AMPHIBIAWEB
Balebreviceps hillmani
family: Brevicipitidae

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Ethiopia

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.


Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Endangered (EN)
See IUCN account.
CITES No CITES Listing
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Etymology

The new generic name is derived from that of the Bale Mountains in Ethiopia. The species is named after Dr J.C. Hillman.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Summary

This is a sylvicolous species from high altitudes in the Ethiopian mountains that is listed a Endangered. It has thick, glandular and deeply pitted skin on the back, as well as a prominent pale and dark longitudinal bands running down the back. It is assumed to be direct developer as other members of the Brevicipitidae family.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Distribution

This species is endemic to the Bale Mountains, east of the Rift Valley, in Ethiopia, where it has been found at 3,200m asl.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

Tympanum, tympanic annulus and columella are absent. Pupil is horizontal; tongue is moderate, subcircular. Palate crossed by a straight, denticulate dermal ridge just in front of the pharynx and anteriorly by two weakly defined, arcuate, smooth ridges. No evident glandular tissue is present in the roof of the mouth. No dermal papilla are between the choanae. Foot is conspiciously broad; abbreviated outer toe is situated high on the side of the fourth, their juncture far distal to that between toes III and IV. Inner metatarsal tubercle is massive but low, not compressed to form a spade-like flange. The dorsum is covered by conspicuously thick, glandular and deeply pitted skin. The back has a strongly developed colour pattern of pale and dark longitudinal bands. Digits are broad-based and tapering. Inner and outer toes are longer than broad and bear subarticular tuberlcles.

Largen and Drewes (1989) outline extensive details on the morphology of the species.


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

Osteology

Clavicles well developed and posteriorly curved; omosternum cartilaginous and of moderate size; vertebral column diplasiocoelous; coccyx and sacrum fused; terminal phlanges simple; fifth metatarsal with an elongate proximal epuphysis.


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

Habitat and Ecology

It is known only from giant heath (Erica arborea) woodland, just below the timberline. All specimens have been collected by day from beneath logs and boulders. Its breeding behaviour is unknown, but females have been found to contain large and unpigmented ova, which is probably indicative of either direct development or at least of a terrestrial nest.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

There is no direct evidence regarding its reproductive mode, but it is assumed to be direct developer as other members of the Brevicipitidae family.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Threats

Direct damage to the narrow belt of giant heath with which this animal is associated, by either humans or their livestock, does not seem very likely in the near future, but would be disastrous. A more worrying possibility is the indirect harm resulting from logging of contiguous tall forests at a slightly lower elevation.


Author: Loader, Simon
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/