AMPHIBIAWEB
Nectophrynoides laticeps
family: Bufonidae
 
Species Description: Channing A, Menegon M, Salvidio S, Akker S, 2005 A new forest toad from the Ukaguru Mountains, Tanzania (Bufonidae: Nectophrynoides). Afr J Herp 54:149-157.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
CITES No CITES Listing
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Etymology

This species was named for the Latin 'latus' meaning broad and 'ceps' meaning head.


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

Distribution

This species is only known from the Ukaguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania, and it is most likely endemic these mountains (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


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

Morphology

This is a small forest toad with slender limbs. Head is wide with a rounded tympanum that is less than half a tympanum diameter from the eye. The top of the snout is flat and smooth. The canthus rostralis is concave, with an angular ridge between eye and snout tip. Nostrils are situated near the tip of the snout, below the canthal ridge, about one quarter of the distance from snout tip to eye. Nostrils are slightly raised, vertically in line with the anterior point of the mouth. The snout is pointed and projects beyond the upper lip. The sides of the head at eye level at about 80 degrees to the jaw. Fore limbs are slender, fingertips rounded without expanded tips. Fourth finger is slightly longer than second. Two large metacarpal tubercles are present. Upper surface of hand and arm are granular. Minute spines are visible along the sides of the fingers. Hind limb is slender; tibia is slightly shorter than foot. Foot length is greater than head width, and 39% of SUL. Toes have pale tips that are rounded, not expanded. Webbing is absent between toes. Subarticular tubercles are small andslightly raised. Metatarsal tubercles are distinct, pale, rounded, raised. Rows of small tubercles extend from the base of toes 4 and 5 to the metatarsal tubercles. Hind limb is covered in fine warts. Parotids consist of an interrupted thin ridge of glands, slightly more than twice the length of the upper eyelid, continuous with the upper eyelid. The parotids converge posteriorly towards the sacrum. The upper eyelid is slightly warty, with small glands present posteriorly. Males exhibit a nuptial pad on the upper surface of the basal two phalanges of the thumb. A glandular patch is present below the anterior point of the lower jaw (Channing et al., 2005).

The dorsal and ventral coloration is variable, with many individuals showing a pink tinge. Colour varies from a pale brown to a dark brown overall, with various pale and darker markings. The limbs and sides have darker mottles. A very fine dark vertebral line is present. The underside is darker posteriorly with pale speckles that become smaller anteriorly. The lower jaw is mottled with pale spots. A pale band may runs from the base of the orbit to the angle of the jaw on the right side, but blends into the pale upper jaw on the left. Photographs of living animals show a dark brown throat and belly. The belly has silvery-white irregular speckles, or may be uniformly dark. The pale mottling on the side of the jaw extends to the ventral surface. The holotype and many of the paratypes have a pale patch extending from below the eye to the angle of the jaw. The lower surfaces of the hands and feet are black. The back is dark brown with a yellow-brown to gray-brown patch on the top of the snout, and on the upper arm. Similar coloured small spots are irregularly present on the dark background. Some animals have an hourglass pattern on the back. The iris is bronze (Channing et al., 2005).


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

Size

The female holotype measured 23.9 mm in snout-vent length; paratypes measured from 13.8 to 20.7 mm (Channing et al., 2005).


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

Diagnostic Description

A small frog with slender limbs. The tympanum is visible, but not distinct. It is smaller than ½ the diameter of the eye. The dorsum is brown with raised bumps. The sides are slightly darker, but there are no distinct markings on the dorsum or sides. There is a light band that runs from the eye to the corner of the mouth. Toe and finger tips are rounded and not expanded. Toes and fingers lack webbing (Harper et al., 2010).


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

Comparisons

N. paulae and N. tornieri also occur in the Ukaguru Mountains, but N. laticeps lacks the conical dorsal spines of N. paulae and has rounded finger tips unlike the truncate finger tips of N. tornieri (Harper et al., 2010).


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

Habitat and Ecology

The species lives in leaf litter on the floor on montane forest from 1800m asl up to 2,200 m. It has not been found outside forest habitats (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


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

Population Biology

It appears to be common within its small range (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


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

Advertisement Call

Described by Channing et al. (2005) as “a whistle followed by a short chirp, although later in the year only the chirp is produced.”


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

Reproduction

It is presumably a live-bearing species, like other members of its genus (Mengon and Loader, 2008).


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) categorized this species as Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Ukaguru Mountains (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


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

Trends

Populations are assumed to be decreasing (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


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

Threats

The forests in the Ukaguru Mountains are poorly protected, and threatened by agricultural encroachment and human settlement (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


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

Conservation Actions and Management

It occurs in the Mamiwa-Kisara Forest Reserve. The extent of its distribution within the Ukaguru Mountains needs to be assessed (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


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