Kalophrynus limbooliati , Matsui, Masafumi, Nishikawa, Kanto, Belabut, Daicus M., Norhayati, Ahmad & Yong, Hoi Sen, 2012

Matsui, Masafumi, Nishikawa, Kanto, Belabut, Daicus M., Norhayati, Ahmad & Yong, Hoi Sen, 2012, A new species of Kalophrynus (Amphibia, Anura, Microhylidae) from Southern Peninsular Malaysia, Zootaxa 3155, pp. 38-46: 39-44

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.212548

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scientific name

Kalophrynus limbooliati

sp. nov.

Kalophrynus limbooliati  sp. nov.

( Figs. 1–3View FIGURE 1View FIGURE 2View FIGURE 3)

Synonymy: Kalophrynus pleurostigma: Lim and Lim, 1992  , p. 40, Bukit Timah, Singapore.

Holotype. UKMHC 705 (formerly KUHE 53284), adult male from Gunung (= Mt.) Pulai, Kpg. (Kampung = village) Sri, Kulai, State of Johor, Peninsular Malaysia (01o 36 ’ N, 103 o 32 ’ E, 457 m a.s.l.), collected by Kanto Nishikawa on 6 September 2009.

Paratypes. KUHE 53314, 53315, two adult males from Gunung Lambak (02o00’ N, 103 o 22 ’ E, 75 m a.s.l.), Kluang, Johor, collected 9 September 2009 by Kanto Nishikawa and Masafumi Matsui; KUHE 52061, a juvenile from Jalan Lombong, Panti (01o 49 ’ N, 103 o 50 ’ E, 57 m a.s.l.), Kota Tinggi, Johor, collected 30 July 2008 by Amir Hamidy, Daicus Belabut, and Masafumi Matsui.

Etymology. The specific name is dedicated to Dr. Lim Boo Liat, Fellow of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, who is a pioneer of field zoology in Malaysia.

Diagnosis. The new species is assigned to a member of Kalophrynus  through mitochondrial DNA genealogy ( Matsui et al. 2011) together with the following morphological characteristics: No spine-like projection of skin at heel and elbow; belly without a network pattern; tips of fingers not expanded; underside of fingers without greatly enlarged tubercles; snout less than twice diameter of eye; inner metatarsal tubercle low, not shovel-like; tympanum visible.

A medium-sized species that can be distinguished from all congeneric species by the following combination of characters; adult males 26.2–28.7 mm SVL (mean = 27.3, n = 3); snout pointed, directed downwards; third toe longer than fifth; projection of fourth finger from palm shorter than length of terminal phalanx of third finger; two subarticular tubercles under fourth finger; no subarticular tubercles under fifth toe; indistinct gland dorsal to arm insertion; no nuptial pads or asperities; forelimb not very stout, without a humeral spine in males; outer metatarsal tubercle absent; light lateral stripe; usually with distinct inguinal dark spot without white rim or spotting; calls similar to Hylarana laterimaculata  with a long series of high-pitched whistle like notes.

Description of holotype (measurements in mm). Medium sized (SVL 26.2); habitus moderately stocky ( Figs. 1View FIGURE 1, 3View FIGURE 3); head triangular, slightly shorter (8.6) than wide (9.0); snout pointed, directed downwards in profile ( Fig. 3View FIGURE 3), projecting beyond lower jaw; eye moderate, as long (3.5) as snout (3.5); canthus rostralis not sharply defined, straight; loreal region vertical, very slightly concave; nostril below canthus rostralis, directed laterally, much closer to tip of snout (1.1) than to eye (2.0); interorbital distance (3.7) much wider than internarial distance (2.1), the latter subequal to upper eyelid (2.2); pineal spot absent; tympanum distinct, diameter (2.3) more than three-fifths that of eye, and very close to eye (0.3); upper jaw edentate; tongue entire, without papillae; a crenulated ridge of skin on palate posterior to eye, preceded by a shorter, similarly notched one between posterior halves of eye; a median, subgular vocal sac; vocal openings posterior to rictus.

Forelimb long (18.0, 72 % of SVL) and slender; fingers thick, basally slightly webbed; tips rounded, not dilated; relative length of fingers: IV<I<II<III; portion of fourth finger projecting from palm (0.9) shorter than length of terminal phalanx of third finger (1.4); outer palmar tubercle large and fleshy, inner indistinct; subarticular tubercles between finger tip and palmer tubercle rounded, two on fingers I, II and IV, three on III ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 A); humeral spine absent.

