Phrynobatrachus parkeri De Witte, 1933
Original Published Description:
Parker's River Frog (English)
This very poorly known species is known only from west-central and northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo from three localities: Kunungu, Mauda and Garamba National Park. There have been no recent records, presumably due to the lack of herpetological work within its range (Pickersgill, 2004).
This species is named for M.W. Parker of the British Museum in thanks for the preparation of a skeleton of Schoutedenella muta, which was described in the same publication as P. parkeri.
De Witte (1933) reported that the type material measured 22 mm in snout-vent legth; Zimkus (unpublished) found that the male syntype measured 20.30 mm and female (eggs present) 21.42 mm.
Aspect is raniform. A conical papilla is present in the middle of the tongue and is clearly visible. Head is longer than broad. Snout is short and as long as the eye. Canthus rostralis is obtuse; frenal region is concave. Nostrils are equidistant from eye and tip of snout. Interorbital space is slightly broader than the upper eyelid. Tympanum is hidden. First finger is shorter than the second; the third is 1.5 times as long as the second. Fingers are slightly dilated into small but quite distinct discs. Subarticular tubercles are prominent. The inner metatarsal tubercle is oval shaped and well developed; a round tarsal tubercle on the inner side of the tarsus is joined together with the outer metatarsal tubercle by a cutaneous fold. The outer metatarsal tubercle is located at longer distance from the tarsal tubercle than the inner metatarsal tubercle. (Note: de Witte (1933) confused the inner and outer metatarsal tubercles in his description, the description given here has been corrected by B. Zimkus.) When the rear limb is brought forward, the tibio-tarsal articulation reaches the eye. The tibia is 1 and 5/6 times in the snout-vent length; the width of the tibia is approximately 1/4 its length. When the hind limbs are folded up in right angles with the center body, the tibiae overlap. Dorsal skin is granular, strewn with many more prominent warts. Dorsolateral glandular cords start behind the upper eyelid and extend until in the scapular area. Ventral parts are smooth with the exception of the males' external vocal sac in the gular region, which is granulous (de Witte, 1933).
Dorsum is grayish and mottled blackish; spots more or less form the shape of transverse bars between the eyes and on the limbs. A thin yellowish vertebral line is present between the eyes and extending until anus. Ventral parts are whitish and slightly punctuated with black (de Witte, 1933).
De Witte (1933) noted that this species is similar to P. giorgii but can be distinguished by the 1st finger shorter than the 2nd, by the outer metatarsal tubercle located at longer distance from the tarsal tubercle than the inner metatarsal tubercle, the granular skin of the back and the less extensive webbing on the toes. Inger (1968) noted its similarity to P. acridoides.
Habitat and Ecology
It is known from grassy and shrubby savannah, and from gallery forests in Garamba National Park. Its habitat preferences in the forest zone (e.g., at Kunungu and Mauda) are not clear, though it is suspected to survive well in heavily degraded former forest (farm bush; Pickersgill, 2004).
It is apparently fairly abundant in Garamba National Park (Pickersgill, 2004).
IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status
The IUCN Red List (2010) categorizes this species as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. It is noted that this species is known mainly from isolated records from a large area (Pickersgill, 2004).
There is no direct information, but this species is believed to be adaptable, and not facing any significant threats (Pickersgill, 2004).
Conservation Actions and Management
It occurs in Garamba National Park (Pickersgill, 2004).
- Phrynobatrachus (Phrynobatrachus) parkeri — Laurent, 1941 (synonym)