Monday, September 19, 2022

[Herpetology • 2022] Odorrana concelata • A New Limestone Karst-restricted Odorous Frog (Anura: Ranidae: Odorrana) from northern Guangdong, China

 Odorrana concelata Wang, Zeng, & Lin,

in Lin, Li, Su, ... et Wang, 2022. 
Moss-speckled Odorous Frog | 苔斑臭蛙  ||  DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1120.87067

Karstic landscapes play an important role in biodiversity formation and often contain high levels of endemism. However, site-endemic taxa in karstic landscapes are being threatened by exploitation and weak legal protection. In this study, we describe Odorrana concelata Wang, Zeng, & Lin, sp. nov., a limestone karst-restricted odorous frog from northern Guangdong, China. This new species shows distinctive genetic divergence and morphological differences from its congeners. Phylogenetic results suggest that the new species represents an independent lineage that is grouped with O. lipuensis and O. liboensis based on the mitochondrial 16S and 12S ribosomal RNA genes. We recommend the new species be listed as Vulnerable (VU) in the IUCN categorization as it is only known from the type locality with limited microhabitats and is threatened by habitat degradation.

Keywords: Conservation, endemism, karstic landscapes, phylogeny, taxonomy

Odorrana concelata sp. nov. 
Morphological features of the male holotype GEP a055 in life:
A dorsolateral view B ventral view C ventral view of hand, showing nuptial pads on fingers I, II and III D ventral view of foot.

Odorrana concelata sp. nov.  
Morphological features of the female paratype GEP a050 in life: 
A dorsolateral view B ventral view C ventral view of hand D ventral view of foot.

 Odorrana concelata Wang, Zeng, & Lin, sp. nov. 
Moss-speckled Odorous Frog (in English) 
 Tai Ban Chou Wa (苔斑臭蛙 in Chinese)

Diagnosis: (1) Small body size, SVL 34.0–36.8 mm in males (n = 4), SVL 41.4–46.0 mm in females (n = 2); (2) dorsolateral folds absent; (3) relative finger lengths II < I < IV < III; (4) pectoral spines absent; (5) vocal sacs absent; (6) nuptial pads present on base of finger I, medially along inner side of fingers II and III in males; (7) eggs of females uniformed beige; (8) dorsum with mixed irregular grass green speckles and brown mottling, ventral skin of body greyish white with light brown mottling.

Microhabitat of Odorrana concelata sp. nov. (A, B) 
and the uncaptured individuals of juvenile (C), female (D), and male (E) in situ.
Distribution and habits: Currently, Odorrana concelata sp. nov. is known only from its type locality (Fig. 1, solid circle). The nocturnal karst-dweller inhabits mossy rocks and damp forest floors in subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests and secondary forests at elevations between 200–300 m (Fig. 5A, B). They are completely hidden in their habitat by their coloration (Fig. 5D, E). During breeding season (March to June), they congregate in and around the small and steep moss-covered waterfalls which flows out of karst caves (ca. 1–2 m width). Juveniles were observed in June (Fig. 5C). No individuals were found during surveys in mid-July.

Etymology: The specific epithet, concelata, is a feminine adjective that means disguised, in reference to the highly concealed coloration of the new species in its mossy habitat.

 Shi-Shi Lin, Yuan-Hang Li, Hong-Lin Su, Hui Yi, Zhong Pan, Yan-Jun Sun, Zhao-Chi Zeng and Jian Wang. 2022. Discovery of A New Limestone Karst-restricted Odorous Frog from northern Guangdong, China (Anura, Ranidae, Odorrana). ZooKeys. 1120: 47-66. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.1120.87067