Hindlimb moderately long (35.5, 135 % of SVL) and slender; tibia moderately long (10.9, 42 % of SVL), heels not overlapping when folded limbs held at right angles to body; tibiotarsal articulation of adpressed limb reaching to the center of tympanum when held alongside body; foot (8.7) much shorter than tibia (FL, 80 % of TL); toe tips rounded; relative length of toes: I<V<II<III<IV; webbing poorly developed ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 B), formula: I 1–2 II 2–3 III 2– 3 IV 3 – 1 V; subarticular tubercles numbering one on first and second toes, two on third toe, and three on fourth toe; distal tubercle on third toe and distal and middle ones on fourth toe prominent and rounded, others small and less distinct; no subarticular tubercles on fifth toe; inner metatarsal tubercle oval, length (1.0) more than half of first toe length (1.5); an indistinct outer metatarsal tubercle ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 B).

Skin coarsely granular dorsally, with small tubercles scattered posteriorly from behind upper eyelid to vent; tips of tubercles forming white asperities; an indistinct gland on side of head behind tympanum, not delimited by a sinuous groove; upper lateral surfaces of body with scattered minute tubercles; lower lateral surfaces of body, posterior half of chin, abdomen, and posterior side of thighs with large, flattened glandules; skin of gular region not modified for vocal sac; inner and outer margins of fourth finger without skin fringes; nuptial pads absent.

Color. In life, ground color of dorsum highly variable from light orange brown to dark chocolate brown, with several small dark brown spots and obscure hour-glass shaped marking from upper eyelid to shoulder; a light dorsolateral line extending from snout tip through margin of upper eyelid to groin, forming a boundary between lighter dorsum and darker sides of head and shoulder; tips of dorsal granules whitish; limbs dorsally brown with an obscure darker bar ( Figs. 1View FIGURE 1 A, 3); ventrum pinkish gray, with scattered white flecks ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1 B); inguinal spot entirely black without lighter borders or pattern; iris golden with black pigmentation. In preservative, color and pattern have generally faded but not obviously changed.

Variation. Individuals of the type series are generally similar in morphology ( Table 1). In both adult male paratypes ( KUHE 53314, 53315), internarial distance is larger than upper eyelid width. They have darker throat and more developed asperities on dorsum than the holotype. The inguinal black spot varies in size, and is lacking on the left side in one individual ( KUHE 53315). The single juvenile ( KUHE 52061) has smooth dorsum, with several black spots scattered from shoulder, some continuing to the inguinal marking. Chin and anterior part of ventrum are dotted with dark spots in this juvenile paratype.

SVL RHL RHW RIND RIOD RUEW UKMHC 705 (holotype) 26.2 32.6 34.3 8 13.9 8.2

KUHE 53314 (paratype) 27 32.6 32.2 9.6 12.2 7.8

KUHE 53315 (paratype) 28.7 31.9 32.6 9.1 11.7 7.3

Range. Southern part of Western (Peninsular) Malaysia: Johor (Panti, Kota Tinggi; Gunung Pulai, Kulai [350– 605 m a.s.l.]; Gunung Lambak, Kluang [02°00' E, 103 ° 22 ' E, 75–185 m a.s.l.]; Trail Lagenda, Gunung Ledang, Tangkak [02° 22 ' N, 102 ° 37 ' E, 750–895 m a.s.l.: recorded by calls]) and Negeri Sembilan (Sungai Kenaboi, Kenaboi: recorded by calls). Singapore: Bukit Timah Nature Reserve ( Lim & Lim 1992: see below, discussion). Possibly Janda Baik, Pahang, Western (Peninsular) Malaysia ( Dring 1979: see below, discussion).

Natural history. On Gunung Pulai, Gunung Ledang, and Gunung Lambak, males were found calling in widely scattered choruses at dry nights (from 1930 h) in early September in the dense secondary broad-leaf forest. Calling males hid themselves among dead leaves and were very difficult to locate, but responded to playback of recorded calls and/or whistles imitating their calls. There were no large bodies of water at the calling sites. The associated anuran species observed at the nearest waters were Hylarana laterimaculata  and Microhyla heymonsi Vo  g t.

