Wednesday, September 30, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Hydrophylax bahuvistara • A New Species of Fungoid Frog (Amphibia: Ranidae) from peninsular India

Hydrophylax bahuvistara
Padhye, Jadhav, Modak, Nameer & Dahanukar, 2015

 Hydrophylax bahuvistara, a new species of fungoid frog, is described from peninsular India. It can be separated from its congeners based on a combination of characters including wider head, outline of snout in dorsal view truncated, finger and toe tips without lateroventral groove, foot moderately webbed, metatarsals of 4th and 5th toes closely set, outer metatarsal tubercle small, foot length less than or equal to half of snout vent length, dorsal parts of shank without glandular folds and sparse horny spinules, and heels touch each other when the legs are folded at right angles to the body. Genetically, H. bahuvistara forms a monophyletic group with H. malabaricus as a sister clade separated by a raw distance of 4.0 to 4.5% in the 16s rRNA gene. Morphometrically, H. bahuvistara forms a significantly different cluster from H. malabaricus and H. gracilis in Discriminant Analysis.

Keywords: Anura, molecular taxonomy, multivariate analysis, taxonomy.

Hydrophylax bahuvistara sp. nov.
(Images 1–4)
Hylarana malabarica haplogroup 1: Biju et al. (2014)

Common name: Wide-spread Fungoid Frog.

Etymology: The species is named bahuvistara (Sanskrit: ‘bahu’ = wide, ‘vistara’ = spread) owing to its wide distribution in peninsular India.

Distribution: Type material of the species comes from a wide distribution in the Western Ghats of Maharashtra and eastern Maharashtra, however, based on genetic data available in Kurabayashi et al. (2005), Biju et al. (2014) and Hasan et al. (2014) and localities for additional material from this study and distributional data for Hydrophylax malabarica Haplogroup 1 from Biju et al. (2014), the species is widespread in peninsular India distributed in Maharashra, Karnataka, Goa and Madhya Pradesh (Table 3; Fig. 4).

Figure 4. Distribution map for Hydrophylax bahuvistara sp. nov. and H. malabaricus.

Habitat, ecology and natural history: Hydrophylax bahuvistara sp. nov. is usually found near human habitation and in agricultural fields. It is also found on the forest floor and near ephemeral or permanent water bodies, but mainly during breeding season. The eggs are laid in shallow water in the paddy fields or on the banks of small ponds or lakes. Calling behavior of an adult male is shown in movie clip (Appendix C). Adults usually gather in large numbers at potential breeding habitats. A loud chorus of calling males is heard at such places (Appendix D). The loud chorus is audible form a distance of up to a kilometer on quiet nights. Occasionally, smaller groups of adult males are also seen calling from the periphery of temporary rain water pools.

Anand D. Padhye, Anushree Jadhav, Nikhil Modak, P.O. Nameer and Neelesh Dahanukar. 2015. Hydrophylax bahuvistara, A New Species of Fungoid Frog (Amphibia: Ranidae) from peninsular India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 7(11); 7744–7760. DOI: 10.11609/JoTT.o4252.7744-60