Species Description: Koehler J, Glaw F, Rosa GM, Gehring PS, Pabijan M, Andreone F, Vences M. 2011. Two new bright-eyed treefrogs of the genus Boophis from Madagascar. Salamandra 47: 207-221.
© 2012 J. Koehler (1 of 1)
The most distinct morphological characteristic of B. fayi is the bright green iris with a turquoise margin around the outer edge of the eye, a notable difference from the typical red iris of other Boophis species, such as B. axelmeyeri, B. burgeri, B. popi, B. reticulatus, and B. rufioculis. This species has a weak supratympanic fold, lacking the strong, well-developed fold characteristic of other Boophis species. Boophis fayi can sometimes be distinguished by size given its relatively small body length within the large-bodied Boophis genus. Boophis fayi is smaller than B. brachychir, B. entingae, B. goudoti, B. obscurus, B. madagascariensis, B. periegetes, B. roseipalmatus, and B. spinophis and also differs by its green outer iris. Compared to the most closely related species B. boehmei and B. quasiboehmei, B. fayi is slightly larger and has a green outer iris, shorter back legs, and a distinct call (Köhler et al. 2011).
In life, B. fayi is light brown with large dark brown spots or speckling along the top and sides from the head to upper-back. Green speckling occurs irregularly in these areas as well. Green coloration occurs above the tympanum, on the tip of the snout, and around the nostrils. The iris is green and silver with a net-like pattern of black and brown, all outlined by a distinct black ring. The area of the eye surrounding the iris is bright turquoise lined by a blue margin. The belly of B. fayi is largely white to cream in color with translucent blue on the throat and translucent yellow towards the cloaca. White tubercles occur around the cloaca. Regions of the sides of the body and the dorsal portions of the toes are yellowish in color. The dorsal surface of the legs show dark brown banding while the ventral sides of the legs are yellowy-green. The tips of the dermal appendages on the elbows and heels are white. The toe discs are green and translucent (Köhler et al. 2011).
The overall pattern remained after the specimens were preserved for 15 months, although some distinct coloration and patterning on the dorsal surface of the body and legs faded. Boophis fayi remained largely brown with irregular cream-colored and darker brown speckles, including spotty cream coloration under the eye, on the upper lip, and lining the sides. The small white tubercles around the cloaca and a white line above the cloaca were present. The underside of B. fayi was plain, off-white without clear patterning. The dorsal side of the legs still had dark brown banding followed by dark brown mottling on the sides as they transition to the white coloration on the ventral side (Köhler et al. 2011).
Within B. fayi, variation can occur in the presence and extent of the dark brown markings, the green speckling, and the yellow coloration across the dorsum and sides of the body. Females are larger than males. The coloration is generally similar between the sexes, although females do not have the green shading or clearly visible dark markings on the dorsal side. The sides of the body are more yellow in females than in males, and the brown coloration on the dorsum is more uniform with reddish purple undertones. While the main colors of the eyes are the same, females have a more distinct difference between the bright green outer iris with black lines and the silver inner iris with reddish brown lines. The supratympanic fold is weak, but clearly visible in females, compared to the barely visible fold in males (Köhler et al. 2011).
Distribution and Habitat
Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Madagascar
Boophis fayi is found in low elevation rainforest habitats. This species prefers areas with secondary plant growth near slow moving freshwater such as swamps and streams (Köhler et al. 2011).
Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
Two types of calls have been observed from B. fayi, dubbed call A and B. Call A is an advertisement call consisting of 1 to 3 notes lasting 100 to 370 milliseconds each. Calls with multiple notes have a long initial note followed by shorter notes with 181 to 266 ms of pause between each. The entire call lasts no longer than 1 second. The call has a frequency between 1000 and 8000 Hertz. Call B is a territorial call consisting of 1 - 2 click notes each lasting 8 to 11 ms. When two clicks are produced there is a 170 ms pause between each resulting in a total duration of around 200 ms. The call occurs at a frequency of 1000 to 7000 Hz. Calls of both types were heard in March and October at Betampona and early April near Makira. Due to limited observations this may not represent the full extent of their calling activity (Köhler et al. 2011).
Reproductive behavior has not been observed, but B. fayi is presumed to have a larval stage (IUCN 2015).
Trends and Threats
The only protected area where B. fayi is observed is in Réserve Naturelle Intégrale de Betampona in Madagascar. It is presumed to also live under the protection of Makira Natural Park, although no data on this species has been collected there (IUCN 2015).
Relation to Humans
Possible reasons for amphibian decline
General habitat alteration and loss
Bayesian analysis of sequences from mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene fragments shows B. fayi as being sister to B. boehmei and possibly another undescribed Boophis species. The next most closely related species is B. popi (Köhler et al. 2011).
The species epithet “fayi” is in honor of Andreas Norbert Fay, who contributed to the BIOPAT initiative and his sponsorship of wildlife research and conservation (Köhler et al. 2011).
OTHER INTERESTING INFORMATION:
Boophis fayi was considered to be Boophis boehmei before being described in Köhler et al. 2011 and was referred to as Boophis sp. aff. boehmei in a CD of calls and booklet by Rosa et al. (2011).
IUCN SSC Amphibian Specialist Group. (2015). "Boophis fayi." The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T49459837A49459853. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T49459837A49459853.en. Accessed on 11 February 2022.
Köhler, J., Glaw, F., Rosa, G. M., Gehring, P. S., Pabijan, M., Andreone, F., Vences, M. (2011). "Two new bright-eyed treefrogs of the genus Boophis from Madagascar." Salamandra, 47(4), 207-221. [link]
Rosa, G. M., Márquez, R., Andreone, F. (2011) “The astonishing calls of the frogs of Betampona.” – Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino, Italy [CD and booklet].
Originally submitted by: Lee Burrows, Mason Rogers, Alex Garcia (2022-06-08)
Description by: Lee Burrows, Mason Rogers, Alex Garcia (updated 2022-06-08)
Distribution by: Lee Burrows, Mason Rogers, Alex Garcia (updated 2022-06-08)
Life history by: Lee Burrows, Mason Rogers, Alex Garcia (updated 2022-06-08)
Trends and threats by: Lee Burrows, Mason Rogers, Alex Garcia (updated 2022-06-08)
Relation to humans by: Lee Burrows, Mason Rogers, Alex Garcia (updated 2022-06-08)
Comments by: Lee Burrows, Mason Rogers, Alex Garcia (updated 2022-06-08)
Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2022-06-08)
Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2022 Boophis fayi <https://amphibiaweb.org/species/7740> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Jun 25, 2022.
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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2022. <https://amphibiaweb.org> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 25 Jun 2022.
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