AMPHIBIAWEB
Nectophrynoides pseudotornieri
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 Endangered (EN)
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

Named for the Latin 'pseudo' meaning false or seeming, indicating the species overall similarity to N. tornieri.


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

Summary

This medium-sized Nectophrynoides is known only from the Uluguru North Forest Reserve within the Uluguru Mountains of eastern Tanzania and is considered Endangered. Its large hands and feet, expanded toe tips, fingers webbed at the base, indistinct parotid glands, and lack of a tympanum make it distinguishable from other species of the genus.


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

Distribution

This species is known only from the Uluguru North Forest Reserve on the eastern slopes of the northern part of the Uluguru Mountains, eastern Tanzania. It appears to have a very restricted distribution (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Morphology

This is a medium sized Nectophrynoides with slender limbs. Tympanum and tympanic annulus are completely absent. Parotoid glands are present on the scapular region as a slightly raised and weakly discernible mass. Snout is short. Nostrils are closer to the snout tip than eye and situated laterally. Canthus rostralis is slightly concave. Eye pupil is horizontal; eyes are prominent and visible ventrally. Fingers are widely webbed at base with a rib of webbing reaching the second tubercle of the third finger. Three phalanges of fourth toe are free of web on both inner and outer sides, two of the fifth toe. Tips of fingers are expanded and slightly truncated. Two subequal metacarpal tubercles are present. The inner metatarsal tubercle is about twice as large as the outer one. The skin surface is homogeneously covered by coni, lacking pointed tubercles and recognisable superficial glands, except for the abdomen and the inner side of the thigh which are covered by pavement-like glands. The tibia/foot ratio in the holotype is 0.93 (Menegon et al., 2004).

The body appears dark brown dorsally. The dorsum is finely marbled with different shades of brown. The sides are slightly darker than the dorsum with more contrasted and extensive marbling. Hands and feet are lighter in colour. The belly is creamy with sparse condensation of melanophores mainly on throat and limbs. In the living specimen the dorsum and head were light brown. Iris was gold (Menegon et al., 2004).


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

Size

The holotype, a male, measured 25.0 mm, and the single paratype, a female, measured 29 mm from snout to urostyle (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, protruding eyes and large hands and feet relative to other members of the genus. The dorsum is light brown with irregular darker brown markings. This species lacks a tympanum. The parotid glands are present, but small and indistinct. They are located in the scapular region and are shorter than the length of the eye. The toe tips are expanded and the tips of some of the digits are truncate. Fingers are webbed at the base. Toes are partially webbed (Harper et al., 2010).


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

Comparisons

Resembling N. tornieri in body shape but substantially larger. Easily distinguished from N. tornieri, N. poyntoni, N. vestergaardi, N. minutus and N. viviparus by the absence of tympanum. Differing from N. wendyae, N. cryptus and N. frontierei in having expanded tip of fingers (the two latter species sometimes also have a weakly discernible tympanum under the skin). N. laevis has shorter hindlimbs (SUL/hindlimb = 1.20 versus 1.12 in N. pseudotornieri holotype), lacks hand webbing and has clearly raised parotoid glands, longer than the horizontal diameter of the eye. N. asperginis has rounded finger tips, is smaller with dark dorsolateral bands, and has a more developed webbing (Menegon et al., 2004).


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

Habitat and Ecology

This species is known only from tall, submontane rainforest between 1080 and 1345 m (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Population Biology

There is no information on the population status of this species as it is known from only two specimens, collected in 1996 and 2000 (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Activity and Special Behaviors

Hides 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/

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).


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 Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, all individuals are in fewer than five locations, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat on the Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Threats

The submontane forest on the eastern slopes of the Uluguru Mountains has been extensively cleared, mainly due to agricultural encroachment, wood extraction, and expanding human settlements (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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

Conservation Actions and Management

It occurs in the Uluguru North Forest Reserve, but this area is not generally managed for biodiversity conservation and is in need of improved management. Further survey work is needed to determine the current population status of this species (Menegon and Loader, 2004).


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