes; inner and outer metatarsal tubercles present; and dorsum brown with an hour-glass shaped mark on scapular region. Miniaturization and reduced webbing may be theresult of navigation on the slippery zone of pitchers, situated below the peristome.

Key words: Microhyla nepenthicola sp. nov., Microhylidae, Kubah National Park, Sarawak, Borneo

Microhyla nepenthicola — A newly-discovered species of miniature frog sitting on the lip of a pitcher plant.
© Indraneil Das/ Institute of Biodiversity and Environmental Conservation

New species of Microhyla from Sarawak: Old World’s smallest frogs crawl out of miniature pitcher plants on Borneo (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae):

• Photos: Asia's tiniest frog discovered living inside carnivorous plants in Borneo
• Pictures: Pea-Size Frog Found—Among World's Smallest :

11 April 2011 - "the name Microhyla nepenthicola is to be considered as a junior synonym of M. borneensis, and an old report of nepenthiphilous breeding habits of M. borneensis is therefore justified."
— Taxonomic revision of Microhyla borneensis with a new species M. malang (Microhylidae) from Borneo via @Zootaxa