AMPHIBIAWEB
Phrynobatrachus batesii
family: Phrynobatrachidae

© 2009 Dr. Peter Janzen (1 of 8)
Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN (Red List) Status Least Concern (LC)
CITES
Other International Status None
National Status None
Regional Status None

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cameroon, Gabon, Nigeria

 

View distribution map using BerkeleyMapper.

   

From the Encyclopedia of Life account:

Etymology

Presumably named for Mr. G. L. Bates, which Boulenger (1906) mentions in his description of Petropetes palmipes.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Summary

Phrynobatrachus batesii is a medium sized species (SVL < 31 mm) of puddle frog distributed in Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, and Nigeria. Members of this genus are identified by the presence of a midtarsal tubercle, elongate inner metatarsal tubercle, and outer metatarsal tubercle. This species characterized by a indistinct tympanum, moderate pedal webbing, and well-developed discs on the fingers and toes. Prominent glandular folds are on the dorsum from behind the eyes to the sacral region.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Distribution

This species mainly ranges from southeastern Nigeria to southern Cameroon to northeastern Gabon (at Makokou). It presumably occurs in mainland Equatorial Guinea, but there have not so far been any records. There are outlying records to the west of the main range from Iperin in southwestern Nigeria, the Togo-Volta Highlands in eastern Ghana, and from Kakum in southern Ghana. Animals very similar to this species, but much smaller, have been found in central Gabon, and are not mapped here (Amiet et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Morphology

Tongue with a conical median papilla present. Head is moderate, as long as broad. Snout is obtusely pointed, as long as the eye. Cathus rostralis is distinct, and loreal region is concave and nearly vertical. Nostril is slightly closer to the tip of the snout than the eye. The interorbital region is as broad or slightl broader than the upper eyelid. Tympanum is rather indistinct, approximately half the diameter of the eye. Fingers are rather short, the first and the second being equal. The toes have a short but very distinct basal web, extending as a fringe on either side (Boulenger, 1906). Perret (1959) found 3.75-4 phalanges free on the toe IV; Zimkus (unpublished) found 3-4 phalanges free on toe IV. The tips of the fingers and toes are dilated into well-developed discs. The sub-articular tubercles are prominent. An inner metartarsal tubercle is ovular, while the outer metatarsal tubercle is smaller and round. A small tarsal tubercle is present, its distance from the inner metatarsal tubercle is less than that between the two metatarsal tubercles. The tibio-tarsal articulation reaches between the eyes and the tip of the snout. The skin is smooth with small warts on the upper eyelids and flanks. According to Boulenger (1906) in the original decription, two curved glandular folds are present on the dorsum, behind the eyes and converging on the scapular region. Zimkus and Blackburn (2008) examined specimens with glands traveling from behind each eye, straight down the back, creating a thick band. A strong supratympanic fold is present from the posterior of the eye to the hindlimb insertion. According to Perret (1966) nuptial pads are present on the thumb in males, and although the throat is weakly wrinkled, the vocal sac does not present any localized pleats; vocal slits measure 1.2-1.5 mm in length.

Dorsum is brown, sometimes with a reddish tint. The outer edges of the dorsal glands are sometimes blackish. A light cross-bar is present between the eyes. An oblique bark brown band, edged with whitish behind, travels from the eye, over the temple, to the front of the arm where it terminates at a point. Zimkus and Blackburn (2008) found a number of specimens with a thick, dark brown band down the back, as well as a dark tympanic region and head creating a mask. The loreal region is sometimes reddish. The limbs have oblique dark banding. A triangular dark brown patch is present on the anal region. Venter is uniformly yellow or with small, brown blotches on the breast and on the sides of the belly. A series of brown spots, sometimes forming an almost continuous dark line, is present on the lower jaw. Perret (1966) claimed that males exhibited dark throats, but this was seen only in a photograph of a specimen.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Size

According to Perret (1966), the difference in size between the two sexes is unlike many species of this genus as males can reach similar snout-vent lengths as females; males ranging from 25-29 mm, while females are 27-29 mm. Boulenger (1906) stated that the holotype measured 31 mm. Zimkus (unpublished) examined specimens ranging from 22.6-31.0 mm (N=6).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Diagnostic Description

This species medium sized species (SVL 22-31 mm) is characterized by a indistinct tympanum, moderate pedal webbing, and well-developed discs on the fingers and toes. Prominent glandular folds are on the dorsum from behind the eyes to the sacral region.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Comparisons

P. chukuchuku, P. manengoubensis, and P. werneri are smaller in size and either lacks or have only a rudimentary pedal webbing. P. cricogaster can easily be distinguished by it's bullseye ventral pattern. P. batesii, P. africanus, P. auritus, P. natalensis, P. plicatus, and P. steindachneri have moderate to extensive pes webbing with 1.5–3.5 phalanges free of webbing on toe IV.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Habitat and Ecology

It lives in lowland rainforest and in degraded secondary vegetation near forest, but not in open areas away from forest (Amiet et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Population Biology

It is common around Yaounde in Cameroon, but it is generally localized and uncommon through most of its range (Amiet et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Advertisement Call

Schiøtz (1964) describes the advertisement call as "a long series of identical motifs in measured rhythm, the acoustic impression being in coarse croaks." One recorded call included 33 motifs and lasted 12 seconds. Each motif has a durations of 0.1 seconds, and a 0.2 second interval are between them.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Reproduction

It breeds in small pools (Amiet et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Phylogenetics

Mitochodrial sequence data from mitochondrial 12S rRNA, valine-tRNA, and 16S rRNA , as well as combined sequence data from mitochondrial and nuclear (RAG-1) genes support a sister relationship between P. africanus and a monophyletic clade of species that includes all highland (submontane and montane) Cameroonian and Nigerian taxa (Zimkus, 2009; ZImkus et al, 2010). P. batesii is the single lowland species that falls within this group of highland endemics, including P. manengoubensis, P. werneri, P. chukuchuku, P. cricogaster, and P. steindachneri.


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List (2009) categorizes this species as Least Concern in view of its relatively wide distribution, tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category (Amiet et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Threats

Although it is somewhat adaptable, it is probably affected by agricultural expansion, logging and human settlements when these lead to serious opening up of the habitat (Amiet et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/

Conservation Actions and Management

It has been recorded from the Kakum National Park in Ghana, and it is probably present in several other protected areas (Amiet et al., 2004).


Author: Zimkus, Breda
License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/