Mt. Wuhuang’s Leaf Litter Toad; Wu Huang Shan Zhang Tu Chan (五皇山掌突蟾)
Species Description: Wang J, Yang J, Li Y, Lyu Z, Zeng Z, Liu Z, Ye Y, and Wang Y. 2018. Morphology and molecular genetics reveal two new Leptobrachella species in southern China (Anura, Megophryidae). ZooKeys 776: 105-137.
The tips of the fingers are rounded and slightly swollen. The relative finger length is I = II < IV < III. Nuptial pads and the subarticular tubercles are absent. There is a large inner palmar tubercle that is distinctly separate from small and rounded outer palmar tubercle. There are no lateral fringes or webbing on the fingers. The toe tips are similar to those of the fingers, rounded and slightly swollen. The relative toe length is I< II < V < III < IV. The subarticular tubercles are absent. The dermal ridges are undeveloped but apparent under the third to the fifth toes. The inner metatarsal tubercle is present, but the outer metatarsal is absent. The toes have narrow lateral fringes and rudimentary webbing. Under the toes, there are longitudinal ridges that are not interrupted at the articulations. There are dense conical spines on the lateral and ventral surfaces of the tarsus, the dorsal surface of the tibia-tarsal and the surface of the inner side of the shank, and the surface around the cloacal region. When the legs are appressed at right angles to the body, the heels just meet (Wang et al. 2018)
Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis can be easily distinguished from 24 known species of Leptobrachella from south of the Isthmus of Kra by the possession of supra-axillary and ventrolateral glands. Other than the presences of supra-axillary and ventrolateral glands, Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis differs from L. arayai, L. dringi, L. fritinniens, L. gracilis, L. hamidi, L. heteropus, L. kajangensis, L. kecil, L. marmorata, L. melanoleuca, L. maura, L. picta, L. platycephala, L. sabahmontana, and L. sola. Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis have significantly larger body sizes than L. baluensis, L. brevicrus, L. itiokai, L. juliandringi, L. mjobergi, L. natunae, L. parva, L. palmata, and L. serasanae. Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis females are slightly larger in body size than the females of L. aerea, L. ardens, L. alpinus, L. applebyi, L. botsfordi, L. kalonensis, L. laui, L. liui, L. maculosa, L. maoershanensis, L. oshanensis, L. puhoatensis, L. rowleyae, L. tadungensis, and L. tengchongensis. Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis males are larger than the males of L. applebyi, L. bidoupensis, L. melica, and L. pluvialis. Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis have smaller body sizes than L. bourreti, L. eos, L. lateralis, L. nahangensis, L. nyx, L. sungi, L. tamdil and L. zhangyapingi. Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis have head lengths longer than widths, while L. bourreti, L. khasiorum, L. lateralis and L. sungi have heads that are wider than the lengths and L. nokrekensis have equal head length and width (Wang et al. 2018).
Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis have narrow fringes on toes that contrast to the absence of lateral fringes in L. applebyi, L. ardens, L. crocea, L. kalonensis, L. lateralis, L. maculosa, L. macrops, L. melica, L. minima, L. nahangensis, L. nyx, L. oshanensis, L. pallida, L. pluvialis, L. pyrrhops, L. rowleyae, L. tadungensis, L. tuberosa, and L. ventripunctata . The fringes of L. wuhuangmontis are stronger than those of L. bidoupensis, L. bourreti, L. fuliginosa , and L. sungi. However, male L. alpinus, L. firthi, and L. isos have wider lateral fringes than L. wuhuangmontis , and in L. aerea, L. eos, L. khasiorum, L. laui, L. liui, L. purpura, L. tamdil, L. yingjiangensis, and L. zhangyaping, both females and males have wider lateral fringes than L. wuhuangmontis (Wang et al. 2018).
Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis have rudimentary webbing on their toes that differ from those species that have no webbing, including L. ardens, L. kalonensis, L. maculosa, L. oshanensis, L. pallida, L. petrops, L. rowleyae, and L. tadungensis; and those have wide webbing, including L. pelodytoides, L. sungi, and L. tamdil (Wang et al. 2018).
Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis have black spots on their flanks in contrast to the lack of any spots on the flanks of L. aerea, L. botsfordi, L. eos, L. firthi, L. isos, L. pallida, L. petrops, L. tuberosa, and L. zhangyapingi (Wang et al. 2018).
