Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Type: Article
Published: 2020-08-21
Page range: 556–572
Abstract views: 294
PDF downloaded: 8

A new Leptobrachella (Anura: Megophryidae) from the Cardamom Mountains of Cambodia 

North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, 11 West Jones Street, Raleigh, North Carolina 27601, USA.
Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William Street, Sydney, New South Wales, 2010, Australia. Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, 2052, Australia
Amphibia Leptobrachella fuliginosa Leptobrachella melanoleuca Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary taxonomy


The species-rich, megophryid frog genus Leptobrachella Smith, 1925 is distributed throughout the uplands of mainland Southeast Asia but is conspicuously absent from the Cardamom Mountains of southwestern Cambodia, where it has been known only by a single, undetermined metamorphic specimen collected nearly two decades ago. We report two adult female specimens of Leptobrachella collected a decade later at a second locality in the Cardamom Mountains and use mitochondrial DNA, nuclear DNA, and morphology to show that it represents a distinct species. Leptobrachella neangi sp. nov., named after its collector, is most closely related in mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to L. fuliginosa (Matsui, 2006) and L. melanoleuca (Matsui, 2006) from western Thailand, but has uncorrected pairwise distances of 8.69–10.99% in a mitochondrial 16S gene fragment from its two sister species. The new species is also readily distinguished from these and other congeners by having the combination of (1) SVL 35.4–36.3 mm in two adult females, (2) distinct dorsolateral glandular line absent, (2) belly transparent, immaculate purplish gray in life, creamy white in preservative, (3) dark inguinal blotch absent, (4) tympanum with black coloration extending from line under supratympanic fold, (5) dorsal skin with small, irregular bumps and ridges, and (6) iris coppery orange around pupil, fading to gold at periphery, not distinctly bicolored. The new species is the first named Leptobrachella from the Cardamom Mountains and the third from Cambodia.



  1. Chen, J.-M., Poyarkov Jr., N.A., Suwannapoom, C., Lathrop, A., Wu, Y.-H., Zhou, W.-W., Yuan, Z.-Y., Jin, J.-Q., Chen, H.-M., Liu, H.-Q., Nguyen, T.Q., Nguyen, S.N., Duong, T.V., Eto, K., Nishikawa, K., Matsui, M., Orlov, N.L., Stuart, B.L., Brown, R.M., Rowley, J.J.L., Murphy, R.W., Wang, Y.-Y. & Che, J. (2018) Large-scale phylogenetic analyses provide insights into unrecognized diversity and historical biogeography of Asian leaf-litter frogs, genus Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 124, 162–171.

    Chen, J.-M., Xu, K., Poyarkov, N.A., Wang, K., Yuan, Z.-Y., Hou, M., Suwannapoom, C., Wang, J. & Che, J. (2020) How little is known about “the little brown frogs”: description of three new species of the genus Leptobrachella (Anura: Megophryidae) from Yunnan Province, China. Zoological Research, 41 (3), 292–313.

    Daltry, J.C. & Wüster, W. (2002) A new species of wolf snake (Serpentes: Colubridae: Lycodon) from the Cardamom Mountains, southwestern Cambodia. Herpetologica, 58 (4), 498–504.[0498:ANSOWS]2.0.CO;2

    Darriba, D., Taboada, G.L., Doallo, R. & Posada, D. (2012) jModelTest 2: more models, new heuristics and parallel computing. Nature Methods, 9, 772.

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

    Dubois, A. (1980) Notes sur la systematique et la repartition des amphibiens anoures de Chine et des regions avoisinantes IV. Classification generique et subgenerique des Pelobatidae Megophryinae. Bulletin Mensuel de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon, 49, 469–482.

    Feng, Y.-J., Blackburn, D.C., Liang, D., Hillis, D.M., Wake, D.B., Cannatella, D.C. & Zhang, P. (2017) Phylogenomics reveals rapid, simultaneous diversification of three major clades of Gondwanan frogs at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS), 114 (29), E5864–E5870.

    Frost, D.R. (2020) Amphibian Species of the World: an online reference. Version 6.1. American Museum of Natural History, New York. Available from: (accessed 20 June 2020)

    Geissler, P., Poyarkov Jr., N.A., Grismer, L., Nguyen, T.Q., An, H.T., Neang, T., Kupfer, A., Ziegler, T., Böhme, W. & Müller, H. (2014) New Ichthyophis species from Indochina (Gymnophiona, Ichthyophiidae): 1. The unstriped forms with descriptions of three new species and the redescriptions of I. acuminatus Taylor, 1960, I. youngorum Taylor, 1960 and I. laosensis Taylor, 1969. Organisms, Diversity & Evolution, 15, 143–174.

