Annulated long-fingered frog
Species Description: Hirschfeld, M., D.C. Blackburn, M. Burger, E. Greenbaum, A.-G. Zassi-Boulou, and M.-O. Rödel. 2015. Two new species of long-fingered frogs of the genus Cardioglossa (Anura: Arthroleptidae) from Central African rainforests. African Journal of Herpetology 64: 81–102.
Cardioglossa annulata differs most apparently from similar species through its markings. It does not have the back markings (in either an hour glass shape or three large spots) that most other Cardioglossa species have. Of the few other Cardioglossa species that do not have back markings (Cardioglossa congolia, Cardioglossa oreas, Cardioglossa manengouba, Cardioglossa pulchra, and Cardioglossa venusta), Cardioglossa annulata is distinguishable by its infratympanal line. More specifically, Cardioglossa annulata differs from Cardioglossa congolia and Cardioglossa gratiosa through black bars with yellow borders on its front and hind limbs and a flashy black mask that runs laterally from the snout to midbody. Compared to Cardioglossa congolia, Cardioglossa annulata has a dark and light pattern on its back. Cardioglossa annulata looks most like Cardioglossa gratiosa, but does not have the latter’s black transverse stripes on its extremities or patterned lateral coloration (Hirschfeld 2015).
In life, the holotype has a brown back with three small black spots. The limbs have transverse black stripes (two on the forelimbs and nine on the hind limbs). Between these stripes are brown patches edged with a thin, light line, and ventral stripes are separated by yellow patches. The posterior thigh is black. A black mask covers the tympanum and runs posteriorly from the snout to the last third of the body. A black spot covers the groin. Dark markings on the flank and hind limbs are ringed with a creamy yellow line that blurs as it moves dorsally. The back is brown/gray and has irregular yellow spots. The throat is dark gray. The spines on the fingers, groin, dorsal thigh, and lower back are white. In preservative, the patterns fade slightly over time (Hirschfeld 2015).
The species’ back coloration can vary from light to dark brown, and black spots on the back can also vary in number and size. Although the majority of individuals have nine black bars on their legs, the size of the bars varies. The ventral spots also differ in their number and coloration (between white and yellow). The infratympanal white stripe can be distinct or faded, and can thicken or break off below the tympanum. The females had a slightly lighter throat than the male specimen (Hirschfeld 2015).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: . Introduced: Congo.
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Cardioglossa annulata forms a subclade within Cardioglossa with Cardioglossa escalerae, Cardioglossa gratiosa, Cardioglossa nigromaculata, Cardioglossa trifasciata, and Cardioglossa congolia. Pairwise genetic comparisons of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene suggests a low to moderate level of divergence between Cardioglossa annulata and other closely related Cardioglossa species (Hirschfeld 2015).
The species epithet, “annulatus”, comes from a Latin version of annulated, or having rings, which refers to the color pattern of the species’ hind limbs and their black stripes (Hirschfeld 2015).
Floodplains adjacent to the Congo and Ubangi Rivers may act as geographic barriers for Cardioglossa annulata and other similar species (Hirschfeld 2015).
Hirschfeld M, Blackburn DC, Burger M, Greenbaum E, Zassi-Boulou A-G, and Rödel M-O (2015). ''Two new species of long-fingered frogs of the genus Cardioglossa (Anura: Arthroleptidae) from Central African rainforests.'' African Journal of Herpetology, 64(2), 81-102.
Written by Sierra Raby (sraby AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2016-11-09
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2016-11-16)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2016 Cardioglossa annulata: Annulated long-fingered frog <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/8378> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 28, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 28 May 2017.
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