Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2017-11-08
Page range: 465–492
Abstract views: 215
PDF downloaded: 2

The Vietnamese population of Megophrys kuatunensis (Amphibia: Megophryidae) represents a new species of Asian horned frog from Vietnam and southern China

Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY, UK.
Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney, NSW, 2010, Australia.
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK
Center for Rescue and Conservation of Organism, Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam.
Hong Duc University, 565 Quang Trung Street-Dong Ve Ward-Thanh Hoa City, Vietnam.
Vietnam National Museum of Nature, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Hanoi, Vietnam. Graduate University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam
Center for Rescue and Conservation of Organism, Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam.
Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney, NSW, 2010, Australia. Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK
Amphibia Bioacoustics cryptic species Hoang Lien Megophrys rubrimera sp. nov. Southeast Asia tadpole


The Asian frog genus Megophrys is a diverse group of morphologically conserved, forest-dwelling frogs. The genus harbours highly localised species diversification and new species continue to be described on a regular basis. We examined the taxonomic status of a population of Megophrys frogs from the Hoang Lien Range in northern Vietnam and southern China previously identified as M. kuatunensis (subgenus Panophrys). Preliminary phylogenetic analyses using a fragment of 16S rDNA places the species in question within the Megophrys (subgenus Panophrys) species group, a primarily Chinese radiation within the genus. On the basis of morphological, molecular and bioacoustic data, we conclude that this population does not represent M. kuatunensis, or any known species in the genus. We herein describe this species of Megophrys as new. Known only from Sa Pa District, Lao Cai Province in Vietnam and Jinping County, Yunnan Province in China, the new species is likely to be threatened by ongoing deforestation in the region. We provide an updated species description of M. kuatunensis based on type specimens, and suggest that M. kuatunensis is likely to be restricted to eastern China.




  1. Altig, R. & McDiarmid, R.W. (1999) Body plan: development and morphology. In: McDiarmid, R.W. & Altig, R. (Eds.), Tadpoles: The Biology of Anuran Larvae. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, pp. 24–51.

    Bain, R.H., Nguyen, Q.T. & Doan, V.K. (2007) New herpetofaunal records from Vietnam. Herpetological Review, 38, 107117.

    Bain, R.H. & Stuart, B.L. (2006) Significant new records of the Junlian odorous frog, Odorrana junlianensis Huang, Fei, and Ye, 2001. Hamadryad, 30 (1/2), 151–156.

    Boulenger, G.A. (1887) Description of a new frog species of the genus Megalophrys. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, 2, 512–513.

    Boulenger, G.A. (1889) Description of a new batrachian of the genus Leptobrachium obtained by M.L. Feae in the Karens Mountains, Burma. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, 2, 748–750.

    Boulenger, G.A. (1893) Concluding report on the reptiles and batrachians obtained in Burma by Signor L. Fea, dealing with the collection made in Pegu and the Karin Hills in 1887–8. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova, 2, 304–347, pls. VII–XII.

    Boulenger, G.A. (1899) On a collection of reptiles and batrachians made by Mr. J. D. La Touche in N.W. Fokien, China. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1899, 159–172, pls. XVI–XIX.

    Boulenger, G.A. (1903) Description of three new Batrachians from Tonkin. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, 7, 186–188.

    Boulenger, G.A. (1908) A revision of the oriental pelobatid batrachians (genus Megalophrys). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1908, 407–430, pls. XXII–XXV, fig. 71.

    Bourret, R. (1937) Notes herpétologiques sur L’Indochine Française. XIV. Les batraciens de la collection du Laboratoire des Sciences Naturelles de l’Université. Descriptions de quinze espèces ou variétés nouvelles. Annexe au Bulletin Général de l'Instruction Publique, 1937, 5–56.

    Brown, R.M. & Richards, S.J. (2008) Two new frogs of the genus Platymantis (Anura: Ceratobatrachidae) from the Isabel Island group, Solomon Islands. Zootaxa, 1888 (1), 47–68.

    Chen, J.M., Zhou, W.W., Poyarkov Jr, N.A., Stuart, B.L., Brown, R.M., Lathrop, A., Wang, Y.Y., Yuan, Z.Y., Jiang, K., Hou, M. & Chen, H.M. (2017) A novel multilocus phylogenetic estimation reveals unrecognized diversity in Asian horned toads, genus Megophrys sensu lato (Anura: Megophryidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 106, 28–43.

    Cocroft, R.B. & Ryan, M.J. (1995) Patterns of advertisement call evolution in toads and chorus frogs. Animal Behaviour, 49 (2), 283–303.