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

    Grismer, L.L., Chav, T., Neang, T., Wood Jr., P.L., Grismer, J.L., Youmans, T.M., Ponce, A., Daltry, J.C. & Kaiser, H. (2007a) The herpetofauna of the Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuary and checklist of the herpetofauna of the Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia. Hamadryad, 31 (2), 216–241.

    Grismer, L.L., Grismer, J.L., Wood Jr., P.L., Ngo, T.V., Neang, T. & Chan, K.O. (2011) Herpetology on the fringes of the Sunda Shelf: a discussion of discovery, taxonomy, and biogeography. In: Schuchmann, K.-L. (Ed.), Tropical Vertebrates in a Changing World. Bonner Zoologische Monographien, Bonn, 57, 57–97.

    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, 2008 (1), 12–28.

    Grismer, L.L., Neang, T., Chav, T. & Holden, J. (2007b) A new species of Chiromantis Peters 1854 (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Phnom Samkos in the northwestern Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia. Herpetologica, 63 (3), 392–400.[392:ANSOCP]2.0.CO;2

    Katoh, K. & Standley, D.M. (2013) MAFFT Multiple Sequence Alignment software version 7: improvements in performance and stability. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30, 772–780.

    Köhler, G. (2012) Color Catalogue for Field Biologists. Herpeton, Offenbach, 49 pp.

    Lanfear, R., Frandsen, P.B., Wright, A.M., Senfeld, T. & Calcott, B. (2017) PartitionFinder 2: new methods for selecting partitioned models of evolution for molecular and morphological phylogenetic analyses. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34, 772–773.

    Lathrop, A., Murphy, R.W., Orlov, N.L. & Ho, C.T. (1998) Two new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from northern Vietnam. Amphibia-Reptilia, 19, 253–267.

    Matsui, M. (2006) Three new species of Leptolalax from Thailand (Amphibia, Anura, Megophryidae). Zoological Science, 23, 821–830.

    Matsui, M., Nishikawa, K. & Yambun, P. (2014) A new Leptolalax from the mountains of Sabah, Borneo (Amphibia, Anura, Megophryidae). Zootaxa, 3753 (5), 440–452.

    Matsui, M., Eto, K., Nishikawa, K., Hamidy, A., Belabut, D., Ahmad, N., Panha, S., Khonsue, W. & Grismer, L.L. (2017) Mitochondrial phylogeny of Leptolalax from Malay Peninsula and Leptobrachella (Anura, Megophryidae). Current Herpetology, 36 (1), 11–21.

    Miller, M.A., Pfeiffer, W. & Schwartz, T. (2010) Creating the CIPRES Science Gateway for inference of large phylogenetic trees. Proceedings of the Gateway Computing Environments Workshop (GCE), 2010, 1–8.

    Mouhot, M.H. (1864) Travels in the Central Parts of Indo-China (Siam), Cambodia, and Laos, during the Years 1858, 1859, and 1860. Vols. I & II. John Murray, London, 303 pp. & 301 pp.

    Murdoch, M.L., Grismer, L.L., Wood Jr., P.L., Neang, T., Poyarkov, N.A., Ngo, T.V., Nazarov, R.A., Aowphol, A., Pauwels, O.S.G., Nguyen, H.N. & Grismer, J.L. (2019) Six new species of the Cyrtodactylus intermedius complex (Squamata: Gekkonidae) from the Cardamom Mountains and associated highlands of Southeast Asia. Zootaxa, 4554 (1), 1–62.

    Neang, T., Chan, S., Chhin, S., Samorn, V., Poyarkov Jr., N.A., Stephens, J., Daltry, J.C. & Stuart, B.L. (2018a) First records of three snake species from Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, 2017 (2), 142–146.

    Neang, T., Chan, S. & Poyarkov Jr., N.A. (2018b) A new species of smooth skink (Squamata: Scincidae: Scincella) from Cambodia. Zoological Research, 39 (3), 220–240.

    Neang, T., Grismer, L.L. & Daltry, J.C. (2012) A new species of kukri snake (Colubridae: Oligodon Fitzinger, 1826) from the Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Cardamom Mountains, southwest Cambodia. Zootaxa, 3388 (1), 41–55.

    Neang, T., Hartmann, T., Hun, S., Souter, N.J. & Furey, N.M. (2014) A new species of wolf snake (Colubridae: Lycodon Fitzinger, 1826) from Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, Cardamom Mountains, southwest Cambodia. Zootaxa, 3814 (1), 68–80.

