Saturday, April 25, 2020

[Herpetology • 2020] Amolops tuanjieensis • A New Species of the Genus Amolops (Anura: Ranidae) from Yunnan, China

Amolops tuanjieensis Gan, Yu & Wu, 2020

Tuanjie Cascade Frog | 团结湍蛙 || 

 A new species of the genus AmolopsAmolops tuanjieensis sp. nov., is described from Yunnan, China. The new species can be distinguished by the following characters: dorsolateral folds present; dorsal and ventral surfaces smooth; top of head and dorsum brown-red with irregular gray and dark spots; flank green; side of head black, from tip of snout, diffusing posteriorly to axilla, continuing as black streak below edge of dorsolateral fold; SVL 39.5–40.4 mm in males, 56.8–60.7 mm in females; tympanum distinct; supratympanic fold indistinct; vomerine teeth in two oblique rows between choanae, closer to each other than choanae; vocal sacs present; nuptial pads present; outer metatarsal tubercle absent, supernumerary tubercles absent; all fingertips expanded into discs; limbs dorsally brown with dark brown bars and irregular dark brown blotches.

 Collection site of Amolops tuanjieensis sp. nov. from Yunnan, China (A) and
Bayesian phylogram of Amolops species inferred from a combination of 16S rRNA, CO1, and ND2 (B).
Numbers above branches are Bayesian posterior probabilities (only values above 50% are shown).

Dorsal (C) and ventral (D) views of holotype of Amolops tuanjieensis sp. nov. (GXNU YU110005) in preservative. Ventral view of hand (E) and foot (F) of holotype in preservative. 

Dorsal (G) and lateral (H) views of paratype of Amolops tuanjieensis (GXNU YU110034) in life and
dorsal (I) and ventral (J) views of paratype (GXNU YU110034) in preservative.

Amolops tuanjieensis sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Amolops tuanjieensis sp. nov. differs from other members in the genus Amolops by the following characters: (1) SVL 39.5–40.4 mm in males and 56.8–60.7 mm in females; (2) dorsolateral folds present; (3) side of head dark with light-colored upper lip stripe extending to axilla; (4) skin on dorsal and ventral surfaces smooth; (5) tympanum distinct, less than half of eye diameter; (6) supratympanic fold indistinct; (7) vomerine teeth in two oblique rows between choanae, closer to each other than to choanae; (8) top of head and dorsum brown-red with irregular black and gray spots; (9) loreal regions dark black; (10) lateral green; (11) pineal body present; (12) nuptial pad velvety; (13) two external subgular vocal sacs in males; (14) all fingertips expanded; (15) two palmar tubercles present; (16) inner metatarsal tubercle oval, outer metatarsal tubercle absent; (17) supernumerary tubercles absent.

Etymology: The specific epithet is named for the type locality, Tuanjie Township, Gengma Dai and Wa Autonomous County, Yunnan Province, China.
We suggest the English common name as “Tuanjie Cascade Frog” 
and the Chinese common name as “团结湍蛙”.

Distribution and ecology: The new species is known only from the type locality (Supplementary Figure S1). The holotype and paratypes were found on leaves and small branches, less than 1 m above the ground along a stream. No tadpoles or vocal recordings were collected for the new species.

In China, species of Amolops have been assigned to different species groups based on morphological characters (Fei et al., 2009). However, consistent with Lyu et al. (2019a), our phylogenetic analysis revealed that the division of some species groups needs further investigation. Firstly, A. chayuensis, which was placed in the A. monticola group by Sun et al. (2013) based on the presence of dorsolateral folds, did not group together with the clade consisting of the new species and other members of the same group, indicating that the A. monticola group is not monophyletic and that assignment of species groups based on dorsolateral folds only is problematic. Comprehensive morphological and molecular comparisons using A. monticola data are necessary to clarify the division of the A. monticola group.

In addition to the problems at the species group level in Amolops, species diversity within this genus also needs further investigation. Amolops marmoratus, which has been confused with A. afghanus and A. indoburmanensis (Dever et al., 2012; Lyu et al., 2019a), is mainly distributed in southern Tibet, as well as Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal, and eastern Himalaya in India (Frost, 2019), with distribution in Thailand according to Chan-ard (2003). This species is certainly known from Myanmar, but the statuses of other populations remain problematic (Frost, 2019). In this study, we found that the genetic distance between A. marmoratus from Thailand and A. marmoratus from Myanmar reached 4.48% for the 16S sequences, indicating that A. marmoratus from Thailand possibly represents a cryptic species.

Yu-Lu Gan, Guo-Hua Yu and Zheng-Jun Wu. 2020. A New Species of the Genus Amolops (Anura: Ranidae) from Yunnan, China. Zoological Research. 41(2); 188-193. DOI: 10.24272/j.issn.2095-8137.2020.018