Leptopelis aubryioides (Andersson, 1907)

Morphology

Description of lectotype.-Adult female (MWNH 135/1); body moderately robust, head slightly wider than body; snout rounded in dorsal view, rounded in lateral view; vomerine odontophores distinct, in two rounded patches, medially to choanae; choanae medium-sized, rounded; tongue longer than wide, bifurcated posteriorly, posterior third free; nostrils directed laterally, visible from dorsal view; canthus rostralis slightly curved, rounded in cross-section; loreal region concave; eye relatively large with ED slightly less than twice the END; pupil vertical; tympanum distinct, round, TD half of ED, tympanic annulus present; skin of all dorsal surfaces finely granular, with scattered small tubercles on dorsum; skin on ventral surfaces coarsely granular; hind limbs relatively long with TL reaching almost half SVL, tibiotarsal articulation reaching anterior corner of eye when hindlimb adpressed forward along body; foot webbing formula 1(0.5), 2i(1) 2e(0.25), 3i(1.5) 3e(0.25), 4i(2) 4e(1.5), 5(0.75), all toes with lateral fringes; relative length of toes, IV>V>III>II>I; outer metatarsal tubercle absent; inner metatarsal tubercle well developed, ovoid, elongated; well-developed dermal spur on heel; distinct dermal fold on outer tarsus; plantar surfaces tubercular; well-developed subarticular tubercles under all toes, with distal tubercles being bifid; tips of all toes bearing round discs, each about 1.3 times wider than width of adjacent phalange; hand webbing formula 1(1.75), 2i(1.5) 2e(1), 3i(2) 3e(1.5), 4(1.25), all fingers with lateral fringes; relative length of fingers: III>IV>II>I, Finger I<II when adpressed; outer metacarpal tubercle absent, inner small, ovoid; palmar surfaces strongly tuberculate; well developed subarticular tubercles under all fingers, with distal tubercles being bifid; tips of all fingers bearing discs, each about 1.3 times wider than width of adjacent phalange; distinct dermal fold on outer edge of lower arm; enlarged ulnar tubercle.

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Rights holder Köhler, Jörn

Comparisons

Predominantly brown colored forest species of Leptopelis occurring in sympatry with the taxon L. aubryioides may include L. aubryi (Duméril, 1856), L. calcaratus (Boulenger, 1906), L. millsoni (Boulenger, 1895), L. modestus (Werner, 1898), L. ocellatus (Mocquard, 1902), L. rufus (Reichenow, 1874) and L. zebra Amiet, 2001 (e.g. Schiøtz, 1967; 1999; Amiet, 2001). These species differ from L. aubryioides as follows: L. aubryi, L. millsoni, L. rufus, and L. zebra lack a dermal spur on heel; furthermore, L. millsoni and L. rufus are much larger, with adult females having 74-87 mm SVL, and L. zebra lacks a spotted venter; L. ocellatus differs by coloration, slightly larger size (females 48-58 mm SVL) and a sharp canthus rostralis. Leptopelis aubryioides is readily distinguished from L. modestus by the presence (versus absence in L. modestus) of dermal spurs on heels and snout shape. When comparing the types of L. aubryioides with specimens and diagnoses of L. calcaratus, the following differences are evident: L. calcaratus mainly differs from L. aubryioides by a sharp canthus rostralis in cross section (vs. rounded), longer snout, and the presence of a distinct contrasting white blotch below the eye.

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Taxonomic Notes

This taxon, described by Andersson (1907) as Hylambates rufus var. aubryioides, was placed as junior synonym of Leptopelis modestus by Ahl (1929). Thereafter, this taxon was largely omitted and not metioned in the literature anymore, although J.-L. Perret examined the 3 Wiesbaden syntypes in 1975 and concluded (according to an additional jar label) that they are conspecific with L. calcaratus, but this identification was never published. Later, Amiet (1992) described the somewhat cryptic species L. omissus which is morphologically similar to L. calcaratus. Re-examination of the syntypes of Hylambates rufus aubryoides revealed that they are neither conspecific with L. modestus, nor with L. calcaratus, but actually are conspecific with L. omissus. Consequently, Köhler (2009) removed L. aubryioides from the synonymy of L. modestus and regarded it a valid species, with L. omissus placed as its junior synonym.

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Rights holder Köhler, Jörn