Sunday, July 3, 2011

[Herpetology • 2009] 10 new Raorchestes (firstly: Philautus) • Shrub Frogs endemic to the Western Ghats of India

A taxonomic account of the genus Philautus from the Western Ghats of India is presented. All known species of this genus, their type specimens, current taxonomic status, and geographical distribution are revised, based on museum and field studies. In addition, 12 new species are described and compared with other members of the genus, especially with the name-bearing types of Indian Philautus. Diagnoses, detailed descriptions, illustrations, data on distribution, and natural history are provided for all species, and their relationships are estimated using molecular phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial data sets. No reliable observations have been made for two species, Philautus chalazodes (Günther, 1876) and Philautus flaviventris (Boulenger, 1882), since the original descriptions in the 19th century.

KEYWORDS: biodiversity – biogeography – molecular phylogenetics – taxonomy.

Figure 1. The Western Ghats: with an indication of the different altitudinal gradients, and showing the Palghat Gap.

Figure 19. Schematic comparison of green-coloured Philautus from the Western Ghats. A, dorsal view, showing coloration of forelimbs and hindlimbs; B, lateral view of head, showing coloration of loreal/tympanic regions and forelimb; C, ventral view of snout, showing shape; D, webbing on feet. The arrows indicate extension of webbing at the fourth toe. Illustrations from left to right are: Philautus akroparallagi sp. nov., Philautus beddomii, Philautus bobingeri, Philautus chalazodes, Philautus chromasynchysi sp. nov., Philautus glandulosus, and Philautus jayarami sp. nov.

Biju, S.D. & F. Bossuyt. 2009. Systematics and phylogeny of Philautus Gistel, 1848 (Anura, Rhacophoridae) in the Western Ghats of India, with descriptions of 12 new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 155: 374-444. : DOI: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2008.00466.x

Dozen Frog Species Discovered in India’s Western Ghats: