Sunday, July 10, 2011

[Herpetology • 2009] Leptolalax applebyi | Appleby’s Asian Litter Toad • Megophryid frog from central Vietnam

the Holotype

Leptolalax applebyi Rowley & Cao, 2009

We describe a new species of megophryid frog in the genus Leptolalax from central Vietnam. Leptolalax applebyi is distinguished from its congeners by a combination of body size (19.6–20.8 mm for five adult males; 21.7 mm for single adult female), uniformly smooth, dark brown dorsum lacking tubercles, dark brownish pink ventral surface with white speckling, an absence of webbing and dermal fringes on fingers, slight basal webbing and no dermal fringes on toes, and short tibia (TIB:SVL 0.466–0.480). The advertisement call of L. applebyi consists of 4–5 notes with a dominant frequency of 3962.1–4306.6 Hz, repeated at a rate of approximately 9 notes per second. All specimens were found at the headwaters of rocky streams in evergreen forest above 1300 m elevation. We suggest the species should be considered Data Deficient following IUCN’s Red List categories.

Key words: Acoustics, Anura, Leptolalax applebyi sp. nov., Quang Nam, Southeast Asia

Type locality: "2 m from steep, narrow, rocky stream in Song Thanh Proposed Nature Reserve, Phouc Son district, Quang Nam Province, Vietnam (15.27394º N, 107.76015º E), 1402 m".

Holotype: AMS R171703.

Appleby's Asian Leaf Litter Toad, Leptolalax applebyi, is a new species of frog from central Vietnam named after Robert Appleby, a generous supporter of biodiversity conservation and scientific capacity building in Asia. Discovered by Dr Jodi Rowley and her Vietnamese colleague Cao Tien Trung, this tiny two-centimetre frog spends most of its time hiding under leaf litter, and was only discovered after hours searching the forest floor for a faint cricket-like calling heard intermittently in a small patch of forest.

Rowley, J. J. L. and T.T. Cao. 2009. A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from central Vietnam. Zootaxa. 2198: 51-60. Abstract