A new species of Crinia (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from the high rainfall zone of the northwest Kimberley, Western Australia

WA Museum Records and Supplements | Updated 1 years ago

ABSTRACTCrinia is a large genus of small-bodied myobatrachid frogs that occur throughout most of Australia. They are less diverse in arid regions and northern Australia, and in the Kimberley are currently only represented by C. bilingua. Recent exploration of the northwest Kimberley has revealed another species of Crinia, here named Crinia fimbriata sp. nov. Molecular genetic analyses of mitochondrial nucleotide sequence data indicate the new species is a highly divergent lineage within Crinia. Compared to C. bilingua, the new species is smaller but with longer legs, has a dorsal ground colour of bluish greybrown, yellow-brown or red, with distinctive dark brown variegations and the entire dorsal surface is stippled with fine, pale bluish-white tubercles. Males of the new species have wide flanges on the fingers which are not typical of other Crinia species. The tadpole is also unlike any other known species of Crinia in that it has large jaw sheaths, which may be an adaptation for scraping algae from the rock pools in which it has been found. The male advertisement call has not been recorded. Within the Kimberley region, many species of frogs, reptiles and mammals only occur in the northwest along a narrow high rainfall zone from the Mitchell Plateau to the Prince Regent River Nature Reserve, making this region of especially high conservation value.

KEYWORDS: frog, tropics, conservation, tadpole, mitochondrial DNA, ND2.

Author(s) Paul Doughty, Marion Anstis and Luke C. Price
Records 25 : Part 2
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