AmphibiaWeb - Leptobrachella damingshanensis


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Leptobrachella damingshanensis Chen, Yu, Cheng, Meng, Wei, Zhou & Lu, 2021
Damingshan Leaf Litter Toad, Chinese: Da Ming Shan Zhang Tu Chan (大明山掌突蟾)
family: Megophryidae
subfamily: Leptobrachiinae
genus: Leptobrachella
Species Description: Wei-Cai Chen, Gui-Dong Yu, Zhi-Ying Cheng, Tao Meng, Hai Wei, Guang-Yong Zhou, Yan-Wu Lu. 2021. A new species of Leptobrachella (Anura: Megophryidae) from central Guangxi, China. Zoological Research 42(6): 783-788.

AmphibiaChina 中国两栖类.

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account
National Status None
Regional Status None



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.

Leptobrachella damingshanensis is a medium size frog described from three males with a snout-vent length range of 33.6 - 34.4 mm. The head length is less than its width, with the ratio of head width at the connection of the jaw and the head length from snout to rear of jaw being 1.13 in the holotype. The snout is rounded and slightly protrudes over the lower jaw. The nostrils are oval and closer to the snout than the eye. The canthus rostralis is easily distinguishable. The loreal region has an obvious slope and is mildly concave. The pupil is vertical, and the eye diameter is less than the snout length. The upper eyelid has tubercles on the surface. The tympanum is rounded and apparent, with a diameter about 58% smaller than that of the eye. The tympanic rim is moderately raised compared to the skin of the temporal region. The dorsal skin is varied in texture with upraised tubercles and ridges; the ridges are more prominent on shoulder and dorsal surfaces of limbs. The ventral surface has small glands along the throat, chest, belly, and ventral part of the thighs. A ventrolateral glandular line is prominent. Supra-axillary glands are prominent, oval, and are about 1.8 mm in diameter. Pectoral glands are also oval and about 1.5 mm in diameter. There is a distinct inner palmar tubercle, which is independent of the small outer palmar tubercle. The relative finger lengths are I < II < IV < III, and the fingers lack subarticular tubercles, webbing, and fringes. The fingertips are moderately swollen. Femoral glands are oval and about 2.3 mm in diameter. They are found on the posteroventral area of the thighs. Humeral glands, located on the proximal thigh surface, are oval and about 1.6 mm in diameter. There is a distinct oval inner metatarsal tubercle, but the outer metatarsal tubercle are absent. The tips of the toes are rounded and somewhat swollen, with the respective toe lengths being I < II < V < III < IV. Subarticular tubercles are nonexistent, but there are dermal ridges (Chen et al. 2021).

At the time of the species description, 63 species of Leptobrachella were recognized north of the Isthmus of Kra (southern Thailand). Leptobrachella damingshanensis can be differentiated from its most phylogenetically related congeners - L. aerea, L. alpina, L. feii, L. minima, L. nahangensis, L. nyx, L. pelodytoides, L. pluvialis, L. shangsiensis, L. sungi, L. ventripunctata, L. wuhuangmontis, and L. zhangyapingi - by the focal species having a medium body size, having distinct reddish-brown humeral glands in the proximal area of the thighs, having a creamy white ventrum, lacking finger webbing and fringes, having basal webbing and narrow lateral fringes on the toes, having irregular black spots on the flanks, and having a bi-colored iris (Chen et al. 2021, please see the citation for more comparisons).

In life, the red dorsum has dark brown markings that are especially prominent between the eyes - as distinct, inverse, brown triangles - and on the shoulders. There are wide brown bars on the upper lip. The iris is bi-colored, with the upper half being copper and the lower half being silver. The posterior corner of the eye is creamy white. The tympanum is brown and the supratympanic fold is black with a reddish-brown line extending from the corner of the eye to the supra-axillary glands. The supra-axillary gland itself is creamy white, with an orange spot. The pectoral and femoral glands are also creamy white, but the humeral gland is reddish-orange. The flanks have small irregular black spots. The elbows, upper arms, tibiotarsal surfaces, and lateral surfaces of the digits are orange. The hind limbs have indistinct, dark brown, transverse bars. The ventrum is creamy white with white glands on the throat, chest, belly, and thighs. The white glands are especially concentrated near the lateral margins (Chen et al. 2021).

In preservative, the dorsal and limb coloration fades to medium brown, the dark brown markings between the eyes and shoulder, black spots on the flanks, and creamy white spots on the ventrum all remain distinct. The supra-axillary, pectoral, femoral, and ventrolateral glands remain creamy white, however the humeral glands fade to pale orange. The upper arms also become pale orange (Chen et al. 2021).

The three type specimens are consistent in body size and color pattern, but there is some variation in the black flanks spots and the density of creamy white belly glands (Chen et al. 2021).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
The species was found in an evergreen forest in the Damingshan National Nature Reserve in Guangxi, China, at an elevation between 1000 and 1200 meters (Chen et al. 2021).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Asian leaf litter toads in the genus Leptobrachella have a low degree of flexibility in their ability to move within their environment, and they are most commonly found in montane forests (Li et al. 2020).

Males were recorded calling on rocks by rocky streams in the evening between 2000 - 2400 h. Calls of the species consist of a single note with a frequency of 4.6 - 5.2 kHz. The duration of the holotype call was 294.1 ms, and the call interval was 228.7 ms (Chen et al. 2021).

Trends and Threats
At the time of the species description the species was only known in the type locality in Damingshan National Nature Reserve in Guangxi, China (Chen et al. 2021), which presumably is protected.


The new species was identified with morphological, molecular, and acoustic data. Phylogenetic analyses using Bayesian inference of a 16S rRNA gene fragment suggest that L. damingshanensis forms a sister taxon with L. nahangensis followed by L. nyx (Chen et al. 2021).

The species epithet, “damingshanensis,” refers to the location in which the species was discovered: Damingshan National Nature Reserve (Chen et al. 2021).

Chen, Yu, G.-D., Cheng, Z.-Y., Meng, T., Wei, H., Zhou, G.-Y., & Lu, Y.-W. (2021). A new species of Leptobrachella (Anura: Megophryidae) from central Guangxi, China. Zoological Research, 42(6), 783–788. [link]

Li, S.-Z., Liu, J., Wei, G., & Wang, B. (2020). A new species of the Asian leaf litter toad genus Leptobrachella (Amphibia, Anura, Megophryidae) from southwest China. ZooKeys, 943, 91. [link]

Originally submitted by: Johanna Merkel (2023-07-31)
Description by: Johanna Merkel, Ann T. Chang (updated 2023-07-31)
Distribution by: Johanna Merkel (updated 2023-07-31)
Life history by: Johanna Merkel (updated 2023-07-31)
Trends and threats by: Johanna Merkel (updated 2023-07-31)
Comments by: Johanna Merkel (updated 2023-07-31)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-07-31)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Leptobrachella damingshanensis: Damingshan Leaf Litter Toad <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Sep 22, 2023.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 22 Sep 2023.

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