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Meristogenys orphnocnemis is a small member of the M. jerboa species group with males measuring 32.0-37.3 mm SVL and females measuring 59.5-66.3 mm SVL. It is slender with a triangular head and an obtuse snout. The canthi are sharp and slightly concave. The eyes are elevated and the nostrils lie laterally right below the canthi. A pineal spot is visible, and the tympanum is distinct. There are weak vomerine teeth and a deeply notched papilla-less tongue. The skin is shagreened from above, the side of the trunk is granular, the throat is smooth, and the chest and abdomen are slightly rugose. Males have paired subgular vocal sacs that form gular pouches at the throat corners and larger tympani (Matsui 1986).
The fingers are slender, with the first and second being shorter. The tips expand into discs having circummarginal grooves. Third and fourth fingers have the largest discs. Supernumerary metacarpal tubercles are absent. Toes are fully webbed and the first toe is fringed. The inner metatarsal tubercle is oval and the outer metatarsal tubercle is round and raised. In males, distinct nuptial pads are present, covering the first finger from its base to its subarticular tubercle (Matsui 1986).
In life, M. orphnocnemis is chocolate brown dorsally. The upper lip is light brown with lighter spots. The iris is golden green. A dark brown band runs from behind the eye to the insertion of the arm with a short band extending ventrally from the insertion of the arm. The limbs have alternating light and dark brown crossbars; in contrast, the chest and throat are dotted dark brown. The abdomen and ventral surfaces of the leg are white with spots of melanophores. The species can be distinguished from others in the M. jerboa species group by a less clearly defined thigh pattern and strongly pigmented tibia ventrally (Matsui 1986).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Indonesia, Malaysia
Malaysian region distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Sabah, Sarawak
Meristogenys orphnocnemis occurs in Malaysia (Sabah and Sarawak) and Indonesia (East Kalimantan) at an elevation of 200-1665 m (IUCN 2008; Matsui 1986; Malkmus et al. 2002). It is found in hilly lowland rainforest (IUCN 2008).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
It breeds in clear rocky streams (IUCN 2008).
Trends and Threats
It is abundant where found and occurs in several protected areas. It can tolerate slightly disturbed forests. Threats include deforestation and silting of streams (IUCN 2008).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
The specific name is derived from the Greek words orphnos, meaning dusky, and kneme, meaning lower part of the leg.
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. (2008). Global Amphibian Assessment: Meristogenys orphocnemis. www.globalamphibians.org. Accessed on 16 October 2008.
Malkmus, R., Manthey, U., Vogel, G., Hoffmann, P., and Kosuch, J. (2002). Amphibians and Reptiles of Mount Kinabalu (North Borneo). Koeltz Scientific Books, Koenigstein, Germany.
Matsui, M. (1986). ''Three new species of Amolops from Borneo (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae).'' Copeia, 1986, 623-630.
Written by Keith Lui (pdhkings AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2008-09-25
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2014-10-29)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2014 Meristogenys orphnocnemis <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/4812> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Oct 22, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Oct 2017.
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