November 01, 2018

Latest Breviceps Phylogeny

The species placement of Breviceps has recently been evaluated. This shows potential for many new species
in the mossambicus and verrucosus groups.

One major outcome is the elevation of Breviceps adspersus pentheri to full species status due to the clear polyphyly of the B. adspersus.

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Nielsen, S. V., S, R. Daniels, W. Conradie, M. P. Heinicke, and B. P. Noonan. 2018. Multilocus phylogenetics in a widespread African anuran lineage (Brevicipitidae: Breviceps) reveals patterns of diversity reflecting geoclimatic change. Journal of Biogeography 45: 2067–2079.

Posted on November 01, 2018 15:25 by alexanderr alexanderr | 1 comments | Leave a comment

October 09, 2018

Angola Herp Atlas published!

The first Atlas of amphibians and reptiles has just been published for Angola. Unfortunately there are no pictures of the species like Suricata 1 had, but the range maps are extremely useful.

Check it out:

Posted on October 09, 2018 22:35 by calebcam calebcam | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Naja revision

A new revision of African forest cobras (Naja) by Wuster et al. has described two new species and recognised a total of five species. In southern Africa, Naja melanoleuca is now known as N. sbfulva, melanoleuca reserved

Most species can be identified by their geographic distribution, with rxceptions between Naja savannula and guineensis, and melanoleuca and subfulva.

N. subfulva can be distinguished from melanoleuca by a brown rather than black anterior dorsum.

N. savannula can be distinguised from guineensis by having dorsal coloration extending further down the body, typically between 3-8 light bands.
Wuster, W. et al. 2018 Integration of nuclear and mitochondrial gene sequences and morphology reveals unexpected diversity in the forest cobra (Naja melanoleuca) species complex in Central and West Africa (Serpentes: Elapidae). Zootaxa, 4455(1), 68-98.

Thanks to Alex (@alexanderr) for writing this up.

Posted on October 09, 2018 22:32 by calebcam calebcam | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 10, 2018

AfriHerps passes 30000 observations!

Thank you iNatters for your help in reaching this huge mark!!

Posted on September 10, 2018 16:20 by calebcam calebcam | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 04, 2018

New species of Ptychadena for northern Zambia

Ptychadena mutinondoensis has been described recently from Mutinondo Wilderness in northern Zambia.
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The species can be diagnosed by the following:
"contrasting longitudinal bands on the posterior thigh"-excludes: P. subpunctata, P. taenioscelis, P. keilingi, P. upembae, P. guibei, P. nilotica, and P. anchietae
"the foot is longer than half SVL" -excludes P. schillukorum and P. mossambica
"it has no light triangle on the snout"-excludes P. subpunctata,P. obscura, P. anchietae and P. oxyrhynchus
"three phalanges of the fourth toe free of web"-excludes P. keilingi and P. bunoderma
"less than one phalanx of the fifth toe free of web"-excludes P. mossambica, P. keilingi, P. upembae, P. guibei, P. taenisocelis, P. bunoderma, P. ansorgii, P. porosissima and P. obscura
"The median skin folds are all similarly developed" not enlarged like P. bunoderma
"The snout is without skin folds" excludes P. uzungwensis and P. broadleyi
"the snout—nostril distance greater than the internarial distance" excludes P. schillukorum, P. mossambica, P. keilingi, P.upembae, P. guibei, P. ansorgii, P. broadleyi, P. grandisonae, P. porosissima, P. nilotica, P. obscura and P. anchietae
"The foot is shorter than the tibia" excludes P. subpinctata, P. keilingi, P. guibei, P. taenioscelis, P. ansorgii and P. nilotica
" The snout is longer and sharper in dorsal view compared to Ptychadena broadleyi"

CHANNING, A. and WILLEMS, F., 2018. A new grass frog with rupicolous tadpoles from northern Zambia (Anura: Ptychadenidae). Zootaxa, 4462(3), pp.349-366.

Posted on September 04, 2018 15:52 by alexanderr alexanderr | 1 comments | Leave a comment

May 25, 2018

April 21, 2018

Three new species of Calumma chameleons discovered in Madagascar

Three new species of Calumma have been discovered in Madagascar; Calumma uetzi, Calumma lefona, and Calumma juliae, of which all are threatened and poorly known.

