The male is about 52 mm and the female is about 60 mm in body size. The pupils are vertical. The tympanum is hidden. The maxillary teeth are well developed. Spiny tubercules, partially speckled with black spots and varying in size, cover the back. The dorsum is dark yellow or a little brownish in color. Meanwhile, the ventrum is milky white without spotting or patterning. The interorbital region lacks a triangular marking. The tibiotarsal articulation extends to the corner of the eye. The back legs are relatively short and all limbs have three to five dark stripes on the backside. The ends of the fingers and toes are rounded. The fringe on the sides of the toes is pretty wide and the fourth toe of each foot is 1/3 webbed. The male has spines on the backs of the upper arms. In addition, the first and second fingers each have nuptial spines. A large group of thin, dense nuptial spines are also present on either side of the chest. Individual egg diameter is about 3.5 mm, and the animal pole is light gray in color. The tadpole is about 61 mm long, and the head is about 40 mm long. The back and tail muscle is a greenish gray with a bit of dark spotting. The labial tooth row formula is I: 3-3 (or 4-4)/ I: 4-4. The center of the upper lip lacks three papillae and the ends of the mouth have few additional papillae. The upper lip completely lacks teeth (Fei 1999).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China
O. liangbeiensis is native to China, found only in a small streams in Puxiong, Yuexi County, in southern Sichuan province (IUCN 2004). It lives at an altitude of 2850 to 3000 meters above sea level in the high mountainous, mixed broadleaf and coniferous forest where rainfall is plentiful. The environment is cool, shady and wet, with dense vegetation (Fei, 1999).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
During the day, O. liangbeiensis hides below stones on the stream bank. If disturbed, it will rapidly swim to deep water and hide in between the stones. During May, adults enter the stream to spawn. Females produce 350 eggs, laying them on the underside of stones in ring-like clusters. After spawning season, the adults will separate and disperse throughout the forest, living both on land and in water. Tadpoles live in between rocks in the stream where the current is slow. They are not easily found as they only occur in small groups (Fei, 1999).
Trends and Threats
The known population is composed of less than 100 individuals and continues to decline. The primary threat to O. liangbeiensis is habitat loss caused by logging and hill fires. Deforestation has also resulted in reduced rainfall, causing many streams to dry up (IUCN 2004).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Fei, L. (1999). Atlas of Amphibians of China. Henan Publishing House of Science and Technology, Zhengzhou.
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. < www.globalamphibians.org >. Accessed on 28 November 2006.
Written by Sijie Mao (smao AT berkeley.edu), URAP
First submitted 2006-11-09
Edited by Tate Tunstall (2006-11-30)
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