Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2019-06-04
Page range: 111–126
Abstract views: 195
PDF downloaded: 6

Rediscovery of Micryletta inornata (Boulenger, 1890) from Sumatra: redescription, molecular identity, and taxonomic implications

Animal Biology Science, Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Bogor Agricultural University, Dramaga Campus, Bogor 16680, Indonesia
Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense, Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Gd. Widyasatwaloka, Jl. Raya Jakarta Bogor Km 46, Cibinong, West Java, Indonesia
Animal Biology Science, Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Bogor Agricultural University, Dramaga Campus, Bogor 16680, Indonesia
Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense, Research Center for Biology, Indonesian Institute of Sciences, Gd. Widyasatwaloka, Jl. Raya Jakarta Bogor Km 46, Cibinong, West Java, Indonesia
Graduate Program, Faculty of Biology, Universitas Gadjah Mada, Jl. Teknika Selatan, Sleman, Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Systematics Lab, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110 007, India
Systematics Lab, Department of Environmental Studies, University of Delhi, Delhi 110 007, India
Amphibian and Reptile Diversity Research Center and Department of Biology, University of Texas at Arlington, 501 S. Nedderman Drive, Arlington, TX 76010, USA
Amphibians Asia Indonesia Microhylidae mtDNA phylogeny cryptic species systematics 16S rRNA


Micryletta inornata (Boulenger 1890), the type species of the genus Micryletta, was originally described from the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Subsequently, this species has been widely reported from Sundaland (Sumatra and Malay Peninsula), Indo-China, Northeast India and South Andaman, up to southern China and Taiwan. However, since the original description there has been no further report of this species from the type locality or the island. During a herpetofaunal survey in Sumatra, several specimens that are morphologically concordant with the original description and the syntypes of M. inornata were found, and thus the species was rediscovered after 125 years. Here, we provide a redescription of the species based on the freshly collected specimens, along with a detailed morphological and molecular comparison with known congeners. Further, using molecular data from the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene, our study recovered the Sumatran M. inornata as a phylogenetically distinct lineage from all other populations previously referred to this species. This confirms that all known Micrylettainornata’ populations from regions outside Sumatra constitute several other lineages representing either new species or previously available names currently considered as synonyms, consequently requiring taxonomic validation in the future.



  1. Atmaja, V.Y., Hamidy, A., Arisuryanti, A., Matsui, M. & Smith, E.N. (2018) A new species of Microhyla (Anura: Microhylidae) from Sumatra, Indonesia. Treubia, 45, 25–46.

    Boulenger, G.A. (1890) List of reptiles, batrachians, and freshwater fishes collected by Professor Moesch and Mr. Iversein in the district of Deli, Sumatra. Proceeding of the Zoological Society of London, 1890, 30–39.

    Boulenger, G.A. (1909) Description of four new frogs and a new snake discovered by Mr. H. Sauter in Formosa. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 8, 4 (24), 492–495.

    de Sá , R.O., Streicher, J.W., Sekonyela, R., Forlani, M.C., Loader, S.P., Greenbaum, E., Richards, S. & Haddad, C.F.B. (2012) Molecular phylogeny of microhylid frogs (Anura: Microhylidae) with emphasis on relationships among New World genera. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 12, 241.

    Dubois, A. (1987) Miscellanea taxinomica batrachologica (II). Alytes, 6, 1–9.

    Fouquet, A., Gilles, A., Vences, M., Marty, C., Blanc, M. & Gemmell, N.J. (2007) Underestimation of species richness in Neotropical frogs revealed by mtDNA analyses. PLoS ONE, 2 (10), e1109.

    Frost, D.R. (2016) Amphibian Species of The World: An Online Reference. Version 6.0. American Museum of Natural History, New York, Electronic Database accessible. Available from: (accessed 30 August 2015)

    Garg, S., Suyesh, R., Das, A., Jiang, J., Wijayathilaka, N., Amarasinghe, A.A.T., Alhadi, F., Vineeth, K.K., Aravind, N.A., Senevirathne, G., Meegaskumbura, M. & Biju, S.D. (2018 “2019”) Systematic revision of Microhyla (Microhylidae) frogs of South Asia: a molecular, morphological, and acoustic assessment. Vertebrate Zoology, 69 (1), 1–71.

    Garg, S. & Biju, S.D. (2019) New microhylid frog genus from Peninsular India with Southeast Asian affinity suggests multiple Cenozoic biotic exchanges between India and Eurasia. Scientific Reports, 9, 1906.

    Grosjean, S., Ohler, A., Chuaynkern, Y., Cruaud, C. & Hassanin, A. (2015) Improving biodiversity assessment of anuran amphibians using DNA barcoding of tadpoles. Case studies from Southeast Asia. Comptes Rendus Biologies, 338 (5), 351–361.

    Grismer, L.L., Neang, T., Chav, T. & Grismer, J.L. (2008) Checklist of the amphibians and reptiles of the Cardamom region of Southwestern Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, 1, 12–28.

    Hartmann, T., Ihlow, F., Edwards, S., Sothanin, S., Handschuh, M. & Bohme, W. (2013) A preliminary annotated checklist of the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in Northern Cambodia. Asian Herpetological Research, 4, 36–55.

    Huelsenbeck, J.P. & Hillis, D.M. (1993) Success of phylogenetic method in the four-taxon case. Systematic Biology, 42 (3), 247–264.

