Species Description: Rosa GM. Crottini, Noel J, Rabibisoa N, Raxworthy CJ. Andreone F 2014 A new phytotelmic species of Platypelis (Microhylidae: Cophylinae) from the Betampona Reserve, eastern Madagascar. (Microhylidae,Salamandra 50: 201-214.
This species has the following combination of characters that distinguish it from other Platypelis species: it has a small adult size, a unique call, enlarged circular toe and finger pads, no webbing on hands or feet, a tarso-metatarsal articulation that reaches the tympanum, a smooth dorsal surface, light yellow-green coloration on the back, and a broad black-brown dorsolateral stripe that runs from the eye to the armpit. It is most similar in appearance to P. tuberifera, though P. tuberifera is larger, spotted on the back, and has little to no lighter spots. Platypelis karenae differs from P. alticola, P. grandis, P. mavomavo, P. milloti, P. pollicaris, and P. tsaratananaensis by its much smaller size. Platypelis karenae is most similar to P. tetra when compared to species of similar size, but P. tetra differs by having a darker body color with brown spots, legs with uneven tan spots, four large white spots on its back, 3rd toe that is shorter than the 5th, and an entirely smooth back. Platypelis karenae differs from P. barbouri, P. milloti, P. mavomavo, P. olgae, and P. ravus by its completely white underside. It differs from P. barbouri, P. grandis, and P. mavomavo by its completely smooth back (Rosa et al. 2014).
In life, it is light yellow with some lighter spots on the back, with a broad brown-black stripe running from the back of the eye to just before the forearm insertion, where it fades into individual dark spots. The iris is light brown with black spotting. The stomach is white, and the vocal sac is transparent and blue. In preservative, it is gray (Rosa et al. 2014).
Males have a vocal sac. Juveniles are greener have more light spots on their body than adults. Additionally, juveniles have a red-brown snout tip and iris. The black stripe on the side varies in length among specimens (Rosa et al. 2014).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Females lay 2 – 3 eggs at a time, which are 19 – 24 mm in diameter. The eggs are white and encapsulated in transparent jelly (Rosa et al. 2014).
Trends and Threats
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Platypelis karenae is sister to P. tuberifera but has a smaller size, vocalization pattern, and a different color pattern. The mitochondrial, nuclear, and morphological data also show genetic divergence between both species (Rosa et al 2014).
The species epithet, karenae, is named after and dedicated to Karen L. M. Freeman, former Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group field coordinator and current research coordinator, in recognition of her research and work for the conservation of the Betampona rainforest (Rosa et al. 2014).
Rosa, G. M., Crottini, A., Noël, J., Rabibisoa, N., Raxworthy, C. J., Andreone F. (2014). ''A new phytotelmic species of Platypelis (Microhylidae: Cophylinae) from the Betampona Reserve, eastern Madagascar.'' Salamandra, 50(4), 201-214.
Written by Shivani Pandare (shivani.pandare AT yahoo.com), University of California, Berkeley
First submitted 2015-08-11
Edited by Gordon Lau and Ann T Chang (2015-09-21)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2015 Platypelis karenae <http://amphibiaweb.org/species/8280> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Apr 1, 2020.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2020. <http://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 1 Apr 2020.
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