The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.
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Authors: Miguel Vences And Frank Glaw
Abstract: Based on morphological differences, specimens currently attributed to the Malagasy montane frog species Mantidactylus madecassus can be divided into two distinct groups, which correspond to the geographically separated populations from the mountain massifs of Ankaratra and Andringitra. The Ankaratra populations differ from the Andringitra populations by the lack of distinctly bilobed subarticular tubercles on the fingers; more extended webbing between the toes; and a less contrasting dorsal colour pattern. Furthermore, they are distinguished morphometrically. The name Mantidactylus pauliani Guibe, 1974 is available for the Ankaratra specimens and is hereby resurrected. A lectotype of M. madecassus is designated. The two species share a lack of vomerine teeth and both possess a very short snout, and should be considered as closely related allopatric sister taxa. So far as is known, they occur between 1500 and 2500 m altitude (mainly above 2000 m), in brooks and their tributaries in areas of ericoid vegetation or of rock formations with rupicolous plant communities. A short review of Malagasy montane amphibian species is provided, confirming that montane habitat in Madagascar harbours an important diversity of species specialized to high-altitudes.
Keywords: Anura, Ranidae, Mantellinae, Brygoomantis, montane herpetofauna, Madagascar