Species Description: Channing A, Menegon M, Salvidio S, Akker S, 2005 A new forest toad from the Ukaguru Mountains, Tanzania (Bufonidae: Nectophrynoides). Afr J Herp 54:149-157.
Enlarged spines on skin and the loss of paratoid glands in Nectophrynoides paulae are used to differentiate them from Nectophrynoides laticeps. They have a call described as a whistle followed by a chirp that differentiates them from other species (Menegon et al. 2007). From N. viviparous, N. laticeps can be differentiated by its poorly developed limb glands. From N. asperginis, N. cryptus, N. frontieria, N. laevis, N. pseudotornieri, and N. wendyae it can be differentiated by its distinct tympanum. From N. tornieri it can be differentiated by its long finger discs. From N. poyntoni it is differentiated by its longer parotoid gland (twice as long vs. just as long as the eyelid). And from N. minutus it is differentiated by having many warts on the parotids (Channing et al 2005).
In life, the dorsal coloration is dark brown with a yellow-brown or grey-brown mark atop the snout and on the upper arms. Similarly colored speckles can be found irregularly marking the dorsum. Some individuals are also marked on the back with an hourglass pattern. It sides are somewhat darker with no distinct markings on the dorsum or sides. A light band runs from the eye to the corner of the mouth. Some individuals are colored pale brown or dark brown, with varied markings of darker or paler hues. There are darker patches on the sides and limbs. The vertebral line is dark. The throat and belly are dark brown and may have with slivery-white speckles that decrease in size as they get closer to the anterior surface. The inferior jaw has pale spots. There is a pale band from the bottom of the orbit to the jaw. The underside of the hands and feet are black (Channing et al. 2005; Harper et al. 2010). In preserved specimens dorsal ground color varies from uniform dark brown to light grey with a variable pattern. Ventral color pattern is relatively constant and similar to the holotype. Maxillary brown blotches on the side of the head are always present, but tend to disappear in dark specimens. A pale mid-dorsal vertebral line is often present, sometimes interrupted in some specimens (Menegon et al. 2007).
Little variation is observed in the eight specimens collected. The tibia/foot ratio also varies (Menegon et al. 2007).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Tanzania, United Republic of
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
They have a type of call that was identified by Channing et al. (2005) as “a whistle followed by a short chirp, although later in the year only the chirp is produced.” Based on four individuals, the whistle begins between 1.69 – 1.77 kHz and rises to 1.78 – 1.87 kHz before reducing to 1.55 – 1.72 kHz. However there are several harmonics on the sound spectrum with the first peaking around 3.6 kHz. The duration of the whistle ranges from 146.4 -223.3 ms followed by a silent interval ranging from 92.5 – 128.7 ms that is finally followed by a chirp lasting 58.2 – 79.3 ms. The chirp has a pulse rate of 63.0 – 70.9 pulses per second. Multiple chirps may follow the whistle and sometimes the whistle is omitted altogether.
Dissection of a gravid female uncovered more than 30 small yellow eggs in each oviduct, which is considered a large amount for a small species (similarly sized N. asperginis only had 10 – 16 eggs). The eggs measured 1.8 mm in diameter (Channing et al. 2005).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
Intensified agriculture or grazing
There is not a lot known about the type of distinctions for the genus Nectophrynoides. Initially attempts at phylogenetic separations was based on having an omosternum and terminal phalanges. However, this characteristic was also found in other African bufonids. The separation between Nectophrynoides and other bufonids is still not clear. Developed and definitive behavioral and morphological work is crucial to better understand the phylogenetic relationship of this genus and their close relatives (Menegon et al. 2004).
Explanation for the name laticeps comes from the two Latin words: latus which means wide and ceps which means headed.
Channing, A., Menegon, M., Salvidio, S., Akker, S. (2005). ''A new forest toad from the Ukaguru Mountains, Tanzania (Bufonidae: Nectophrynoides).'' African Journal of Herpetology, 54, 149-157.
Harper, E. B., Measey G. J., Patrick D. A., Menegon M., and Vonesh J. R. (2010). Field Guide to Amphibians of the Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests of Tanzania and Kenya. Camerapix Publishers International, Nairobi, Kenya.
Menegon, M. Salvidio, S., Ngalason, W., Loader, S.P. (2007) A new dwarf forest toad (Amphibia: Bufonidae: Nectophrynoides) from the Ukaguru Mountains, Tanzania. Zootaxa. 1541:31-40.
Menegon, M., Loader, S. 2008. Nectophrynoides laticeps. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 20 March 2014.
Menegon, M., Salvidio, S., and Loader, S. P. (2004). ''Five new species of Nectophrynoides Noble 1926 (Amphibia Anura Bufonidae) from the Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania.'' Tropical Zoology, 17, 97-121.
Written by Rosalie Abeng (Rosalie.j.abeng AT gmail.com), University of Nevada, Reno
First submitted 2015-01-15
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2015-01-15)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2015 Nectophrynoides laticeps <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/6719> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 29, 2017.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2017. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 29 Apr 2017.
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