Amolops aniqiaoensis Dong, Rao & Lü, 2005
Aniqiao Torrent Frog
|Species Description: Dong, Rao, Lu, in Zhao, Rao, Lu, Dong 2005 Sicuan J. Zool. 24:251|
Amolops aniqiaoensis is a medium-sized frog with a snout-vent length average of 52 mm in males, no size information was given for females. The head is flat, and the length of the head is slightly longer than the width. The snout is blunt. The nostrils lie closer to the eyes of the frog than the snout. The distance between the eyes is about the same width as the upper eyelid. The tympanic membrane is small but distinct. The skin on the dorsum is smooth. The posterior half of the frog, the dorsal surface of the thigh, and area around the anus is covered with small warts. Relative finger lengths are 1 < 2 < 4 < 3. The hind legs are slender and the shin is more than half the length of the snout-vent length, and much longer than the thigh length. The shin has longitudinal skin ridges. Both the fingers and toes have discs and marginal grooves. The discs present on the fingers are slightly larger than those on the toes. The toes are fully webbed (AmphibiaChina 2022, Saikia et al. 2022).
Amolops aniqiaoensis is most visually similar to other species within the A. monticola species group, which includes: A. aniqiaoensis, A. akhaorum, A. archotaphus, A. bellulus, A. chakrataensis, A. chunganensis, A. compotrix , A. cucae, A. daorum, A. gerbillus, A. mengyangensis, A. monticola, A. nyingchiensis, A. iriodes, and A. vitreus (Yuan et al. 2018). Amolops monticola group members are all characterized by similar morphological traits including having smooth skin, dark sides of the head, a lightly colored upper lip stripe that extends to the shoulder, and distinctive dorsolateral folds. One of the notable characteristics of A. aniqiaoensis are small warts that cover the posterior end of the frogs, unlike A. adicola or A. indoburmanensis that do not have this character. The primary feature that distinguishes A. aniqiaoensis from other species in the Amolops genus is the recognizable figure ‘8’ shape on its chest (AmphibiaChina 2022).
The body color of A. aniqiaoensis varies throughout life. The dorsum and sides can range from dark brown to olive green. The dorsal surface of the limbs and entire ventral surface is light yellow. The dorsal folds and upper lip can be light yellow to light brown. The pupils are black and iridescent. The ventral surface and mandible can have creamy white markings present. The limbs can have irregular markings (AmphibiaChina 2022, Saikia et al. 2022).
In male A. aniqiaoensis, external pharyngeal vocal sacs are present, they have thicker forearms, and they have a nuptial pad on the first finger (AmphibiaChina 2022).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: China, India
Amolops aniqiaoensis has been found in Arunachal Pradesh, India and the Medog region of Tibet, China (Saikia et al. 2022). The species lives in forests and inland wetlands (IUCN 2019) and are found at elevations of 563 to 1066 m above sea level (Saikia et al. 2022).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Amolops aniqiaoensis is both a terrestrial and aquatic species (IUCN 2019). They live on rocks on the banks of rivers (AmphibiaChina 2022). These rivers are typically fast moving, and can include the presence of torrents and waterfalls in their habitats (Wu et al. 2020).
In general, tadpoles of the Amolops genus have abdominal suckers to cope with the fast paced streams they inhabit (Wu et al. 2020).
Trends and Threats
TRENDS AND THREATS:
Amolops aniqiaoensis is listed as “Vulnerable” by the IUCN Red List. Although its population size is stable, its habitat is threatened. The most prominent threat is from disruption by means of transportation such as the building of roads and railroads throughout the habitat. The A. aniqiaoensis population in China overlaps with the Yaluzangbudaxiagu National Nature Reserve, which is a protected site. This species is also protected by "List of Beneficial or of Important Economic or Scientific Value Terrestrial Wild Animals under States Protection", under the protection of the "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Wildlife," which also makes it illegal to collect this species (IUCN 2019).
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Amolops aniqiaoensis is a member of the A. monticola species group (Jiang et al. 2016, Yuan et al. 2018), however it is unclear where it belongs within the group. A 2016 Bayesian Inference on COI mtDNA sequence found that A. aniqiaoensis was sister to A. mengyangensis, and together they were sister to a clade composed of A. bellulus and A. nyingchiensis (Jiang et al. 2016). This was supported by a 2020 study using Bayesian Inference and Maximum Likelihood analyses on 16S, COI, and ND2 mtDNA, but which did not include A. mengyangensis (Wu et al. 2020). However, a 2022 study using Maximum Likelihood on 16S mtDNA found that A. aniqiaoensis was sister to a clade composed of A. adicola and A. monticola with A. mengyangensis being more distantly related than A. bellulus and A. nyingchiensis to A. aniqiaoensis. This study also placed one sample of A. aniqiaoensis as sister to A. konimaensis (Saikia et al. 2022).
The species epithet, “aniqiaoensis” is presumably in reference to the area where the frog was first discovered, Aniqiao, China.
OTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION:
Species populations within the Amolops genus are not dispersed very far due to their strong dependence with their habitat (Wu et al. 2020).
AmphibiaChina (2022). "Amolops aniqiaoensis." The database of Chinese amphibians. Electronic Database accessible at http://www.amphibiachina.org/. Kunming Institute of Zoology (CAS), Kunming, Yunnan, China. Accessed 01 July 2022 [link]
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group (2020). "Amolops aniqiaoensis." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T61862A63872800. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-2.RLTS.T61862A63872800.en. Accessed on 01 July 2022. [link]
Jiang, K., Wang, K., Yan, F., Xie, J., Zhou, D.-H., Liu, W.-L., Jiang, J.-P., Li, C., Che, J. (2016). "A new species of the genus Amolops (Amphibia: Ranidae) from southeastern Tibet, China." Zoological Research, 37(1), 31-40. [link]
Saikia, B., Laskar, M. A., Sinha, B., Debnath, M., Sengupta, S., Das, H., Shabnam, N. A., Kharkongor, I. J., Dinesh, K. P. (2022). "Confirmed report of the Aniqiao Torrent Frog, Amolops aniqiaoensis (Anura: Ranidae), from India, with additional distributional records for two other Indian species of Amolops." Reptiles & Amphibians, 29(1), 214–224. [link]
Wu, Y.-H., Yan, F., Stuart, B.L., Prendini, E., Suwannapoom, C., Dahn, H.A., Zhang, B.-L., Cai, H.-X., Xu, Y.-B., Jiang, K., Chen, H.-M., Lemmon, A.R., Lemmon, E.M., Raxworthy, C.J., Orlov, N.L., Murphy, R.W., Che, J. (2020). "A combined approach of mitochondrial DNA and anchored nuclear phylogenomics sheds light on unrecognized diversity, phylogeny, and historical biogeography of the torrent frogs, genus Amolops (Anura: Ranidae)." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 148. [link]
Yuan, Z., Jin, J., Li, J., Stuart, B.L., Wu, J. (2018). "A new species of cascade frog (Amphibia: Ranidae) in the Amolops monticola group from China Authors." Zootaxa, 4415(3). [link]
Originally submitted by: Sarah Laurino (2022-08-04)
Description by: Sarah Laurino (updated 2022-08-04)
Distribution by: Sarah Laurino (updated 2022-08-04)
Life history by: Sarah Laurino (updated 2022-08-04)
Trends and threats by: Sarah Laurino (updated 2022-08-08)
Comments by: Sarah Laurino (updated 2022-08-04)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-05-02)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Amolops aniqiaoensis: Aniqiao Torrent Frog <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/6788> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 5, 2023.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2023. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 5 Jun 2023.
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