Species Description: Howlader MSA, Nair A, Gopalan SV, Merila J 2015 A new species of Microhyla (Anura: Microhylidae) from Nilphamari, Bangladesh. PLoS One
© 2017 Chaitanya Shukla (1 of 3)
Microhyla nilphamariensis is distinct on a morphological basis from other closely related species such as M. ornatus and M. rubra. The inner metacarpal tubercle is small and ovoid-shaped in M. nilphamariensis, while in M. ornata it is large and goblet shaped and in M. rubra it is elongated. The outer metacarpal tubercle is very small and rounded in M. nilphamariensis while in M. ornata and M. rubra it is very large, prominent and heart shaped. The inner metatarsal tubercle is small and round in M. nilphamariensis, while in M. ornata it is elongated, large and very prominent. In M. rubra the inner metatarsal tubercle is shovel shaped. The outer metatarsal tubercle is ovoid-shaped, minute, and indistinct in M. nilphamariensis while in M. ornata it is compressed and large. The outer metatarsal tubercle is large and shovel-shaped in M. rubra. The head length is 77% of the head width in M. nilphamariensis while in both M. ornata and M. rubra the head length is roughly equal to the head length. The distance from front of the eyes to the nostril is six times greater than the nostril to snout length in M. nilphamariensis. This distance is over one and a half times greater than the nostril to snout length in M. ornata and over single time greater than the nostril to snout length in M. rubra. The internarial distance is five times greater than the nostril to snout length in M. nilphamariensis while in M. ornata it is nearly two times greater. In M. rubra the internarial distance is less than two times greater than nostril to snout length. The interorbital distance is two times greater than the internarial distance in M. nilphamariensis while in M. ornata and M. rubra it is more than three times greater than the internarial distance. The distance from the back of the mandible to the back of the eye is fifteen percent of the head length while in both M. ornata and M. rubis it is more than thirty-six percent of the head length. Microhyla nilphamariensis is morphologically different from all known Southeast Asian species in that it has reduced webbing, absent discs and irregular dorsal surface markings (Howlader et al. 2015).
Pairwise genetic divergence and number of substitutions per site were also used to diagnose M. nilphamariensis as a new species. Analysis of the whole genomic DNA showed a 5.7% - 13.2% divergence in the 16S rRNA gene from sympatric Microhyla species, compared to a 0.5% divergence within the species itself. This data was backed up with high maximum likelihood bootstrap and posterior probability support (Howlader et al. 2015).
In life, it has a light brown back. There is a dark brown diamond over the back, which extends from between the eyes to the eyelids, then contracts to behind the head and broadens to the shoulders, then contracts once more before spreading out and leading to a stripe that goes to the groin and thigh. There is a dark band running from the sides behind the eye and to the shoulder. The underside is white, and the gular region and chest are brown. There are dark cross bars on the limbs (Howlader et al. 2015).
There is no known variation in males as only one has been found. Female variation, except for morphological measurements, was not reported (Howlader et al. 2015).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Bangladesh, Nepal
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Trends and Threats
It is a sister taxa to M. ornata. Research suggests that it is part of an Indian Microhyla species group that comprises M. nilphamariensis, M. ornata, and M. rubra (Howlader et al. 2015).
The name of the species is derived from the location the specimens were collected, in Nilphamari District, Bangladesh (Howlader et al. 2015).
Howlader, M. S. A., Nair, A., Gopalan, S. V., Merilä, J. (2015). ''A New Species of Microhyla (Anura: Microhylidae) from Nilphamari, Bangladesh.'' PLoS ONE, 10(3), e0119825.
Written by Siddhant Kahal (siddhantkahal AT gmail.com), University of California, Berkeley
First submitted 2015-08-12
Edited by Gordon Lau (2015-09-11)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2015 Microhyla nilphamariensis <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/8318> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Aug 4, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 4 Aug 2020.
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