AMPHIBIAWEB
Tomopterna luganga
family: Pyxicephalidae
subfamily: Cacosterninae
 
Species Description: Channing, A., D. C. Moyer, and A. Dawood. 2004. A new sand frog from central Tanzania (Anura: Ranidae: Tomopterna). African Journal of Herpetology 53: 21–28.

© 2011 Martin Pickersgill (1 of 1)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
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 name is derived from the Hehe word luganga meaning sand. It is a reference to the habitat in which the species is found (Channing et al., 2004).


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Summary

Tomopterna luganga is a medium-sized species (SVL< 55mm) of sand frog founded in central Tanzania. It has a prominent inner metatarsal tubercle used for burrowing with the hind limbs, which is found in all species of this genus. Species within the genus are highly cryptic and can only be accurately identified with advertisement call or molecular data.


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Distribution

This species is known from the central plateau of Tanzania, but probably has a wider distribution, extending into Kenya (Channing et al., 2004).


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

The tympanum is visible and elliptical, measuring nearly twice the size of the eye-tympanum distance. The distance between the anterior corners of the eyes is greater than the internarial distance. Nares are situated closer to the eyes than to the tip of the snout. Fingers have conspicuous round subarticular tubercles. Relative length of fingers is 3>1>2>4. The inner metatarsal tubercle is robust, and both the outer metatarsal and tarsal tubercles are absent. Webbing is reduced, with the notch between toes 3 and 4 reaching to the proximal subarticular tubercle of toe 3, but not reaching the middle subarticular tubercle of toe 4. The notch between toes 4 and 5 reaches the distal subarticular tubercle of toe 5, and reaches half way between the basal and middle subarticular tubercle of toe 4. A continuous, orange infra-tympanic membrane is present. The dorsal skin has small, flat, rounded warts and the flanks and lower femur are glandular. The dorsum is reddish orange with dark red warts. A pale occipital blotch behind the eyes is finely outlined in black. A broad pale tan dorsolateral line extends from the occipital patch to the vent. Males have dark gular areas and females may or may not have mottling (Channing et al, 2004).


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

Adult male snout-vent lengths range from 35 mm to 45 mm; adult females are up to 50 mm. The holotype is an adult female measured 52.4 mm from snout to vent (Channing et al, 2004).


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Diagnostic Description

The best way to identify a Tomopterna to species is through advertisement call data due to the cryptic nature of most species.


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Comparisons

Tomopterna luganga can be distinguished from other Tomopterna of East Africa by five characters: presence of a continuous infa-tympanic gland, absence of metatarsal tubercle, webbing not reaching the middle subarticular tubercle of 4th toe, webbing notch between 4th and 5th reaching distal subarticular tubercle of 5th toe, and the inner metatarsal tubercle/2nd toe ratio <140% (Channing et al, 2004).


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

Like all species in this genus, Tomopterna luganga is able to live in very dry areas by burrowing into soil during the dry seasons.


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Advertisement Call

A full description and illustration of a typical advertisement call of Tomopterna luganga can be found in Channing et al. (2004).


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

Individuals emerge from burrows at the start of the rainy season to mate. Eggs are laid in pools formed by rainfall in which the tadpoles will develop until metamorphosis (Channing et al., 2004).


Author: Larson, Joanna
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Tadpole morphology

The labial tooth row formula of this species is 4(2-4)/3(1). A full description and illustration of the tadpole of Tomopterna luganga can be found in Haas et al. (2006).


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