    Delorme, M., Dubois, A., Grosjean, S. & Ohler, A. (2006) Une nouvelle ergotaxinomie des Megophryidae (Amphibia, Anoures). Alytes, 24 (1–4), 6–21.

    Duellman, W.E. (1970) The Hylid Frogs of Middle America. Monograph of the Museum of Natural History, University of Kansas, 1, 1–427.

    Fei, L., Ye, C.Y. & Huang, Y.Z. (1983) Two new subspecies of Megophrys omeimontis Liu from China (Amphibia; Pelobatidae). Acta Herpetologica Sinica, 2 (2) 49–52.

    Fei, L., Ye, C.Y. & Huang, Y.Z. (1990) Keys to Chinese Amphibians. Chongqing Branch, Publishing House of Science and Technology Materials, Chongqing. [unknown pagination]

    Fei, L., Ye, C.Y. & Jiang, J.P. (2012) Colored Atlas of Chinese Amphibians and their Distributions. Sichuan Publishing House of Science & Technology, Chengdu, 620 pp.

    Frost, D.R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R.H., Haas, A., Haddad, C.F., De Sá, R.O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S.C. & Raxworthy, C.J. (2006) The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of natural History, 1–291.[0001:TATOL]2.0.CO;2

    Gee, N.G. & Boring, A.M. (1929 [“1930”]) A check list of Chinese Amphibia with notes on geographical distribution. Peking Society of Natural History Bulletin, 4 (2), 15–51.

    Gosner, K.L. (1960) A simplified table for staging anuran embryos and larvae with notes on identification. Herpetologica, 16 (3), 183–190.

    Hijmans, R.J., Cameron, S.E., Parra, J.L., Jones, P.G. & Jarvis A. (2005) Very high resolution interpolated climate surfaces for global land areas. International Journal of Climatology, 25 (15), 1965–1978.

    Hu, S., Zhao, E. & Liu, C.C. (1973) A survey of amphibians and reptiles in Kweichow province, including a herpetofaunal analysis. Acta Zoologica Sinica 19, 149–181.

    Huang, Y.Z. & Fei, L. (1981) Two new amphibians from Tibet. Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 6, 211–215.

    Huiqing, G., Baorong, G., van Dijk, P.P. & Ohler, A. (2004) Megophrys kuatunensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T57641A11668487.

    Inger, R.F. & Romer, J.D. (1961) A new Pelobatid frog of the genus Megophrys from Hong Kong. Chicago Natural History Museum, 39 (46), 533–538.

    IUCN (2012) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1. 2nd Edition. IUCN, Gland & Cambridge, iv + 32 pp.

    Jiang, J.P., Xie, F., Fei, L., Ye, C. & Zheng, M. (2001) Mating calls of six forms of pelobatid in Wawu Mountain national forest park, Sichuan, China (Anura: Pelobatidae). Zoological research/" Dong wu xue yan jiu" bian ji wei yuan hui bian ji, 23 (1), 89–94.

    Kuhl, H. & Van Hasselt, J.C. (1822) Uittreksels uit breieven van de Heeren Kuhl en van Hasselt, aan de Heeren C. J. Temminck, Th. van Swinderen en W. de Haan. Algemeene Konst-en Letter-Bode, 7, 99–104.

    Le, D.T., Pham, A.V., Nguyen, S.H.L., Ziegler, T. & Nguyen, T.Q. (2006) First Records of Megophrys daweimontis Rao and Yang, 1997 and Amolops vitreus (Bain, Stuart and Orlov, 2006) (Anura: Megophryidae, Ranidae) from Vietnam. Asian Herpetological Research, 6 (1), 66–72.

    Li, C. & Wang, Y.Z. (2008) Taxonomic review of Megophrys and Xenophrys, and a proposal for Chinese species (Megophryidae, Anura). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 33 (1), 104–106.

    Li, Y.L., Jin, M.J., Zhao, J., Liu, Z.Y., Wang, Y.Y. & Pang, H. (2014) Description of two new species of the genus Megophrys (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from Heishiding Nature Reserve, Fengkai, Guangdong, China, based on molecular and morphological data. Zootaxa, 3795 (4), 449–471.

    Liu, C.C. (1950) Amphibians of western China. Vol. 2. Chicago Natural History Museum, Chicago, 400 pp.

    Hu, S., Zhao, E. & Liu, C.C. (1973) A survey of amphibians and reptiles in Kweichow province, including a herpetofaunal analysis. Acta Zoologica Sinica, 19 (2), 149–178.

