AMPHIBIAWEB
Nectophrynoides laevis
family: Bufonidae
 
Species Description: Menegon M, Salvidio S, Loader SP 2004 Five new species of Nectophrynoides Noble 1926 (Amphibia Anura Bufonidae) from the Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania. Trop. Zool. 17:97-121
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Data Deficient (DD)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Tanzania, United Republic of

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Etymology

This species is named for the Latin 'laevis' meaning smooth and referring to the skin surface.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Distribution

This species is known only from Uluguru South Forest Reserve, in the Uluguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

This is a medium sized Nectophrynoides, with relatively short limbs. The SUL/hindlimb ratio is 1.20. Tips of fingers are rounded and expanded. Length of foot is greater than length of tibia. Tympanum and tympanic annulus is absent. No webbing is present on hands. Main webbing on foot reaches the median subarticular tubercle of the fourth toe. Parotoid glands are present in the scapular region as a raised and easily discernible structure. The parotoid gland is twice as long as wide, and longer than the eye. The dorsal ground colour is pale grey with scattered and irregular dark brown to black blotches. A thin, interrupted vertebral line is present. Belly whitish with a thin dark line running from the chin to the vent and on the inner side of upper limbs, absent from hands and feet. At present the holotype is the only known representative of this species. The morphological variation in this species is therefore completely unknown and deserves further research (Menegon et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

The male holotype, the only known specimen, measured 24.8 mm in snout-vent length (Menegon et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Diagnostic Description

This species lacks a tympanum. The dorsum is light gray with irregular dark markings and is smooth with small warts. Parotid glands are twice as long as their width. A very small amount of webbing is present on the toes. Fingers lack webbing. Finger tips are expanded and slightly truncate. A thin dark line runs along the center of the ventral surface. A pale vertebral stripe was present on the single individual collected; however this is a trait that varies among individuals in other species (Harper et al., 2010).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Comparisons

Resembling a small N. viviparus in body shape but lacking tympanum, massive parotoids and glands on limbs. It is easily distinguished from N. poyntoni, N. vestergaardi, N. minutus and N. tornieri by the absence of a tympanum. Differing from N. wendyae, N. frontierei and N. cryptus in having expanded tips of fingers (the latter two species occasionally have a weakly discernible tympanum, outlined under the skin). N. laevis can be distinguished from N. pseudotornieri by its shorter hindlimbs (SUL/hindlimb = 1.20 versus 1.12 in N. pseudotornieri holotype), the absence of hand webbing, and clearly raised parotoid glands, which are longer than the horizontal diameter of the eye. N. asperginis differs from N. laevis in having rounded finger tips, absence of parotoids, and by being smaller with dark dorsolateral bands (Menegon et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

There is no information on the habitat and ecology of this species. It could be a species of montane forest, or montane grassland, or possibly high-altitude swamps. The altitude of the type locality is also not known, but it is likely to be greater than 2,000 m (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Population Biology

There is no information on its population status as it is known only from a single specimen collected in April 2002 (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

The details of its breeding biology are unknown, but it is assumed to be ovoviviparous, like other member of its genus, with internal fertilisation before giving birth to tiny toadlets (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List (2010) categorizes this species as Data Deficient since it has only recently been discovered, and there is still very little information on its extent of occurrence, status and ecological requirements (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Threats

The threats that this species might face are unknown, although much of Uluguru South Forest Reserve is very remote and faces few threats (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Conservation Actions and Management

Uluguru South Forest Reserve is the only protected area that this species is known from so far, but this area is not generally managed for biodiversity conservation (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/