A tiny new species of Platypelis from the Marojejy National Park in northeastern Madagascar (Amphibia: Microhylidae)

  • Frank Glaw Zoologische Staatssammlung München
  • Jörn Köhler Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt
  • Miguel Vences
Keywords: Microhylidae, Cophylinae, Platypelis ravus sp. nov., Madagascar, Marojejy National Park


We describe a tiny new frog species of the genus Platypelis (Anura: Microhylidae: Cophylinae) from Marojejy National Park, northeastern Madagascar. Platypelis ravus sp. nov. differs from all other known Platypelis and Cophyla species by its small size (17-19 mm snout-vent length) and a combination of other morphological and bioacoustic characters. The new species seems to be most closely related to P. milloti with which it shares the principal colour pattern, but exhibits a yellow rather than red posterior venter. Uncorrected pairwise sequence divergence in a 16S rRNA gene fragment to all other known species of the genus (except P. cowanii for which no genetic data is available) is greater than 6%. We suggest the inclusion of the new species in the IUCN threat category “Data Deficient”.


AmphibiaWeb 2012. Information on amphibian biology and conservation. [web application]. Berkeley, California: AmphibiaWeb. Available from http://amphibiaweb.org/ [accessed 7 Jan. 2012].

Andreone F., Fenolio D.B. & Walvoord M.E. 2003. Two unknown arboreal frogs (genus Platypelis) described from the rainforests of northeastern Madagascar (Microhylidae: Cophylinae). Current Herpetology 22 (2): 91-100. http://dx.doi.org/10.5358/hsj.22.91

Andreone F., Vences M., Vieites D.R., Glaw F. & Meyer A. 2005. Recurrent ecological adaptations revealed through a molecular analysis of the secretive cophyline frogs of Madagascar. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34 (2): 315-322. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2004.10.013

Blommers-Schlösser R.M.A. 1975. Observations on the larval development of some Malagasy frogs, with notes on their ecology and biology (Anura: Dyscophinae, Scaphiophryninae and Cophylinae). Beaufortia 24 (309): 7-26.

Blommers-Schlösser R.M.A. & Blanc C.P. 1991. Amphibiens (première partie). Faune de Madagascar 75: 1-380.

Glaw F. & Vences M. 2007. A Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of Madagascar. 3rd Ed. Vences & Glaw Verlag, Köln.

IUCN 2001. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 3.1. IUCN, Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland & Cambridge, U.K.

Kurabayashi A., Matsui M., Belabut D.M., Yong H.S., Ahmad N., Sudin A., Kuramoto M., Hamidy A. & Sumida M. 2011. From Antarctica or Asia? New colonization scenario for Australian-New Guinean narrow mouth toads suggested from the findings on a mysterious genus Gastrophrynoides. BMC Evolutionary Biology 11: e175. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2148-11-175

Raselimanana A.P., Raxworthy C.J. & Nussbaum R.A. 2000. Herpetofaunal species diversity and elevational distribution within the Parc National de Marojejy, Madagascar. Fieldiana Zoology (N.S.) 97: 157-174.

Van Bocxlaer I., Roelants K., Biju S.D., Nagaraju J. & Bossuyt F. 2006. Late Cretaceous vicariance in Gondwanan amphibians. PLoS ONE 1 (1): e74. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0000074

Van der Meijden A., Vences M., Hoegg S., Boistel R., Channing A. & Meyer A. 2007. Nuclear gene phylogeny of narrow-mouthed toads (family: Microhylidae) and a discussion of competing hypotheses concerning their biogeographical origins. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 44 (3): 1017-1030. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2007.02.008

Vences M., Glaw F., Köhler J. & Wollenberg K.C. 2010. Molecular phylogeny, morphology and bioacoustics reveal five additional species of arboreal microhylids of the genus Anodonthyla from Madagascar. Contributions to Zoology 79: 1-32.

Vences M., Glaw F. & Marquez R. (eds) 2006. The Calls of the Frogs of Madagascar. 3 Audio CD’s and booklet. Alosa, Barcelona.

Vieites D.R., Wollenberg K.C., Andreone F., Köhler J., Glaw F. & Vences M. 2009. Vast underestimation of Madagascar’s biodiversity evidenced by an integrative amphibian inventory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A. 106 (20): 8267-8272. http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0810821106

Wollenberg K.C., Vieites D.R., van der Meijden A., Glaw F., Cannatella D.C. & Vences M. 2008. Patterns of endemism and species richness in Malagasy cophyline frogs support a key role of mountainous areas for speciation. Evolution 62 (8): 1890-1907. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1558-5646.2008.00420.x

How to Cite
Glaw, F., Köhler, J., & Vences, M. (2012). A tiny new species of Platypelis from the Marojejy National Park in northeastern Madagascar (Amphibia: Microhylidae). European Journal of Taxonomy, (9). https://doi.org/10.5852/ejt.2012.9