AmphibiaWeb - Cophixalus tomaiodactylus


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Cophixalus tomaiodactylus 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
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



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Diagnosis: Small body size (males 13.2-16.1 mm SVL, females 14.2-16.6 mm SVL); first finger reduced but distinct, and lacking a disc; finger discs narrow and smaller than toe discs; paired dorsolateral rows of pustules on mostly smooth dorsum; dark subocular spot; dorsum light brown with scattered dorsolateral and lateral dark spots that do not coalesce into a continuous band; call consists of rapid peeps (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Description: Adult males measure 13.2-16.1 mm SVL. Adult females measure 14.2-16.6 mm SVL. Head moderately wide. Snout truncate with weak dorsal protuberance in lateral view, Canthus rostralis gently rounded; straight in lateral view, shallowly angulate in dorsal view. Small tympanum with a raised annulus. No supratympanic fold. Distinct dorsolateral row of pustules on each side. Unwebbed fingers with Fingers II-IV bearing narrow finger discs (slightly wider than penultimate phalanx) with terminal grooves. Finger I is distinct but reduced in size and lacks a disc. Subarticular and metacarpal tubercles not distinct. Short hind legs, with TL/SV = 0.44. Toe I is reduced and lacks a disc with circum-marginal groove. Toes II-V bear discs that are larger than finger discs. Subarticular tubercles not distinct on toes. Inner metatarsal tubercle barely visible, narrow and elongated; outer metatarsal tubercle is absent. Dorsal surfaces nearly smooth, slightly rugose. Lateral surfaces smooth; ventral surfaces smooth, except for slight granulation on the abdomen (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Nondescript brown frog with irregular black markings. Although the dorsum is light straw color, heavy brown stippling gives the impression of a medium to dark brown frog. Stippling is more sparse dorsolaterally and laterally than on the mid-dorsum. Light reddish dorsolateral line may be present. Sides have a few irregular dark brown blotches from the eye to about mid-body. Paired dark inguinal spots, with smaller dark paravertebral spots just posterior. Snout tip dark brown. Indistinct interorbital bar. Dark subocular marking that continues from eye to forearm insertion. Posterior of thighs brown with light straw flecks. Dark brown venter with pale straw flecks, or gray-brownish venter; chin and throat appear black with less light flecking. Pectoral area may have black and white flecks and slight bluish hue. Indistinct pale stripes run from forearm to mid-venter, joining similar line coming from mandibular symphysis. Iris is black or bronze (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Papua New Guinea


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
Endemic to Papua New Guinea, in the Bowutu Mountains (Morobe Province) at elevations from 900 m to 2200 m asl. Habitat consists of mossy forests, with bundles of moss at the bases of small trees (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Crepuscular; calls take place within the first hour of dawn or within the first hour after dusk. Males generally position themselves on moss at the base of trees. Calls occur from either within crevices in the moss, or in the open. One individual was found calling from a moss-encrusted tree hole about 50 cm from the forest floor. Rapid peeping call consisting of 2-13 peeps. Dominant frequency is 4710 (range 3960–5250 Hz). First note begins at low amplitude, building towards termination. Frequency of the first note increases by 100-120 Hz throughout call series. Subsequent notes show incipient pulsing at beginning and end of notes (Kraus and Allison 2009).

Trends and Threats
Abundant where found, with density estimated at one frog per five square meters (Kraus and Allison 2009).

The specific epithet tomaiodactylus derives from the latinized Greek words “tomaios" (cut off) and "dactylus" (digit), and refers to the reduced first finger and first toe.


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 2009-09-17)
Edited by: Kellie Whittaker (2010-04-26)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2010 Cophixalus tomaiodactylus <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 19, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 19 Apr 2024.

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