Tuesday, June 24, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Ansonia vidua | Murud Black Slender Toad • Dressed in Black. A New Ansonia Stoliczka, 1870 (Anura: Bufonidae) from Gunung Murud, Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo)

Ansonia vidua Hertwig, Min, Haas & DAS, 2014
Adult female, Murud Black Slender Toad 

A new species of stream toad of the genus Ansonia is described from Gunung Murud, Pulong Tau National Park, of northern Sarawak, Malaysia, Borneo. Ansonia vidua, sp. nov., is morphologically distinguished from its Bornean congeners by the following combination of characters: medium size (SVL of adult females 33.5–34.4 mm); body uniformly black-brown in life; absence of a visible pattern on dorsum or limbs; presence of two low interorbital ridges; shagreened skin on dorsum, sides and upper surfaces of the limbs with numerous homogeneously small, rounded warts; first finger shorter than second; reduced webbing between the toes and an absence of a sharp tarsal ridge. Uncorrected genetic distances between related taxa of > 4.3% in 16S rRNA gene support its status as a hitherto undescribed species.

Keywords: Amphibia, Ansonia vidua sp. nov., Pulong Tau National Park, systematics

Etymology. The species name vidua means ´widow´ and refers to the uniform brownish-black colouration in life of this species, which is traditionally the colour of choice by widows. We suggest the English vernacular name ‘Murud Black Slender Toad’ for the species.

Ecological notes: The type locality is situated between this unnamed small side stream [the edge of the summit trail to Gunung Murud, Pulong Tau National Park] and the Sugei Murud that runs eastward from near the summit of Gunung Murud down to the plateau of the Kelabit Highlands. The type locality is situated just below the summit ridge of the Gunung Murud massif. In this undisturbed montane mossy forest (Beaman 1999; Beaman & Anderson 1997; Mjöberg 1925), the following species of frogs have been recorded in sympatry: Limnonectes cf. kuhlii, Philautus mjobergi, P. cf. petersi, Pelophryne murudensis and Leptobrachium montanum. The amphibian fauna of Gunung Murud has been described by Das (2005, 2008). The discovery of a new and possibly endemic species from the Gunung Murud massif underlines the importance of the Pulong Tau National Park in the protection of the highly diverse montane amphibian fauna of Sarawak and that of Borneo.

Hertwig, Stefan T., Pui Y. Min, Alexander Haas & Indraneil DAS. 2014. Dressed in Black. A New Ansonia Stoliczka, 1870 (Lissamphibia: Anura: Bufonidae) from Gunung Murud, Sarawak, East Malaysia (Borneo). Zootaxa. 3814(3): 419–431.