    Mahony, S. (2011) Two new species of Megophrys Kuhl & van Hasselt (Amphibia: Megophryidae), from western Thailand and southern Cambodia. Zootaxa, 2734, 23–39.

    Mahony, S., Sengupta, S., Kamei, R.G. & Biju, S.D. (2011) A new low altitude species of Megophrys Kuhl and van Hasselt (Amphibia: Megophryidae), from Assam, Northeast India. Zootaxa, 3059, 36–46.

    Mahony, S., Teeling, E.C. & Biju, S.D. (2013) Three new species of horned frogs, Megophrys (Amphibia: Megophryidae), from northeast India, with a resolution to the identity of Megophrys boettgeri populations reported from the region. Zootaxa, 3722 (2), 143–169.

    Mahony, S., Foley, N., Biju, S.D. & Teeling, E. (2017) Evolutionary History of the Asian Horned Frogs (Megophryinae): Integrative Approaches to Timetree Dating in the Absence of a Fossil Record. Molecular Biology, 34 (3), 744–771.

    Marx, H. (1976) Supplementary catalogue of type specimens of reptiles and amphibians in Field Museum of Natural History. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. [unknown pagination]

    Matsui, M., Ohler, A., Eto, K. & Tao, N.T. (2017) Distinction of Gracixalus carinensis from Vietnam and Myanmar, with description of a new species. Alytes, 33 (1–4), 25–37.

    Neang, T., Chhin, S., Meang, M. & Hun, S. (2013) Confirmation of three species of megophryid frogs (Amphibia Megophryidae) from the Cardamom Mountains of Southwest Cambodia, with the rediscovery of a long lost species. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, 2013 (2), 66–72.

    Nguyen, V.S., Ho, T.C. & Nguyen, Q.T. (2009) Herpetofauna of Vietnam, Edition Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 768 pp.

    Nguyen, T.Q., Phung, T.M., Le, M.D., Ziegler, T. & Böhme, W. (2013) First record of the genus Oreolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from Vietnam with description of a new species. Copeia, 2013 (2), 213–222.

    Oberhummer, E., Barten, C., Schweizer, M., Das, I., Haas, A. & Hertwig, S.T. (2014) Description of the tadpoles of three rare species of megophryid frogs (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from Gunung Mulu, Sarawak, Malaysia. Zootaxa, 3835 (1), 59–79.

    Ohler, A., Marquis, O., Swan, S. & Grosjean, S.T. (2000) Amphibian biodiversity of Hoang Lien Nature Reserve (Lao Cai Province, northern Vietnam) with description of two new species. Herpetozoa, 13 (1/2), 71–87.

    Ohler, A., Swan, S.R. & Daltry, J.C. (2002) A recent survey of the amphibian fauna of the Cardamom Mountains, southwest Cambodia with descriptions of three new species. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 50 (2), 465–481.

    Ohler, A. (2003) Revision of the genus Ophryophryne Boulenger, 1903 (Megophryidae) with description of two new species. Alytes, 1–2 (21), 23–44.

    Ohler, A., Wollenberg, K.C., Grosjean, S., Hendrix, R., Vences, M., Ziegler, T. & Dubois, A. (2011) Sorting out Lalos: description of new species and additional taxonomic data on megophryid frogs from northern Indochina (genus Leptolalax, Megophryidae, Anura). Zootaxa, 3147, 1–83.

    Orlov, N.L., Khalikov, R.G., Murphy, R.W. & Lathrop, A. (2000) Atlas of Megophryids (Megophryidae: Anura: Amphibia) of Vietnam. [CD-ROM]

    Orlov, N.L., Murphy, R.W., Ananjeva, N.B., Ryabov, S.A. & Ho, C.T. (2002) Herpetofauna of Vietnam, a checklist. Part 1. Amphibia. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 9 (2), 81–104.

    Orlov, N.L., Lathrop, A., Murphy, R.W. & Ho, T.C. (2013) Frogs of the family Rhacophoridae (Anura: Amphibia) in the northern Hoang Lien Mountains (Mount Fan Si Pan, Sa Pa District, Lao Cai Province), Vietnam. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 8 (1), 17–44.

    Orlov, N.L., Poyarkov Jr., N.A. & Nguyen, T.T. (2015) Taxonomic Notes on Megophrys Frogs (Megophryidae: Anura) of Vietnam, with Description of a New Species. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 22 (3), 206–18.

    Palumbi, S. (1991) Simple fool's guide to PCR. Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI, 45 pp.

