Problem Squeaker Frog
Species Description: Blackburn DC, Gvozdik V, Leache AD 2010 A new squeaker frog (Arthroleptidae: Arthroleptis) from the mountains of Cameroon and Nigeria. Herpetologica 66:335-348.
© 2010 David C. Blackburn (1 of 7)
Coloration in life and variation: Pale to medium brown dorsum with small darker brown or black markings. A pale creamy mid-dorsal stripe may be present, particularly in individuals from the Mambilla Plateau and Bamenda Highlands. Lateral surfaces have both darker brown to nearly black markings and paler brown to creamy tan markings. Venter is gray to white, with dark brown markings; individuals from the Mambilla Plateau and Bamenda Highlands have the darkest ventral markings. Throat lacks a distinct pale median stripe but may have the suggestion of a stripe in some individuals. Iris is gold with black vermiculations. A pale interorbital bar may be present and edged with small dark spots that sometimes coalesce into a dark line. This species generally has a fragmented supratympanic band extending from the posterior corner of the eye to behind the tympanum, with most Bamenda Highlands individuals and some Obudu Plateau individuals showing a more continuous supratympanic band on each side.
Similar species: It can be distinguished from other medium-small congeners (those equal to or larger than 25 mm SVL) as follows: from A. adelphus by smaller body size, smoother dorsum and flanks, and a more defined supratympanic band; from A. adolfifriederici by smaller body size and a more flange-shaped inner metatarsal tubercle; from A. affinis by smaller body size and the absence of prominent supernumerary tubercles on the feet; from A. bioko and A. francei by having a fragmented supratympanic band (generally) and a larger inner metatarsal tubercle; from A. krokosua by a lighter-colored throat and vent, by the absence of large black spots on the flanks, and by having Finger IV longer (generally) than Fingers I and II; from A. perreti by the absence of dark coloration and lack of numerous white spots on the posterior thigh; from A. reichei by less swollen digit tips; from A. stenodactylus by a more pigmented venter and (generally) a fragmented supratympanic band; from A. nikeae, A. nguruensis, and A. tanneri by its smaller body size (29 mm maximum female SVL in A. palava vs. >50 mm SVL in A. nikeae, >40 mm SVL in A. nguruensis and A. tanneri, and also a narrower head than for A. nguruensis and A. tanneri; from A. tuberosus by smoother skin; from A. variabilis by the absence of a distinct, pale throat stripe (although it is indistinctly present in some A. palava individuals); from A. wahlbergii by the absence of a dark inguinal spot and well-defined supernumerary metatarsal tubercles, and the presence of a more prominent inner metatarsal tubercle.
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cameroon, Nigeria
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Etymology: The specific epithet palava means "problem" in Central and West African pidgin language, and refers to the frequent confusion of this species with Arthroleptis poecilonotus, which is a species complex.
Blackburn, D. C., Gvoždík, V., and Leaché, A. D. (2010). ''A new squeaker frog (Arthroleptidae: Arthroleptis) from the mountains of Cameroon and Nigeria.'' Herpetologica, 66, 335-348.
Schiøtz, A. (1963). ''The amphibians of Nigeria.'' Vedenskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening, 125, 1-92.
Schiøtz, A. (1966). ''On a collection of Amphibia from Nigeria.'' Vedenskabelige Meddelelser fra Dansk Naturhistorisk Forening, 129, 43-48.
Written by Kellie Whittaker (kwhittaker AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2010-11-11
Edited by Kellie Whittaker (2010-11-11)
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