AMPHIBIAWEB
Nectophrynoides paulae
family: Bufonidae
 
Species Description: Menegon, Salvidio, Ngalason & Loader,2007 A new dwarf forest toad (Amphibia: Bufonidae: Nectophrynoides) from the Ukaguru Mountains, Tanzania. Zootaxa 1541: 31-40
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Critically Endangered (CR)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

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

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Etymology

The species was named for Paola Magagnato, a natural sciences teacher.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Distribution

This species is only known from one site in the Mamiwa-Kisara North Forest Reserve in the Ukaguru Mountains in eastern Tanzania, and it appears to be very rare. It is probably endemic to the Ukaguru Mountains (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

Tympanum and tympanic annulus are present and clearly visible. Parotoid glands are absent. Snout is short. Nostrils are much closer to the snout tip than eyes, which prominent and visible ventrally. Canthus rostralis is concave. Tips of fingers and toes are rounded, not or slightly expanded, never truncated. Pupil is horizontal. The foot length is greater than or equal to length of tibia. Hands are not webbed, while fingers are only webbed at their base. The two distal phalanges of the fifth toe are free of main webbing, the three distal phalanges of fourth toe are free of main webbing on both sides. The upper lips often show dark markings on a paler background colour. Prominent, large conical shaped spines cover the head, eyelids, dorsum and hindlimbs. These spines are conical in shape and end with a conspicuous clear keratinized horny tip. A set of six spines, often larger than others, are arranged symmetrically on the region of the head and shoulder. Spines often are concentrated also on the anterior part of the head, dorsum, sacral region and limbs (Menegon et al., 2007).

Colour pattern in life: the dorsal surface of the body and limbs is uniform brown, a broad cream vertebral strip begins between the middle of the eyes almost reaching the urostyle, positioned anteriorly. A light, subtriangular maxillary patch is present, dark edged along the canthus rostralis and toward the tympanum. Small darker patches are present are present in the lower maxillary patch. There are a few sparse condensations of melanophores on limbs, giving a mottled impression. Venter and gular regions are paler with condensations of melanophores regularly scattered (Menegon et al., 2007).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

Snout-urostyle (SUL) length ranges from 15.1 to 23.7 mm (Menegon et al., 2007).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Diagnostic Description

A small dark toad with slender limbs. The dorsum is covered in large conical spines. The tympanum is distinctly visible. Parotid glands are absent. Finger and toe tips are rounded and not expanded (Harper et al., 2010).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

All specimens were in montane forest at approximately 1800 m in a valley dominated by the tree fern Cyathea manniana. The animals were found on vegetation up to 1.3m from the ground during rainy evenings along a stream and close to standing water. It was most often found on small trees, shrubs or bushes (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Associations

Stomach contents revealed 29 prey items; ants and coleopterans represented the bulk of the species diet, with spiders and mites also being present. Several small-sized nematodes, possibly commensals or parasitic, were also found both in stomach and intestine (Menegon et al., 2007).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Population Biology

There is little information on its abundance. Ten specimens were collected on its discovery, and there has been only one subsequent record (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Advertisement Call

The call consists of 3 – 5 pulses (Harper et al., 2010). See TanzaniaHerps.org for additional information on the advertisement call.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

Males call on rainy nights while perched on vegetation approximately 1 m off the ground (Harper et al., 2010). It is presumably a live-bearing species, like other members of its genus. The presence of a small number of large developing eggs (about 20) in the dissected female also suggests that the species is ovoviviparous (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List (2010) categorizes this species as Critically Endangered because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 100 km2, all individuals are in a single location, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat in the Ukaguru Mountains (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Trends

Populations of this species are presumably decreasing (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Threats

The forests in the Ukaguru Mountains are poorly protected, and threatened by agricultural encroachment and human settlement (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Conservation Actions and Management

It occurs in the Mamiwa-Kisara North Forest Reserve. The extent of its distribution within the Ukaguru Mountains needs to be assessed (Menegon and Loader, 2008).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/