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Paedophryne kathismaphlox Kraus 2010
A genus of minute (male SV = 10.1 mm, female SV = 10.4–11.3 mm) frogs with short legs (TL/SV = 0.35–0.40); eleutherognathine jaw; absence of clavicles, procoracoid cartilage, and omosternum (Fig. 1A); seven presacral vertebrae lacking neural crests (Fig. 2B); tips of digits flattened; phalangeal formula 1-2-3-2 on hand, 1-2-3-4-2 on foot, reducing digits F1 and T1 to vestigial nubs (Fig. 1C, D); prepollex and prehallux each reduced to a single element; M. depressor mandibulae overlying posterior margin of tympanum (Fig. 3G); M. adductor mandibularis anterior longus small and inserting only on lateral portions of frontoparietals (Fig. 3H); M. submentalis hypertrophied (Fig. 3I); and tongue long, straplike, attached to floor of mouth along anterior third.
Comparisons with other genera
The new genus differs from all known genera within the Asterophryinae in having the phalanges on the first digits of each hand and foot reduced to tiny cartilaginous elements, imparting to these digits the external appearance of a rudimentary nub (Fig. 4D, E, 5D, E), and in having the prepollex and prehallux reduced to single elements. Its diminutive size also distinguishes it from the vast majority of other asterophryines: although a few small species of Albericus, Aphantophryne, Choerophryne, Cophixalus, and Oreophryne approach this small a size, only one species of Oreophryne attains it. Paedophryne further differs from all other asterophryine genera except Aphantophryne, some Albericus (Menzies 1997), and occasional aberrant individuals of Cophixalus (Zweifel & Parker 1989) in having seven (instead of eight) presacral vertebrae; and the length and narrowness of the straplike tongue is only approximated in some other very small species of Cophixalus and some Oreophryne.
The small species of Albericus, Choerophryne, and Oreophryne are most readily distinguished from Paedophryne by having expanded digital discs; as well, the last-named retains clavicles and a procoracoid cartilage. The new genus is superficially most similar to Aphantophryne (in vertebral number, short legs, and having the M. depressor mandibulae overlying the posterior margin of tympanum, Fig. 3G) and to smaller species of Cophixalus (in general appearance and tendency toward digital reduction in some species). In addition to the characters noted above, Paedophryne differs from Aphantophryne in its more gracile habitus (squat in Aphantophryne); in having the tips of the digits flattened (rounded in Aphantophryne); in having a long, straplike tongue (ovoid in Aphantophryne); in its more widely expanded sacral diapophyses; in lacking neural crests on the presacral vertebrae (present in Aphantophryne); and in having the M. adductor mandibularis anterior longus small and inserting only on lateral portions of frontoparietals (M. adductor mandibularis anterior longus hypertrophied and inserting on the medial portions of frontoparietals in Aphantophryne, Fig. 3B, Table 1). Paedophryne further differs from all Cophixalus species in lacking neural crests on the presacral vertebrae (present in Cophixalus), differs from all Cophixalus species except Cophixalus sphagnicola Zweifel & Allison in having the M. submentalis hypertrophied (M. submentalis a small strap in Cophixalus, Fig. 3C), and differs from all Cophixalus except Cophixalus cryptotympanum Zweifel and Cophixalus kaindiensis Zweifel in having the M. depressor mandibulae overlying the posterior margin of the tympanum (M. depressor mandibulae runs entirely behind posterior margin of tympanum in all other Cophixalus, Fig. 3D, Table 1).
|Number of presacral vertebrae||8||8||7|
|Number of elements in prepollex||2||2-3||1|
|Number of elements in prehallux||2||2-3||1|
|Phalangeal formula on hand||2-2-3-3||usually 2-2-3-3, sometimes 1-2-4-2, 2-2-4-2, or 2-2-3-4||1-2-3-2|
|Phalangeal formula on foot||2-2-3-4-3||2-2-3-4-3 or 2-2-3-4-2||1-2-3-4-1|
|Tongue||Ovoid||Usually ovoid; straplike in some small species||Long, straplike|
|M. adductor mandibularis anterior longus||hypertrophied; inserts on medial portions of parietals||small; inserts on lateral portions of parietals||small; inserts on lateral portions of parietals|
|M. depressor mandibulae||overlies posterior margin of tympanum||entirely behind posterior margin of tympanum||overlies posterior margin of tympanum|
|M. submentalis||hypertrophied||small straps||hypertrophied|
Known from one mountain in the southeastern tip of New Guinea and from one mountain on nearby Fergusson Island, D’Entrecasteaux Islands (Fig. 6).
The name is a feminine, latinized noun derived from the Greek “paidos”, meaning “child”, and “phryne”, meaning “toad”. It refers to the juvenilized appearance of the frogs.
- Kraus, F; 2010: New genus of diminutive microhylid frogs from Papua New Guinea ZooKeys, 48: 39-59. doi
- Menzies J (1997) Variation in number of vertebrae within the genus Albericus (Amphibia: Microhylidae) of New Guinea. Science in New Guinea 22: 135-136.