Monday, March 14, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Leptolalax tengchongensis • A New Species of the Genus Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from Mt. Gaoligongshan of western Yunnan Province, China

 Leptolalax tengchongensis 
Yang, Wang Chen & Rao, 2016

A new species of the genus Leptolalax is described from the Tengchong Section of Gaoligongshan National Nature Reserve, Tengchong County, Yunnan Province, China. The new species, Leptolalax tengchongensis sp. nov., can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: (1) small size (SVL 23.9–26.0 mm in males, 28.8–28.9 mm in females); (2) dorsal skin shagreened and scattered with fine, round reddish tubercles; (3) toes with rudimentary webbing and narrow lateral fringes; (4) tympanum distinctly discernible, almost entirely black; (5) ventrolateral glands indistinct; (6) flanks with several distinct and large dark blotches; (7) ventral surfaces white, scattered with distinct irregular dark speckling; (8) iris not bicolored, uniformly dark brown and scattered with minute, coppery reticulations throughout. To date, the new species has only been found at its type locality in evergreen broadleaf forests at elevations between 2000–2100 m.

Keywords: Amphibia, Megophryidae, taxonomy, Leptolalax tengchongensis sp. nov., Tengchong, China

FIGURE 4. Holotype of Leptolalax tengchongensis sp. nov. (SYS a004600) in life.
Photos by J.H. Yang.

FIGURE 5. Leptolalax tengchongensis sp. nov.: A pair in amplexus (male SYS a004601; female SYS a004602).
Photos by J.H. Yang.

The discovery of Leptolalax tengchongensis sp. nov. brings the number of Leptolalx recorded from China up to eight. The new species is also the third known species in the genus inhabit elevations above 2000 m; the other high elevation two species are L. alpinus (1150–2400 m) from Yunnan Province of China (Fei et al. 2010) and L. botsfordi (2795–2815 m) from northern Vietnam (Rowley et al. 2013).

Species of the genus Leptolalax are small frogs inhabiting the forest floor in montane evergreen forest, and cryptic in both coloration and behavior (Rowley et al. 2015b). Intensified survey efforts in recent years and the use of an integrated approach incorporating morphological, molecular and acoustic data have resulted in continued discovery new species in the region, in particularly from Indochina (eg. Poyarkov et al. 2015a and Rowley et al. 2015b). Future herpetological exploration and study in southern China will likely continue uncovering new Leptolalax species from the region.

  Jian-Huan Yang, Ying-Yong Wang Guo-Ling Chen and Ding-Qi Rao. 2016. A New Species of the Genus Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from Mt. Gaoligongshan of western Yunnan Province, China. ZOOTAXA. 4088(3):379-394.  DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4088.3.4

New species of genus Leptolalax, aka Asian litter frog, found in SW China's Yunnan