AMPHIBIAWEB
Callulina kisiwamsitu
family: Brevicipitidae

© 2004 Robert C. Drewes (1 of 1)

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

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
See IUCN account.
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Etymology

The specific name derives from the Swahili 'kisiwa' (island) and 'msitu' (forest) and refers to the habitat of this species that is now just a remnant forest that once covered the West Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. The word is a noun in apposition.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Taxonomic Notes

The species Callulina kreffti was based on specimens collected in the East Usambara Mountains of Tanzania. Successive collecting has shown this species to be widely distributed through the Eastern Arc Mountains. Advertisement calls from populations in the type locality of Callulina kreffti were compared with calls from populations in the West Usambara Mountains. Analysis of the calls suggested that these two populations of Callulina represent two separate taxa. Subsequent morphological and molecular investigations indicated that these two populations are distinct.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Distribution

This species is presently known from remnant forest patches on the West Usambara Mountains of Tanzania, including Mazumbai FR, Ambangula FR, Shume-Mugambo FR, and Philipshof.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Osteology

The species is assigned to the genus Callulina based on the following characteristics: (1) triangular-shaped terminal digits (simple, not expanded, in Balebreviceps, Breviceps, Probreviceps, and Spelaeophyrne); (2) expanded terminal phalanges (simple in Spelaeophyrne, Probreviceps, Breviceps, and Balebreviceps); and (3) a double condylar articulation between the urostyle and the sacral vertebra (fused in Balebreviceps, Breviceps, and Probreviceps).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

In life, the holotype was brown with irregular dark brown marbling and a thin cream middorsal line; warts on the lateral surfaces of body were clearly white. Ventral surface was cream with brown marbling on edges. In preservative, the overall coloration is similar to that in life; however the warts on side of body are less pronounced, both relative to their color and their size. Warts on the edge of the eyelid tend to be more pronounced in larger specimens; however, this is difficult to detect in old museum specimens. Coloration is mainly uniform, however some specimens may also have three to four dark bands across the back. The middorsal stripe may be poorly defined. The extent of dark marbling varies slightly on the ventral regions (de Sá et al., 2004).

In some individuals, the first and second toes are subequal in size instead of having a smaller first toe. Tympanum diameter is always at least equal to the distance from the tympanum to posterior edge of the eye; however, this distance may be larger than the tympanum diameter itself. Tympanum is partially hidden in some individuals (de Sá et al., 2004).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

Females are larger than males (de Sá et al., 2004).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Comparisons

This species is overall morphologically similar to C. kreffti (Table 1 in original description). However, the two taxa are distinguished by the following characters: (1) Callulina kisiwamsitu has a rounded canthus rostralis and a distinctly truncated snout (the latter is less pronounced in C. kreffti, Fig. 3); (2) In C. kisiwamsitu, there is no contact between inner and outer tubercles on either the hand and the foot (tubercles very close or in contact in C. kreffti, Figs. 4 and 5 in original description); (3) Inner metatarsal tubercle larger than outer metatarsal tubercle in C. kisiwamsitu (metatarsals tubercles are about equal in size in C. kreffti, Fig. 5); (4) Dorsal and lateral body surfaces of C. kisiwamsitu have uniformly small warts (C. kreffti have large, broadbased warts as well as small warts); (5) The ratio between the widths of Finger 3 at the level of the distal subarticle tubercle relative to the width of its toe tip is always more than three-fourths in C. kisiwamsitu (three-fourths or less in C. kreffti, see Table 1); (6) Cleared-and-stained specimens show Y-shaped expanded terminal phalanges in C. kisiwamsitu (T-shape in C. kreffti, Fig. 6 in original description); (7) In C. kisiwamsitu, the distance between the tympanum and the posterior corner of the eye is equal to or greater than the tympanum diameter (Fig. 3 in original description; usually less than the tympanum diameter in C. kreffti, in a few cases it is slightly larger); and (8) Peak dominant frequency of advertisement calls of C. kisiwamsitu is always below 2 Khz, and peak dominant frequency in C. kreffti is always above 2 Khz, usually around 2.5–2.6 KHz (Fig. 7 in the original description).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

This is a forest-dependent species found at elevations between 1200 - 1500 m (Harper et al., 2010). It is presumed to be intolerant of habitat degradation (Channing et al., 2006).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Associations

Gut contents of one specimen consisted of relatively large arthropods (Hemiptera, Orthoptera, Diplopoda), and nematodes; parasitic nematodes were found in the lungs (de Sá et al., 2004).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Advertisement Call

Calls of C. kisiwamsitu were recorded between 12 and 16 March 2000, at Mazumbai Reserve, Tanzania, by RdS and AC, between 2000 and 2300 h, with air temperatures ranging from 17–208C. Call rate was determined for a three-minute recording period of individual USNM 556136 recorded on 15 March 2000, 2300 h, air temperature 208C. Other call characteristics are based on analyses of 59 calls (six individuals). The call is a long trill (Fig. 7 in the original description), with average 13.3 notes per call (range 8–18), average call duration is 126 msec. There is an average of 5.44 pulses per note. The intensity of the dominant frequency averages 1.84 KHz; sometimes a second and third harmonic are present at about 3 and 5.5 KHz (de Sá et al., 2004).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

Repductive mode is not known, but this species is assumed to be a direct developer (de Sá et al., 2004).

As the rainy season starts, males climb into low bushes and other vegetation where they call. It was often observed that calling males were positioned vertically on small trunks, from 0.5–2 m off the ground, and initially were mistaken as notches in the trunks. Sometimes they were also found calling at the junction of branches (de Sá et al., 2004).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Phylogenetics

In analyses, Callulina species form a well-supported clade – as demonstrated by high bootstrap values. Within this grouping, the geographically close Usambara species C. kreffti and C. kiswamsitu form a clade – albeit weakly supported – with C. dawida a sister group to this clade. Overall the analyses demonstrate the genetic distinctiveness of the three Callulina species (Loader et al., 2009).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

The IUCN Redlist (2010) categorizes this species as Endangered since it has an area of occupancy and extent of occurrence of less than 500km2, within which remaining habitat is severely fragmented and declining in both quality and overall area (Channing et al., 2006).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Trends

Populations of this species are decreasing (Channing et al., 2006).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Threats

Habitat loss due to smallholder agriculture is likely to be a threat to unprotected forests within the range of this species. Habitat degradation may be a threat as a result of both logging activities and extraction of firewood, even in protected areas (Channing et al., 2006).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Conservation Actions and Management

Three of four known sites for this species are within forest reserves, but even these are subject to threats and there is a need for improved management of all of them (Channing et al., 2006).


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/