At Sungai Kenaboi, calls were heard in secondary and bamboo forests on dry night. Microhyla heymonsi  , Fejervarya limnocharis (Gravenhorst)  , Humerana miopus (Boulenger)  , Hylarana labialis (Boulenger)  , and Polypedates leucomystax (Gravenhorst)  were observed at the same locality around pools along a forest road.

The single juvenile paratype from Panti ( KUHE 52061) was found walking at a dry night at the edge of secondary forest in late July. In early September, no further specimens of this species or calls were detected at this locality. Associated anuran species observed were Phrynoidis aspera (Gravenhorst)  , Kaloula pulchra Gray  , Micryletta inornata (Boulenger)  , Limnonectes blythii (Boulenger)  , H. miopus  , and H. labialis  .

Call characteristics. We recorded the calls of K. limbooliati  at Gunung Pulai, Kulai on 6 September 2009 (air temperature 23.9 C), Gunung Lambak, Kluang on 7 September 2009 (air temperature 27.2 C), and at Kenaboi, Negeri Sembilan on 10 and 11 September 2009 (air temperature 26.4 C). The advertisement call ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4) consists of a very long series of 24–61 (mean±SD = 41.1 ± 11.2, n = 62 /seven males) unpulsed notes and lasts about 6.3–15.2 (mean±SD = 10.9 ± 2.8) s. The note repetition rate is 3.31–4.20 (mean±SD = 3.72 ± 0.30) notes per s. Each note lasts about 61–76 (mean±SD = 70.0±6.0) ms, and time interval between two notes varies from 238–310 (mean±SD = 271.7 ± 25.4) ms. The dominant frequency lies at 1632–2008 (mean±SD = 1909 ± 156) hz, and harmonics are at about 3000–4000 and 7000–8000 hz ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4 A). The call has marked frequency and intensity modulations, and frequencies abruptly increase to the middle and then decrease towards the end of a note.

Comparisons. Males of K. limbooliati  sp. nov. with a SVL of 26.2–28.7 mm SVL (mean = 27.3 mm) are of similar size to K. heterochirus Boulenger  (24.1–27.2 mm, mean = 26.3 mm), K. eok Das & Haas  (26.3 mm), and K. punctatus Peters  (28.3 mm); it can be readily differentiated from these species as follows: white spots in a black inguinal marking absent (present in K. heterochirus  ); second finger with two subarticular tubercles (with single subarticular tubercle in K. eok  ); fifth toe is not projecting as far as or farther than the third toe unlike K. punctatus  (data from Matsui 2009).

Kalophrynus limbooliati  sp. nov. is smaller in male body size than K. yongi  (28.8 –31.0 mm, mean = 30.3 mm), K. calciphilus Dehling  (29.7–30.1 mm), K. minusculus Iskandar  (32.2 mm), K. palmatissimu  s (31.2–38.8 mm, mean = 34.5 mm), K. orangensis Dutta, Ahmed & Das  (35–38 mm), K. intermedius Inger  (37.9–40.5 mm, mean = 39.2 mm), K. baluensis Kiew  (34.8 –39.0 mm), K. stellatus Stejneger  (35.0–45.0 mm, mean = 39.3 mm), K. pleurostigma  (35.0– 50.4 mm, mean = 42.2 mm), and K. interlineatus Blyth  (37.4–47.7 mm), and larger than K. robinsoni  (16.8 mm), K. nubicola Dring  (14.4–24.4 mm), K. menglienicus Yang & Su  (19.8–23.4 mm, mean = 21.2 mm), K. bunguranus (Günther)  (20.7–22.8 mm, mean = 21.8 mm), and K. subterrestris Inger  (21.0– 23.4 mm, mean = 22.6 mm) (data from Inger 1954; Matsui 2009; Dehling 2011).

Other than the body size differences, K. limbooliati  sp. nov. can be differentiated from these species as follows: from K. yongi  by having a normal humerus (strongly developed terminal ridges on humerus, and related skin modification in K. yongi  ); from K. calciphilus  by the absence of outer metatarsal tubercle, presence of thinner dorsolateral stripe, without black margin dorsally, and dorsally more pointed snout (prominent tubercle present, dorsolateral stripe wide, bordered by black on both margins, and dorsally obtusely pointed in K. calciphilus  ); and from K. intermedius  by the possession of light lateral stripe and inguinal black marking (stripe and marking absent in K. intermedius  ).