By the presence of skin ridges and dense conical tubercles on the rough dorsal skin, L. wuhuangmontis can be distinguished from L. applebyi, L. bidoupensis, L. kalonensis, L. melica, L. minima, L. nahangensis, and L. tadumgensis, all of which have smooth dorsal skin, and from L. purpura, L. tengchongensis, and L. yingjiangensis, all of which have shagreened dorsal skin with small tubercles (Wang et al. 2018).
Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis differs from L. yunkaiensis by the narrowness of lateral fringes on toes, distinct supratympanic lines, scattered dense conical tubercles on the dorsal surface of the body, and a greyish white belly (Wang et al. 2018).
In life, the dorsal surface of L. wuhuangmontis has a greyish purple background, scattered with dark brown markings and orange-yellow blotches. Small, white speckling is present on the edges of the dark markings. There is a distinct dark brown triangle pattern between the eyes connected to the incomplete “W-shaped” dark brown marking between axillae. The tubercles on the dorsum of the body and limbs are brown while tubercles on the lower flanks are also brown but whitish. There are distinct dark brown blotches on flanks from groin to the axilla. The anterior lip has distinct blackish brown patches. There are transverse dark brown bars on the dorsal surface of the limbs. The elbow and the upper arms are coppery orange with distinct dark-colored stripes. The fingers and toes have distinct dark brown blotches. The ventral surface is greyish white created by a mixture of tiny black and white spots. The supra-axillary, the femoral, and the ventrolateral glands are white. The pectoral gland is greyish white, similar to the color of the ventral surface. The iris is bicolored with the upper half of the iris being coppery orange while the lower half is silver (Wang et al. 2018).
In preservative, the dorsal side of the body is dark with greyish white dots on the flanks. The dorsal sides of the limbs are dark brown with transverse stripes more distinct on the forelimbs, and less distinct on the hindlimbs. The dark brown patterns, markings, and spots on the back become indistinct. The ventral surface becomes light yellow with brown speckling. The supra-axillary, femoral, ventrolateral and pectoral glands are light yellow (Wang et al. 2018).
In general, the paratypes match the overall characters described in the holotype. However, some paratypes have light orange elbows and upper arms with indistinct dark stripes in contrast to the coppery orange elbows and upper arms with distinct dark stripes that the holotype has. Additionally, the distinct yellow blotches and white speckling on the dorsum of the holotype maybe indistinct in paratypes. Some paratypes have a light orange instead of coppery orange upper arms with distinct stripes. Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis also presents sexual dimorphism. Females are larger than males and males have a single vocal sac. The tibiotarsal articulation in females reaches the posterior corner of the eye while only reaching the anterior corner of the eye in males. Also, males have dense conical spines on the lateral and ventral surfaces of the tarsus, the surface of tibia-tarsal, the inner side of the shank, and the surface around the cloacal region. Similar spines are barely visible in females in these regions. The pectoral and femoral glands are large, oval and slightly elevated in males, but are indistinct in females. All pectoral glands become indistinct in preservative (Wang et al. 2018).
Distribution and Habitat
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Based on high Bayesian inference (1.00) and Maximum likelihood (100%) probabilities from analysis of 16S r RNA, L. wuhuangmontis is a distinctly evolving species that is most closely related to the clade composed of L. plubialis, L. nyx, L. ventripuctat, L. minima and L. aerea. However, the relationship of L. wuhuangmontis to this clade is not strongly supported (0.75 posterior probability and <60% bootstrap value). (Wang et al. 2018). The species epithet, "wuhuangmontis", is a reference to its specific locality in Mt. Wuhuang Guangxi, China. The suggested English common name is “Mt. Wuhuang’s Leaf Litter Toad”. In Chinese, L. wuhuangmontis is called “Wu Huang Shan Zhang Tu Chan” (Wang et al. 2018).
Wang, J., Yang, J., Li, Y., Lyu, Z., Zeng, Z., Liu, Z., Ye, Y., Wang, Y. (2018). ''Morphology and molecular genetics reveal two new Leptobrachella species in southern China (Anura, Megophryidae).'' ZooKeys, 776, 105-137.
Written by Hanlu Chen (chenhanlu AT berkeley.edu), UC Berkeley
First submitted 2018-10-31
Edited by Ann T. Chang (2018-11-04)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2018 Leptobrachella wuhuangmontis: Mt. Wuhuang’s Leaf Litter Toad; Wu Huang Shan Zhang Tu Chan (五皇山掌突蟾) <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/8889> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 21, 2019.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2019. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 21 Apr 2019.
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