Tuesday, July 27, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Micryletta hekouensis • A New Species of Micryletta Dubois, 1987 (Anura, Microhylidae) from Yunnan Province, China

Micryletta hekouensis 
Liu, Hou, Mo & Rao, 2021

A new species of the genus Micryletta Dubois, 1987 is described from Yunnan Province, China, based on morphological and molecular analyses. The most obvious differences between the new species and other species of this genus are small body size, unique coloration, and relatively longer hind limbs. In 16S rRNA gene sequences, the new species is diverged from all other congeners by 3.1%–8.0%.

Key Words: 16S rRNA, Hekou County, Honghe Prefecture, Paddy Frog, taxonomy

Figure 5. Micryletta hekouensis sp. nov. in life. 
The holotype (KIZ20210510) and the paratype (KIZ20210511): 
 A. dorsal view; B. lateral view; C. ventral view of the holotype;
D. dorsal view; E. lateral view; F. ventral view of the paratype.

Micryletta hekouensis sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Micryletta hekouensis sp. nov. can be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: small-sized within genus (SVL 20.5–20.8 mm); areas above canthus rostralis, upper eyelids, areas posterior to eyelids, and dorsum of upper arms golden, other parts of dorsum almost solid black or yellowish grey with brownish black stripes; lateral sides of head and body black or yellowish grey, a white stripe from lower front of eye along upper lip back to anterior forelimb insertion; ventral side of body and limbs pink brown, chin region in adult males brownish black, small and irregular white marbling patterns on chest and lateral belly; supratympanic fold indistinct; outer metatarsal tubercle absent; webbing between toes absent; tibiotarsal articulation adpressed limb reaching level of front of eye.

Etymology: The specific epithet hekouensis refers to Hekou County, the type locality of the new species. We propose “Hekou Paddy Frog” for the common English name and “河口小姬蛙” (Hé Kǒu Xiǎo Jī Wā) for the common Chinese name of the new species.

Figure 6. Habitat of Micryletta hekouensis sp. nov. at the type locality in Nanxi Town, Hekou County, Yunnan Province, China.
A. The collection site; B. The surroundings of the collection site.

Natural history: Specimens of the new species were found in the grass on the ground at night. Once startled, they jumped away quickly. The collection site is surrounded by primary broad-leaved forest and bamboo. There are karst rocks nearby, no water body within a few hundred meters, and no courtship calls were heard. The collection site is in the nature reserve and the environment is not destroyed; this species is not threatened at present (Figure 6).

Distribution: This species is currently known only from the type locality, Nanxi Town, Hekou County, Honghe Prefecture, Yunnan Province, China. It is expected to be found in neighboring Northern Vietnam.

 Shuo Liu, Mian Hou, Mingzhong Mo and Dingqi Rao. 2021. A New Species of Micryletta Dubois, 1987 (Anura, Microhylidae) from Yunnan Province, China. Herpetozoa. 34: 131-140. DOI:  10.3897/herpetozoa.32.e69755