    Pope, C.H. (1929) Four new frogs from Fukien, China. American Museum Novitates, 352, 1–5.

    Pope, C.H. (1931) Notes on amphibians from Fukien, Hainan, and other parts of China. Bulletin of the AMNH, 61 (Article 8), 1–215.

    Poyarkov Jr., N.A., Orlov, N.L., Moiseeva, A.V., Pawangkhanant, P., Ruangsuwan, T., Vassilieva, A.B., Galoyan, E.A., Nguyen, T.T. & Gogoleva, S.S. (2015) Sorting out moss frogs: mtDNA data on taxonomic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of the Indochinese species of the genus Theloderma (Anura, Rhacophoridae). Russian Journal of Herpetology, 22 (4), 241–280.

    Poyarkov Jr., N.A., Duong, T.V., Orlov, N.A., Gogoleva, S.S., Vassilieva, A.B., Nguyen, L.T., Nguyen, V.D.H., Nguyen, S.G., Che, G. & Mahony, S. (2017) Molecular, morphological and acoustic assessment of the genus Ophryophryne (Anura, Megophryidae) from Langbian Plateau, southern Vietnam, with description of a new species. Zookeys, 62, 49–120.

    Rao, D.Q. & Yang, D.T. (1997) The karyotypes of Megophryinae (Pelobatidae) with a discussion on their classification and phylogenetic relationships. Asiatic Herpetological Research, 7, 93–102.

    Rowley, J.J.L., Dau, V.Q. & Nguyen, T.T. (2013) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from the highest mountain in Indochina. Zootaxa, 3737 (4), 415–428.

    Schneider, C.A, Rasband, W.S. & Eliceiri, K.W. (2012) NIH Image to ImageJ: 25 years of image analysis, Nature Methods, 9 (7), 671–675.

    Smith, M.A. (1921) New or Little‐known Reptiles and Batrachians from Southern Annam (Indo‐China). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 91, 423–440.

    Stejneger, L. (1926) Two new tailless amphibians from western China. Proceedings of the biological Society of Washington, 39, 53–54.

    Stuart, B.L., Chuaynkern, Y., Chan-ard, T. & Inger, R.F. (2006a) Three new species of frogs and a new tadpole from eastern Thailand. Fieldiana Zoology, 111, 1–19.[1:TNSOFA]2.0.CO;2

    Stuart, B.L., Sok, K. & Neang, T. (2006b) A collection of amphibians and reptiles from hilly eastern Cambodia. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 54 (1), 129–155.

    Vassilieva, A.B., Galoyan, E.A., Poyarkov, N.A. Jr. & P. Geissler. (2016) A Photographic Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Lowland Monsoon Forests of Southern Vietnam. Chimaira, Frankfurt am Main, 324 pp.

    Veith, M., Fromhage, L., Kosuch, J. & Vences, M. (2006) Historical biogeography of Western Palaearctic pelobatid and pelodytid frogs: a molecular phylogenetic perspective. Contributions to Zoology, 75 (3–4), 109–120.

    Wang, Y.Y., Zhang, T.D., Zhao, J., Sung, Y.H., Yang, J.H., Pang, H. & Zhang, Z. (2012) Description of a new species of the genus Xenophrys Günther, 1864 (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from Mount Jinggang, China, based on molecular and morphological data. Zootaxa, 3546 (1), 53–67.

    Wang, Y., Zhao, J., Yang, J., Zhou, Z., Chen, G. & Liu, Y. (2014) Morphology, molecular genetics, and bioacoustics support two new sympatric Xenophrys toads (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) in Southeast China. PLOS ONE, 9 (4), e93075.

    Xiong, R., Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K. & Jiang, J. (2015) Advertisement Calls of Two Horned Frogs, Megophrys kuatunensis and M. huangshanensis, from China (Anura, Megophryidae). Current Herpetology, 34 (1), 51–59.

    Ye, C. & Fei, L. (1995) Taxonomic studies on the small type Megophrys in China including descriptions of the new species (subspecies)(Pelobatidae: genus Megophrys). Acta Herpetol. Sinica, 4–5, 72–81.

    Zheng, Y.C., Mo, B.H., Liu, Z.J. & Zeng, X.M. (2004) Phylogenetic relationships of Megophryid Genera (Anura: Megophryidae) based on partial sequences of mitochondrial 16 S rRNA gene. Zoological Research, 25 (3), 205–213.

    Ziegler, T. (2002) Die Amphibien und Reptilien eines Tieflandfeuchtwald-Schutzgebietes in Vietnam. Natur & Tier Verlag, Münster, 342 pp.