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Article
Published: 2016-09-26

A new species of treefrog (Litoria) from Cape York Peninsula, Australia

Honorary Associate, Queensland Museum, PO Box 3300, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
Australian Museum Research Institute, 1 William St, Sydney, NSW, 2010, Australia Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Herpetology Department, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, SA, 5000, Australia
Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Amphibia Anura treefrog new species Queensland

Abstract

We describe a new species of treefrog from northern Australia. Litoria bella sp. nov. is morphologically and genetically most similar to frogs in the L. gracilenta and L. chloris groups but is distinguished from all members in these groups by a combination of a moderately large male body size (34.5–41.8 mm SVL), near-immaculate green dorsum, orange venter, bright orange digits and webbing, bluish purple lateral surfaces of the thighs, no pale canthal stripe, white bones, and a highly-pulsed, single-note, male advertisement call with a pulse rate of 56–64 pulses/s and dominant frequency of 2.6–2.8 kHz. Litoria bella sp. nov. has a patchy distribution across the Cape York Peninsula, inhabiting rainforest and monsoon vine thicket in close association with watercourses. The new species’ affinities lie with L. auae from southern New Guinea rather than with L. gracilenta from eastern Australia. Molecular data suggest that the L. gracilenta group should be expanded to include L. chloris and L. xanthomera, two moderately large green treefrogs from eastern Australia.

 

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How to Cite

MCDONALD, K. R., ROWLEY, J. J. L., RICHARDS, S. J., & FRANKHAM, G. J. (2016). A new species of treefrog (<em>Litoria</em>) from Cape York Peninsula, Australia. Zootaxa, 4171(1), 153–169. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4171.1.6