Calumma uetzi (shown above), is "one of the most beautiful of Madagascar’s chameleons. Displaying males go bright yellow along their sides with stripes of pink and purple, with a variety of colours on the head from teal to aquamarine, yellow, salmon, and purple, with a black stripe running through the eye. Meanwhile, the female can turn a dark brown, almost black, with bright yellow spots on her head that convey her vexation with his attentions."

As for Calumma lefona, "only one specimen of the new species C. lefona has ever been found, and it was necessary to describe the species without any other material. This species sets itself apart in two ways: firstly, it has an exceptionally long, spear-shaped flap of skin at the front end of its head, known as the ‘rostral appendage’. Having a nose like this is the feature that unites all members of the C. nasutum species group (though some species have apparently lost it again), but that of C. lefona is exceptionally large, and recognizable by its unique shape. It is somewhat reminiscent of the nose of the bizarre C. gallus (see right), but is much less pointed and probably not as brightly coloured."

Calumma juliae, shown above, was discovered "in a tiny, isolated forest fragment outside the town of Moramanga, east of Antananarivo".

Prötzel, D., Vences, M., Hawlitschek, O., Scherz, M.D., Ratsoavina, F.M. & Glaw, F. (2018) Endangered beauties: three new species of chameleons in the Calumma boettgeri complex (Squamata: Chamaeleonidae). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, advanced access, 1–28.

Posted on April 21, 2018 22:29 by calebcam calebcam | 2 comments | Leave a comment

April 16, 2018

AfriHerps passes 20,000 Observations!

Posted on April 16, 2018 20:50 by calebcam calebcam | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 13, 2018

New Mossy Frog from Madagascar

A new species of Gephyromantis has been discovered in the "mountainous area of Sorata", in northern Madagascar.

"The new species, which we dubbed Gephyromantis (Vatomantis) lomorina due to its mossy appearance (lomorina is a Malagasy word meaning ‘covered in moss’), is interesting for a number of reasons. First of all, it is not quite clear where it fits into the rest of the genus Gephyromantis. Genetically, it is somewhere in between the two subgenera Vatomantis (containing three species of smooth-skinned, green, riparian frogs with divided vocal sacs) and Laurentomantis (containing a handful of lumpy, brownish frogs with broad heads and single vocal sacs), sometimes coming out closer related to one of these than the other, but always it was found to be one of the more distant relatives of these two groups. The morphology and call fit this genetic weirdness as well; the call (which you can download and listen to here) is more similar to Laurentomantis species, but the morphology is a bit more like Vatomantis species, especially the green colour and the divided vocal sacs. So in the end we placed the new species in Vatomantis, but it hints that the relationships between these two subgenera are quite unclear, a point made in a previous study by Kaffenberger et al. (2012) based solely on genetic grounds."
A plate of the variation in Gephyromantis (Vatomantis) lomorina from Marojejy

Scherz, M.D., Hawlitschek, O., Razafindraibe, J.H., Megson, S., Ratsoavina, F.M., Rakotoarison, A., Bletz, M.C., Glaw, F. & Vences, M. (2018) A distinctive new frog species (Anura, Mantellidae) supports the biogeographic linkage of the montane rainforest massifs of northern Madagascar. Zoosystematics and Evolution, 94(2):247–261.

Posted on April 13, 2018 16:00 by calebcam calebcam | 1 comments | Leave a comment

April 03, 2018

New Reed Frog from Mozambique

Hyperolius stictus
Diagnosed by the lack of: spines on throat, heel spot, dorsolateral stripes, canthal stripe(extending to snout), light triangle on snout, translucent green belly, white gular disc.
It has small yellow spots on the sides of the back.

Male colouration in life.

Found in northern Mozambique.

Conradie, W., Verburgt, L., Portik, D.M., Ohler, A., Bwong, B.A. and Lawson, L.P. 2018. A new Reed Frog (Hyperoliidae: Hyperolius) from coastal northeastern Mozambique. Zootaxa. 4374 (2). 177-198.

(Thanks to Alex [@alexanderr] for writing this up)

Posted on April 03, 2018 02:37 by calebcam calebcam | 3 comments | Leave a comment