In K. limbooliati  sp. nov., the fourth finger from palm is shorter than length of the terminal phalanx of third finger, unlike K. minusculus  , K. palmatissimus  , K. orangensis  , K. interlineatus  , and K. pleurostigma  , in which the fourth finger is longer. In addition, K. limbooliati  sp. nov. has poorly developed webbing on fourth toe, which barely reaches median subarticular tubercle, sharply contrasting with the well-developed webbing in K. palmatissimus  ; lacks distinct dorsal marking unlike K. minusculus  and K. baluensis  , which usually have clear dark markings on dorsum; has black inguinal marking (yellow in K. baluensis  ). Kalophrynus limbooliati  further differs from K. stellatus  and K. pleurostigma  by the lack of nuptial pads in males; and from K. robinsoni  in the absence of spinous nuptial pads in the males.

Kalophrynus limbooliati  sp. nov. differs from K. nubicola  by the possession of distinct subarticular tubercles of fingers and toes (indistinct or absent in K. nubicola  ); from K. menglienicus  by the possession of distinct tympanum and toe web (tympanum concealed and toe web absent in K. menglienicus  ); from K. bunguranus  by the lack of light marking surrounding black inguinal mark (black inguinal marking in a light area in K. bunguranus  ); and from K. subterrestris  by the presence of two subarticular tubercles on the fourth finger (a single subarticular tubercle in K. subterrestris  ).

The calls of six species of Kalophrynus  have been analyzed ( K. baluensis  ; K. calciphilus  ; K. interlineatus  ; K. nubicola  ; K. pleurostigma  ; and K. yongi: Matsui 2009  ; Dehling 2011). The call of K. limbooliati  sp. nov. is unpulsed unlike the well pulsed call of K. nubicola ( Dring 1984)  , and is composed of successive notes unlike the short, single note in K. calciphilus ( Dehling 2011)  , K. baluensis  , K. heterochirus  , and K. yongi ( Matsui 2009)  . Kalophrynus limbooliati  sp. nov. has a call with successive notes like K. pleurostigma ( Matsui et al. 1996)  , but the note length is shorter (61–76 vs. 170–487 ms), the note repetition rate is larger (3.3–4.2 vs. 0.9–2.7 notes per s), and the dominant frequency is much higher (1632–2008 vs. 438–575 hz) than K. pleurostigma  . The call of K. interlineatus  is a long trill unlike that of K. limbooliati ( Matsui et al. 1996)  , and that of K. palmatissimus  (a soft “ko-koko”: Kiew 1984: 150) is clearly very different from that of K. limbooliati  sp. nov.

A ranid, Hylarana laterimaculata  was found syntopic with K. limbooliati  sp. nov. in Pulai and Lambak. They emitted long calls very similar to the human ear, but details clearly differ between the two species. Calls of K. limbooliati  sp. nov. were longer than H. laterimaculata  recorded at Lambak (mean±SD = 10.9 ± 2.8 vs. 6.0+ 0.2 s in H. laterimaculata  ) and included larger number of notes (mean±SD = 41.1 ± 11.2 vs. 12.5 ± 0.6). Each note lasted shorter (mean±SD = 70.6 ±6.0 vs. 109.4 ± 4.4 ms), with shorter time interval between two notes (mean±SD = 271.7 ± 25.4 vs. 520.3 ± 18.2 ms) and larger note repetition rate (mean = 3.72 ± 0.30 vs. 1.96 notes per s). In addition, the dominant frequency was evidently lower (mean±SD = 1909 ± 156 vs. 2897 ± 123 hz) than that of H. laterimaculata  .

Finally, the uncorrected pairwise sequence divergences of mitochondrial 16 S rRNA gene between K. limbooliati  and the seven congeners ( K. heterochirus  , K. interlineatus  , K. palmatissimus  , K. pleurostigma  , K. stellatus  , K. subterrestris  , and K. yongi  ) are as large as 5.2–10.5 %.


Kyoto University, Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies


Department of Natural Resources, Environment, The Arts and Sport














Kalophrynus limbooliati

Matsui, Masafumi, Nishikawa, Kanto, Belabut, Daicus M., Norhayati, Ahmad & Yong, Hoi Sen 2012

K. calciphilus (

Dehling 2011

K. yongi:

Matsui 2009

K. yongi (

Matsui 2009

K. pleurostigma (

Matsui et al. 1996

K. limbooliati (

Matsui et al. 1996

K. nubicola (

Dring 1984