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Leaping towards a saltatorial lifestyle? An unusually long-legged new species of Rhombophryne (Anura, Microhylidae) from the Sorata massif in northern Madagascar

AutorScherz, Mark D.; Rakotoarison, Andolalao; Hawlitschek, Oliver; Vences, Miguel; Glaw, Frank
Palabras claveRhombophryne longicrus sp. n.
Integrative taxonomy
Rhombophryne minuta
X-ray micro-computed tomography
Fecha de publicación16-jul-2015
EditorPensoft Publishers
CitaciónZoosystematics and Evolution 91(2): 105-114 (2015)
ResumenThe Madagascar-endemic microhylid genus Rhombophryne consists of a range of partly or completely fossorial frog species. They lead a poorly known, secretive lifestyle, and may be more diverse than previously thought. We describe a new species from the high altitude forests of the Sorata massif in north Madagascar with unusual characteristics for this genus; R. longicrus sp. n. has long, slender legs, unlike most of its fossorial or semi-fossorial congeners. The new species is closely related to R. minuta, a much smaller frog from the Marojejy massif to the southeast of Sorata with similarly long legs. We discuss the morphology of these species relative to the rest of the genus, and argue that it suggests adaptation away from burrowing and toward a more saltatorial locomotion and an accordingly more terrestrial lifestyle. If this is the case, then these frogs represent yet more ecological diversity within the already diverse Cophylinae. We recommend an IUCN Red List status of Endangered B1ab(iii) for R. longicrus sp. n., because it is known only from a single site in a forested area of roughly 250 km2, which is not yet incorporated into any protected area.
Versión del editorhttps://doi.org/10.3897/zse.91.4979
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