Species Description: Koehler J, Vences M, D'Cruze N, Glaw F 2010 Giant dwarfs: discovery of a radiation of large-bodied 'stump-toed frogs' from karstic cave environments of northern Madagascar. J Zool 282:21-38.
© 2010 Joern Koehler (1 of 1)
Stumpffia staffordi is differentiated from S. analamaina, S. angeluci, S. gimmeli, S. huwei, S. iharana, S. larinki, S. madagascariensis, S. maledicta, S. mamitika, S. miery, S. psologlossa, S. pygmaea, S. sorata, S. tetradactyla, S. tridactyla, and S. yanniki by its larger body and larger discs on fingers (Rakotoarison et al. 2017). Stumpffia staffordi is differentiated from S. be by the missing red coloration on hidden areas of the hind limbs. Additionally, they can be differentiated from S. megsoni by its larger size, and from S. hara by its missing white spotting on the venter (Köhler et al. 2010).
In life, the dorsal side of the body and limbs, the posterior side of thighs, the throat, and the loreal and tympanal regions are all brown. The interorbital bar is dark brown. The dorsal side of the head is greyish brown with a hint of metallic green. The belly and the ventral side of the thighs are bluish grey. Irregular dark flecks are spread across the limbs, the loreal region, and the tympanal region. White flecks are present on the throat and lower flanks. The eyes have a black iris with speckles of copper (Köhler et al. 2010).
In preservative, the dorsal side of the body, the dorsal side of the hind limbs, and the posterior side of thighs are tan. The head and loreal region are brown. The belly is cream colored. The flanks are light brown with pale spots. Brown spots are spread across the cloacal region, chest, throat, forearms, and dorsal side of body. A few white spots are spread across the chest and throat. The eyelids are grey (Köhler et al. 2010).
The two specimens used for the species description are identical except for slightly different snout-vent lengths (Köhler et al. 2010).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
When under distress, the species emits high-pitched vocalizations. The frequency and length of instances of vocalization do not occur with a consistent pattern, with the time between calls ranging from 11 - 42 ms and the frequency of calls ranging from 2000 - 9400 Hz (Köhler et al. 2010).
Two prominent features of S. staffordi are their wide heads and large eyes. These features are found in a few other Stumpffia species as well. Studies on these species are limited but these features are believed to be adaptations to the consumption of large prey and to the dark caves they live in (Köhler et al. 2010).
Trends and Threats
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Phylogeny generated using Bayesian Inference based on the 12S rRNA and 16S rRNA genes indicate that S. staffordi is the sister species to a clade containing three other large sized Stumpffia species: Stumpffia be, Stumpffia hara, and Stumpffia megsoni (Köhler et al. 2010).
Stumpffia staffordi is named after herpetologist Peter Stafford who spent his career studying squamates in Mesoamerica (Köhler et al. 2010).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2020). "Rhombophryne staffordi (amended version of 2016 assessment)." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T49585498A177168567. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T49585498A177168567.en. Accessed on 20 February 2022.
Köhler, J., Vences, M., D'Cruze, N., and Glaw, F. (2010). "Giant Dwargs: discovery of a radiation of large-bodied 'stump-toed frogs' from karstic cave environments of northern Madagascar." Journal of Zoology, 282, 21-38. [link]
Rakotoarison, A., Scherz, M.D., Glaw, F., Köhler, J., Andreone, F., Franzen, M., Glos, J., Hawlitschek, O., Jono, T., Mori, A., Ndriantsoa, S.H., Raminosoa, N.R., Riemann, J.C., Rödel, M., Rosa, G.M., Vieites, D.R., Crottini, A., Vences, M. (2017). "Describing the smaller majority: integrative taxonomy reveals twenty-six new species of tiny microhylid frogs (genus Stumpffia) from Madagascar." Vertebrate Zoology, 67(3), 271-398. [link]
Originally submitted by: Rachel Hallmark, Samantha Liu, Catelyn Bylsma (2022-04-19)
Description by: Rachel Hallmark, Samantha Liu, Catelyn Bylsma (updated 2022-04-19)
Distribution by: Rachel Hallmark, Samantha Liu, Catelyn Bylsma (updated 2022-04-19)
Life history by: Rachel Hallmark, Samantha Liu, Catelyn Bylsma (updated 2022-04-19)
Trends and threats by: Rachel Hallmark, Samantha Liu, Catelyn Bylsma (updated 2022-04-19)
Comments by: Rachel Hallmark, Samantha Liu, Catelyn Bylsma (updated 2022-04-19)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-04-19)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Stumpffia staffordi <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/7542> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed May 16, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 16 May 2022.
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