Tuesday, July 12, 2011

[Herpetology • 2006] อึ่งกรายหมอบุญส่ง | Xenophrys (Megophrys) lekaguli | Lekagul's Horned Frog • from Khao Soi Dao eastern Thailand

Figure 3 An adult male paratype of Megophrys lekaguli sp. nov. in life.

Xenophrys (Megophrys) lekaguli
(Stuart, Chuaynkern, Chan-ard & Inger, 2006)

Type locality: "Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary, Chantaburi Province, Thailand, 600-700 m elevation".
Holotype: FMNH 213946.

Figure 2 The adult female holotype (fmnh 213946) of Megophrys lekaguli sp. nov. in preservative. Clockwise from upper left: palmar view of hand; plantar view of foot; lateral view of head; dorsal view; ventral view.

• Megophrys legkaguli Stuart, Chuaynkern, Chan-ard & Inger, 2006
• Xenophrys legkaguli (Stuart, Chuaynkern, Chan-ard & Inger, 2006)

The specific epithet is a patronym for Dr. Boonsong Lekagul (1907–1992), biologist and conservationist, in recognition of his contributions to the herpetology of Thailand.

Twelve other species of Megophrys are known to occur within the vicinity of eastern Thailand (Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam): M. aceras (Boulenger, 1903), M. auralensis Ohler, Swan and Daltry, 2002, M. brachykolos Inger and Romer, 1961, M. jingdongensis Fei and Ye in Fei, Ye and Huang, 1983, M. kuatunensis (Pope, 1929), M. longipes (Boulenger, 1885), M. major (Boulenger, 1908), M. minor Stejneger, 1926, M. nasuta (Schlegel, 1858), M. pachyproctus Huang in Huang and Fei, 1981, M. palpebralespinosa Bourret, 1937, and M. parva (Boulenger, 1893).

• Megophrys lekaguli differs from M. brachykolos, M. kuatunensis, M. minor, M. pachyproctus, M. palpebralespinosa, and M. parva by having much larger body size (males with SVL 56.6–66.6 and females with SVL 71.8–94.0 in lekaguli; males < 48, females < 55 in brachykolos, kuatunensis, minor, pachyproctus, palpebralespinosa, and parva).
• Megophrys lekaguli differs from M. aceras, M. longipes, and M. nasuta by lacking a distinct palpebral projection (present in aceras, longipes, and nasuta).
Megophrys lekaguli differs from M. jingdongensis by having toes with only a rudiment of webbing (toe webbing well developed in jingdongensis) and lacking subarticular tubercles on Fingers I and II (present in jingdongensis).
• Megophrys lekaguli most closely resembles M. auralensis and M. major.
• Megophrys lekaguli differs from M. auralensis by having teeth on vomerine ridges (no teeth on vomerine ridges in auralensis), having males with SVL 56.6–66.6 (males with SVL 71.0–76.9 in auralensis), lacking dermal fringes on toes (present in auralensis), and having Finger II longer than Finger IV (Finger II shorter than Finger IV in auralensis).
• Megophrys lekaguli differs from M. major by lacking dermal fringes on toes (present in major); lacking a light-colored upper lip stripe (present in major); having the narrow, external, vertical face of the upper eyelid dark brown with a light area in its center (uniformly dark brown in major); and having a single row of weakly visible asperities on the underside of the lower jaw (well-developed broad band of asperities in major).

Figure 4 Lateral view of tadpole (fmnh 266341/thnhm 05391) of Megophrys lekaguli sp. nov. Scale bar = 5 mm.

Figure 5 Mouthparts of tadpole (fmnh 266341/thnhm 05391) of Megophrys lekaguli sp. nov. Scale bar = 1 mm.

Distribution and Ecology
Megophrys lekaguli is currently known from Chanthaburi and Sa Kaeo Provinces, Thailand (Fig. 1). Frogs were collected in Sa Kaeo at night (1815–2126 h) on boulders and rock outcrops above a swift, rocky stream with waterfalls in hilly evergreen mixed with bamboo forest and on leaf litter next to a large tree root network 20 m from a swift, rocky stream in disturbed vegetation next to an abandoned road through hilly evergreen forest. Tadpoles were collected at night (2000–2015 h) swimming at the water surface in a 3-m-wide swift, rocky stream in hilly evergreen mixed with bamboo forest and in a shallow stream pool with silt substrate in disturbed vegetation next to an abandoned road through hilly evergreen forest. All five of the Sa Kaeo adult males were calling.

The two species that most closely resemble the new species, M. auralensis and M. major, were placed in the genus Xenophrys Günther, 1864 by Khonsue and Thirakhupt (2001; M. major as M. lateralis) and Frost (2004) without supporting argument. Frost et al. (2006) argued for recognition of Xenophrys because their phylogenetic analysis recovered Megophrys as more closely related to Ophryophryne than to Xenophrys. However, their analysis was based only on a single species of Megophrys and Xenophrys, and we feel that this issue remains unresolved. We therefore leave the new species in the genus Megophrys, pending a phylogenetic analysis with improved taxonomic sampling.

Figure 1 Map of localities referred to in the text. 1 = Phu Luang Wildlife Sanctuary; 2 = Phu Kradueng National Park; 3 = Phu Sri Tan Wildlife Sanctuary; 4 = Phu Pha Namtip Non-hunting Area; 5 = Phu Jong-Na Yoi National Park; 6 = Pang Si Da National Park; 7 = Khao Soi Dao Wildlife Sanctuary. Fieldwork was conducted at localities 1, 5, and 6 in this study.

Stuart, B. L., Y. Chuaynkern, T. Chan-ard & R.F. Inger. 2006: Three species of frogs and a new tadpole from eastern Thailand. Fieldiana. Zoology. New Series, 1543: 1-10.: doi: 10.3158/0015-0754(2006)187[1:TNSOFA]2.0.CO;2

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