AMPHIBIAWEB
Nectophrynoides poyntoni
Poynton’s Forest Toad
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 Critically Endangered (CR)
CITES Appendix I
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Taxonomic Notes

The species is named in honour of Prof. John Poynton.


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

Summary

This Critically Endangered species of toad is known only from the Udzungwa Mountains, in eastern Tanzania and can be distinguished from other Nectophrynoides species by its rounded finger and toe tips, clearly visible tympanum and distinct parotid glands.


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

Distribution

This species is known only from the Mkalazi Valley in the Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, Udzungwa Mountains, in eastern Tanzania. Surveys of other parts of the Udzungwa Forest Reserve have not located this species (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Morphology

A medium sized Nectophrynoides, with slender limbs. Tympanum and tympanic annulus are present, the anterior parotoids are formed by a row of smaller glands aligned antero-posteriorly. The posterior parotoid is located in the scapular region, is twice as long as wide, and as long as the horizontal diameter of the eye. Snout is short. Nostrils are closer to the snout tip than eye and are situated laterally. Canthus rostralis is slightly concave. Eyes prominent and visible ventrally. Pupils are horizontal. Foot is shorter than tibia. The tibia/foot ratio in the type series ranges from 1.07 to 1.13. Webbing is absent on hands. Webbing is present on fourth and fifth toes. tips of fingers and toes rounded, not expanded or truncate (Menegon et al., 2004).

Dorsal ground colour is brown to light brown. black stripe runs from the tip of the snout to the end of the parotoid glands, darkening the outer edge of these glands. The sides of the head are pale beige, as well as the upper part of the arms. The dorsum has a light brown mid dorsal stripe with a black border. The stripe is interrupted in the mid dorsal area by a beige inverted ‘v’ -shaped broad band, which has a black border. Several dorsal glands are marked by condensations of melanophores, often present on the margins of the pale pink areas, forming interrupted stripes. Ventral surface is grey, with a sparse number of melanophores (Menegon et al., 2004).


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

Size

Holotype measured 24 mm (Menegon et al., 2004).


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

Diagnostic Description

A medium-sized Nectophrynoides with a broad head and short, slender legs. The dorsum is light brown with irregular darker brown markings and a dark line from the eye to the shoulder. The dorsal pattern is variable. Parotid glands are present and distinct, but discontinuous, appearing as a broken ridge from the eye to the shoulder. The tympanum is visible. Toe tips are rounded not expanded or truncate. There is some webbing on the fourth and fifth toes (Harper et al., 2010).


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

Comparisons

N. poyntoni can be distinguished from other species in the genus by its rounded finger and toe tips, body size, clearly visible tympanum and distinct parotid glands. Nectophrynoides poyntoni resembles N. tornieri in body size and shape but it is easily distinguished by its rounded fingers and toes (always expanded and truncated in N. tornieri), and by its advertisement call. It is easily distinguished from N. viviparus by the lack of massive glands on limbs and the smaller size. The presence of a clearly raised bicoloured parotoid gland in the scapular region and the bigger body size allow N. poyntoni to be distinguished from N. minutus and from N. frontierei, which have parotoid glands reduced to just a few small conical glands. he presence of a clear tympanum differentiates this species from N. asperginis, N. laevis, N. pseudotornieri, N. wendyae and N. cryptus. The last species occasionally has a depression marking the tympanic area or a reduced tympanum outlined under the skin, but is easily distinguished from N. poyntoni in having a longer foot than tibia. N. poyntoni resembles N. vestergaardi in size, body and head shape and in having rounded tips of fingers and toes, but it differs morphometrically from it in both hind and forelimb proportions, in the shape of the parotoid glands and also in the dorsal pattern (Menegon et al., 2004).


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

Habitat and Ecology

All specimens were found in moist submontane rainforest, close to a stream at 1200 m (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Population Biology

It is reasonably common within its tiny range, though much less numerous than the sympatric Nectophrynoides tornieri (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Activity and Special Behaviors

Individuals hide under logs during the day and perch on vegetation approximately 1 m off the ground at night (Harper et al., 2010).


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

Advertisement Call

Described by Menegon et al. (2004) as “a group of trains of 6 to 8 pulses.” See TanzaniaHerps.org for additional information.


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

Reproduction

Reproduction is assumed to be similar to that of other species in the genus, with internal fertilization and live birth (Harper et al., 2010). The two dissected females had eight (BMNH 2000.235) and 10 (MTSN 5076) large yolky eggs, supporting this hypothesis (Menegon et al., 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 Critically Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 100 km2 and its Area of Occupancy is less than 10 km2, it is known from a single location, and the quality and extent of its habitat in the Udzungwa Mountains is declining (Mengon and Loader, 2004).


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

Trends

Populations are assumed to be decreasing (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Threats

Its habitat is probably being lost due to agricultural encroachment, wood extraction, and expanding human settlements (Mengon and Loader, 2004).


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

Conservation Actions and Management

This species occurs in the Udzungwa Scarp Forest Reserve, but not in any well-protected areas. The population status and trends of this species require monitoring (Mengon and Loader, 2004).


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