AmphibiaWeb - Cophixalus iovaorum


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Cophixalus iovaorum Kraus & Allison, 2009
family: Microhylidae
subfamily: Asterophryinae
genus: Cophixalus
Species Description: Kraus F, Allison A 2009 New species of Cophixalus (Anura: Microhylidae) from Papua New Guinea. Zootaxa 2128: 1-38.
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Least Concern (LC)
National Status None
Regional Status None
conservation needs Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .


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Diagnosis: This species can be diagnosed by the following combination of characteristics: small body size; finger discs smaller than toe discs; reduced but distinct first finger that lacks a disc; no toe webbing; smooth dorsum; dark hourglass marking consisting of narrow lines on dorsolateral surface; side of face uniformly black; and rapid peeping call (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Description: Adult males measure 13.2-16.0 mm SVL. Adult females measure 16.6-17.2 mm SVL. Head is of moderate width. Snout is angulate and slightly projecting in profile, rounded in dorsal view. Vertical loreal region and rounded canthus rostralis. Nostrils lie close to the tip of the snout. Small, indistinct tympanum; annulus more distinct anteriorly and ventrally. Supratympanic fold absent. Unwebbed fingers, with Finger III the longest. Finger I lacks a disc but all other fingers have discs. Discs on Fingers III and IV only have terminal grooves. Moderately long hind legs. Toe discs are much larger than finger discs. Subarticular tubercles are barely developed. Inner metatarsal tubercle is elongated and narrow; the outer metatarsal tubercle is absent. Dorsal and lateral surfaces are somewhat granular; ventral surfaces are smooth (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Light gray-brown dorsum (sometimes darker sepia or yellowish brown) with a hint of dark brown, especially near the top of the head. Two thin dark-brown dorsolateral broken semi-circular stripes run from behind the eye to the groin; the beginning of each stripe is a wide, postocular blotch. Light gray-brown sides with several dark brown specks. Dorsolateral surface has a narrow dark hourglass-shaped marking. Sides of face are uniform black, while the rest of the face is dark brown. Above the tip of the snout is a silver-gray line that runs along the canthus and eyelid. Iris black with silver flecking. The back of the thighs are light gray-brown with several dark brown specks. The front and sides of the thighs contain fewer dark brown specks. Venter is pale straw-color with extensive dark brown flecking. Below the vent is a dark brown blotch (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Papua New Guinea

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Found on the western slopes of Mt. Obree in the Central Province of Papua New Guinea. Commonly found on hillsides in mid-elevation primary rainforests at an elevation of 1540-1680 m ASL, in forests with a considerable amount of leaf litter (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors

This species is fossorial and spends much of its time below or in leaf litter (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Males start to call about an hour or two before sunset and continue to call until an hour or two after sunset. Call frequency drops off soon after dark. Males sometimes call during the day after rain. Calls are usually made from under leaf litter, on top of leaf litter or on plants, less than 15 cm from the ground (Kraus and Allison 2009).

The call sounds like a series of raspy chirps, with an average of 45-50 rapid peeps (range 21-68 rapid peeps). The first call in the series is made at a low amplitude, but as the call progresses the volume becomes greater and the frequency may increase by about 400 Hz. Dominant frequency is 5400 Hz (range 4990-5590 Hz) (Kraus and Allison 2009).

The species epithet iovaorum honors New Guineans Bulisa and Didibu Iova, who were of great assistance on the collecting expedition.


Kraus, F., and Allison, A. (2009). ''New species of Cophixalus (Anura: Microhylidae) from Papua New Guinea.'' Zootaxa, 2128, 1-38.

Originally submitted by: Stephanie Ung (first posted 2009-10-01)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-04-20)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Cophixalus iovaorum <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 30, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 30 May 2024.

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