Saturday, September 5, 2015

[Herpetology • 2015] Leptobrachella juliandringi • Description of A New Species of the Genus Leptobrachella (Anura, Megophryidae) from Borneo

Leptobrachella juliandringi
Eto, Matsui & Nishikawa, 2015
Fig. 7. Dorsolateral view of a male paratype of Leptobrachella juliandringi sp. nov. (SRC 00230) from the type locality.

We describe a tiny megophryid frog Leptobrachella juliandringi sp. nov. from Northeastern to Central Sarawak, Malaysian Borneo. This species is distributed in hilly and montane regions, and has long been confused with L. mjobergi. Based on the assessment using morphological and bioacoustic approaches, we conclude that the new species is distinct from all the other congeneric species including topotypic L. mjobergi from western Sarawak in possessing a series of elongate glands ventrolaterally on the trunk, broken reticulated marking on the ventrum, strap-like lineae masculinae, and an advertisement call with a chirp. The new species is also differentiated phylogenetically from the other congeners, and tends to form a group with true L. mjobergi but with a large genetic divergence.

Keywords: New species, MtDNA, Phytogeny, Leptobrachella mjobergi, Borneo, Taxonomy

Fig. 7. Dorsolateral view of a male paratype of Leptobrachella juliandringi sp. nov. (SRC 00230) from the type locality.

Leptobrachella juliandringi sp. nov. 
English name: Dring’s Dwarf Litter Frog

Nesobia mjobergi: Inger, 1966: 49 (part). 
Leptobrachella mjobergi: Dring, 1983: 92 (part); Inger, 1983: 27 (part);
Inger, 1985: 6 (part); Oberhummer et al., 2014: 63. 

Etymology: The species is named in honor of Mr. Julian Dring in recognition of his great contribution to the taxonomic study of the Bornean amphibians.  

Range: Northeastern to Central Sarawak, eastern Malaysia. 

Natural history: In the type locality, males seemed to prefer calling from open places such as on leaves (ca. 0.2 to 0.8 m above the ground or the water surface: Fig. 7), close to small streams (ca. 1 to 3 m wide).  Males were seldom found calling on the ground or in hidden places.  These habitat selections are similar to those of topotypic L. mjobergi, males of which also preferred open places for calling, but were often found calling on the ground and the rocks (Matsui and Eto, unpublished data).  The eggs, the tadpoles, and the oviposition site are unknown, although some previous studies on the larvae of L. mjobergi (e.g., Inger, 1983, 1985) may contain information on the tad-poles of the new species. 

Koshiro Eto, Masafumi Matsui and Kanto Nishikawa. 2015. Description of A New Species of the Genus Leptobrachella (Amphibia, Anura, Megophryidae) from Borneo. Current Herpetology. 34(2):128-139. doi: 10.5358/hsj.34.128