    Huelsenbeck, J.P. & Ronquist, F. (2001) MrBayes: Bayesian inference of phylogenetic trees. Bioinformatics, 17 (8), 754–755.

    Khonsue, W. & Thirakhupt, K. (2001) A checklist of the amphibians in Thailand. The Natural History Journal of Chulalongkorn University, 1 (1), 69–82.

    Kurabayashi, A., Matsui, M., Belabut, D.M., Yong, H.S., Ahmad, N., Sudin, A.,Kuramoto, S., 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, 175.

    Lalremsanga, H.T. (2018) Geographic Distribution: India. Mizoram: Micryletta inornata (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae). Herpetological Review, 48 (3), 585.

    Leaché, A.D. & Reeder, T.W. (2002) Molecular systematics of the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus): a comparison of parsimony, likelihood, and Bayesian approaches. Systematic Biology, 51 (1), 44–68.

    Matsui, M. & Busack, S.D. (1985) A reassesment of the taxonomic status of Rana gracilipes Gressitt, 1938 from Taiwan. Herpetologica, 41 (2), 159–160.

    Matsui, M., Hamidy, A., Belabut, D.M., Ahmad, N., Panha, S., Sudin, A., Khonsue, W., Hong-Shik, O., Hoi-Sen, Y., Jian-Ping, J. & Nishikawa, K. (2011) Systematic reletionship of Oriental tiny frogs of the family Microhylidae (Amphibia, Anura) as revealed by mtDNA genealogy. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 61 (1), 167–176.

    Orlov, N.L., Robert, W.M., Ananjeva, N.B., Ryabov, S.A. & Ho, T.C. (2002) Herpetofauna of Vietnam, A Checklist Part 1. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 9 (2), 81–104.

    Palumbi, S.R., Martin A., Romano S., McMillan W.O., Stice, L. & Grabowski, G. (1991) The Simple Fool's Guide to PCR. Version 2. University of Hawaii Zoology Department, Honolulu, 45 pp.

    Parker, H.W. (1934) A Monograph of a Frogs of the Family Microhylidae. The British Museum, London, 208 pp.

    Peloso, P.L.V., Frost, D.R., Richards, S.J., Rodrigues, M.T., Donnellan, S., Matsui, M., Raxworthy, C.J., Biju, S.D., Lemmon, E.M., Lemmon, A.R. & Wheeler, W.C. (2016) The impact of anchored phylogenomics and taxon sampling on phylogenetic inference in narrow-mouthed frogs (Anura, Microhylidae). Cladistics, 32 (2), 113–140.

    Poyarkov, N.A., Nguyen, T.V., Duong, T.V., Gorin, V.A. & Yang, J.H. (2018) A new limestone-dwelling species of Micryletta (Amphibia: Anura: Microhylidae) from northern Vietnam. PeerJ, 6, e5771.

    Rohland, N. & Reich, D. (2012) Cost effective, high throughput DNA sequencing libraries for multiplexed target capture. Genome Research, 22 (5), 939–946.

    Stuart, B.L. (2005) New Frog Records from Laos. Herpetological Review, 36 (4), 473–479.

    Tamura, K., Peterson, D., Peterson, N., Stecher, G., Nei, M. & Kumar, S. (2011) MEGA5: Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis using maximum likelihood, evolutionary distances, and maximum parsimony methods. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 28 (10), 2731–2739.

    Tanabe, A.S. (2007) Kakusan: a computer program to automate the selection of a nucleotide substitution model and the configuration of a mixed model on multilocus data. Molecular Ecology Resources, 7 (6), 962–964.

    Tarkhnishvili, D.N. (1994) Amphibian communities of the Southern Viet Nam: Preliminary data. Journal of Bengal Natural History Society, 13 (1), 3–62.

    Taylor, E.H. (1962) The amphibian fauna of Thailand. University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 43, 265–599.

    Tschudi, J.J. (1838) Classification der Batrachier mit Berücksichtigung der fossilen Thiere dieser Abtheilung der Reptilien. Petitpierre, Neuchâtel, 99 pp.

    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.

    van Dijk, P.P., Nabhitabhata, J., Datong, Y., Shunqing, Lu. & Dutta, S. (2004) Micryletta inornata (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, 2004, e.T57896A136566137.

    Vassilieva, A.B., Galoyan, E.A., Poyarkov, N.A. & Geissler, P. (2016) A Photographic Field Guide to the Amphibians and Reptiles of the Lowland Monsoon Forests of Southern Vietnam. Frankfurt Contributions to Natural History. Vol. 36. Chimaira, Frankfurt-am-Main, 324 pp.

    Vences, M., Thomas M., van der Meijden, A., Chiari, Y. & Vieites, D.R. (2005) Comparative performance of the 16S rRNA gene in DNA barcoding of amphibians. Frontiers in Zoology, 2 (1), 5.

    Wang, C.S., Wu, S.H. & Yu, H.T. (1989) Notes on Microhyla inornata Boulenger (Anura: Microhylidae) in Taiwan. Journal of Herpetology, 23 (4), 342–349.

    Zakaria, N., Senawi, J., Musa, F.H., Belabut, D., Onn, C.K., Nor, S.M. & Ahmad, N. (2014) Species composition of Amphibians and Reptiles in Krau Wildlife Reserve, Pahang, Peninsular Malaysia. Check List, 10 (2), 335–343.

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