Wednesday, July 10, 2024

[Herpetology • 2024] Megophrys apatani • On A New Species of Xenophrys (Anura: Megophryidae) from Tale Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India with Comments on the earlier erroneous report as X. maosonensis (Bourret, 1937)


 Xenophrys apatani 
Saikia, Sinha, Shabnam, et al., 2024. 

The Maoson horned frog, Xenophrys maosonensis (Bourret, 1937) was originally described as Megophrys longipes maosonensis from Vietnam having distribution in China. Saikia et al. (2019) reported its occurrence from Arunachal Pradesh as a first country record for India with the inclusion of genetic data and morphological descriptions. They arrived at the species-specific identity based on the NCBI BLAST search of molecular sequence data of 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA which showed homology search of 95.4 – 97.5% similarity with X. maosonensis and ‘selective phylogeny’. However, the earlier genetic difference of ca. 4.6% – 2.5 % (12S and 16S, respectively) with X. maosonensis sensu stricto vis-à-vis the specimen from Arunachal Pradesh, India; coupled with the huge biogeographic barrier of ca. 1600 kms. aerial distance between the two localities, makes it very unlikely of such a disjunct distribution of the species. This warranted a re-evaluation on the specific identity of the specimen from India. Now, based on comprehensive phylogeny (including 142 sequences) of the subfamily Megophryinae, the earlier erroneously reported X. maosonensis from India is described here as a species new to science as Xenophrys apatani sp. nov. based on integrative taxonomic approach. Interestingly now, the proposed new species is exhibiting 4.4% to 5.5% genetic distance with the X. maosonensis sensu stricto from Vietnam. Additionally, morphological character differences between the congeneric species reported from India and of X. maosonensis sensu stricto with the proposed new species is provided. A discussion on the biogeographic distribution of Xenophrys in India is made.




 Xenophrys apatani sp. nov. 


Bhaskar Saikia, Bikramjit Sinha, A. Shabnam, et al. 2024. On A New Species of Xenophrys (Anura: Megophryidae) from Tale Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India with Comments on the earlier erroneous report as X. maosonensis (Bourret, 1937). Records of the Zoological Survey of India. 124 (Special issue of ATS 2024); 21-40. DOI: 10.26515/rzsi/v124/i1S/2024/172712
Researchgate.net/publication/381854987_a_new_species_of_Xenophrys_from_Tale_Wildlife_Sanctuary_Arunachal_Pradesh_India