Xenopus lenduensis Evans, Greenbaum, Kusamba, Carter, Tobias, Mendel, and Kelley, 2011
Original Published Description:
Xenopus lenduensis is a medium-sized African clawed frog from the Albertine Rift of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is an octoploid species with 72 chromosomes.
X. lenduensis is distributed across the Lendu Plateau in the northern portion of the Albertine Rift, Democratic Republic of the Congo (Evans et al., 2011).
X. lenduensis is named after the Lendu Plateau of the Albertine Rift in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Evans et al., 2011).
X. lenduensis is a member of the vestitus-wittei subgroup of African clawed frogs (Evans et al., 2011).
This species can be distinguished from closely related species by its advertisement call and a unique combination of morphological characters: absence of a metatarsal claw, short toes, a small- to medium-sized subocular tentacle, rounded snout and variable presence of dorsal and ventral patterning (Evans et al., 2011).
Snout–vent lengths of males and females average 40 and 48 mm, respectively, with the latter being significantly larger (Evans et al., 2011).
X. lenduensis is a medium-sized species with three claws, a small but prominent metatarsal tubercle without a claw and a sub-ocular tentacle that extends beyond the margin of the head. The snout shape is somewhat variable but is generally rounded rather than triangular. Males may exhibit nuptial pads that extend from the base of the arm to the tips of the fingers (Evans et al., 2011).
The dorsal coloration is light green to olive. Dark olive, dark brown or black spots are usually present on the dorsum. The ventral surface varies from orange or yellow on the legs to orange and dark creamy color over the ventral surface of the arms, legs, body and head. There are pink or purple pigment patches visible on the medial portion of the legs and belly (Evans et al., 2011).
X. lenduensis is sympatric with X. laevis, but the former is much larger in size and has larger eyes compared to X. laevis. Dorsal and ventral colorization and morphology distinguish X. lenduesus from its sister taxon, X. vestitus (Evans et al., 2011).
Habitat and Ecology
X. lenduensis was collected from grasslands with isolated trees. The populations were found in small bodies of standing water, occasionally in disturbed agricultural areas but not in highly disturbed areas or where vegetation was completely cleared (Evans et al., 2010).
Individuals were found to live in small populations of less than 40 (Evans et al., 2010).
The call of X. lenduensis is a brief, rapid trill with short intervals between calls, and the intervals between clicks is short (Evans et al., 2011).
Modes and Mechanisms of Locomotion
Frogs of the genus Xenopus are fully aquatic and have a lateral line system that allows them to detect water movements along their body for navigation and catching prey.
Evolution and Systematics
Evans et at. (2011) found that X. lenduensis is the sister species of X. vestitus using mtDNA (12S and 16S ribosomal DNA, transfer RNA-valine and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) and nuclear (RAG-1) data.
X. lenduensis and X. vestitus have derived from the same allo-octoploid ancestor (Evans et al., 2011).