    Neang, T., Henson, A. & Stuart, B.L. (2020) A new species of Cyrtodactylus (Squamata, Gekkonidae) from Cambodia’s Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary. ZooKeys, 926, 133–158.

    Neang, T. & Holden, J. (2008) A Field Guide to the Amphibians of Cambodia. Fauna & Flora International, Phnom Penh, 127 pp.

    Neang, T. & Hun, S. (2013) First record of Oligodon annamensis Leviton, 1953 (Squamata: Colubridae) from the Cardamom Mountains of southwest Cambodia. Herpetology Notes, 6, 271–273.

    Neang, T., Holden, J., Eastoe, T., Seng, R., Ith, S. & Grismer, L.L. (2011) A new species of Dibamus (Squamata: Dibamidae) from Phnom Samkos Wildlife Sanctuary, southwestern Cardamom Mountains, Cambodia. Zootaxa, 2828 (1), 58–68.

    Niyomwan, P., Srisom, P. & Pawangkhanant, P. (2019) Amphibians of Thailand. Parbpim Limited Partnership, Bangkok, 487 pp.

    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., 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), 1–83.

    Poyarkov Jr., N.A., Rowley, J.J.L., Gogoleva, S.I., Vassilieva, A.B., Galoyan, E.A. & Orlov., N.L. (2015) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from the western Langbian Plateau, southern Vietnam. Zootaxa, 3931 (2), 221–252.

    Pyron, R.A. & Wiens, J.J. (2011) A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 61, 543–583.

    Rambaut, A., Drummond, A.J., Xie, D., Baele, G. & Suchard, M.A. (2018) Posterior summarization in Bayesian phylogenetics using Tracer 1.7. Systematic Biology, 67, 901–904.

    Ronquist, F., Teslenko, M., Van der Mark, P., Ayres, D.L., Darling, A., Höhna, S., Larget, B., Liu, L., Suchard, M.A. & Huelsenbeck, J.P. (2012) MrBayes 3.2: efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space. Systematic Biology, 61, 1–4.

    Rowley, J.J.L., Dau, V.Q. & Cao, T.T. (2017) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from Vietnam. Zootaxa, 4273 (1), 61–79.

    Rowley, J.J.L., Stuart, B.L., Neang, T. & Emmett, D.A. (2010) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from northeastern Cambodia. Zootaxa, 2657 (1), 57–68.

    Rowley, J.J.L., Stuart, B.L., Neang, T., Hoang, H.D., Dau, V.Q., Nguyen, T.T. & Emmett, D.A. (2015a) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from Vietnam and Cambodia. Zootaxa, 4039 (3), 401–417.

    Rowley, J.J.L., Tran, D.T.A., Le, D.T.T., Dau, V.Q., Peloso, P.L.V., Nguyen, T.Q., Hoang, H.D., Nguyen, T.T. & Ziegler, T. (2016) Five new, microendemic Asian Leaf-litter Frogs (Leptolalax) from the southern Annamite mountains, Vietnam. Zootaxa, 4085 (1), 63–102.

    Rowley, J.J.L., Tran, D.T.A., Frankham, G.J., Dekker, A.H., Le, D.T., Nguyen, T.Q., Dau, V.Q. & Hoang, H.D. (2015b) Undiagnosed cryptic diversity in small, microendemic frogs (Leptolalax) from the Central Highlands of Vietnam. PLoS ONE, 10 (5), e0128382.

    Rowley, J.J.L., Hoang, H.D., Dau, V.Q., Le, D.T.T. & Cao, T.T. (2012) A new species of Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from central Vietnam. Zootaxa, 3321 (1), 56–68.

    Sabaj, M.H. (2019) Standard symbolic codes for institutional resource collections in herpetology and ichthyology: an online reference. Version 7.1. 21 March 2019. American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Washington, D.C., USA. Available from: (accessed 1 August 2020)

    Saint Girons, H. (1972) Les serpents du Cambodge. Mémoires du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Nouvelle Série A, Zoologie, 74, 1–170.

    Smith, M.A. (1917) Descriptions of new reptiles and batrachians from southern Annam (Indo-China). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 1921, 423–440.

    Smith, M.A. (1925) Contributions to the herpetology of Borneo. Sarawak Museum Journal, 3, 15–34.

    Smith, M.A. & Kloss, C.B. (1915) On reptiles and batrachians from the coast and islands of south-east Siam. The Journal of the Natural History Society of Siam, 1, 237–249.

    Stuart, B.L. & Emmett, D.A. (2006) A collection of amphibians and reptiles from the Cardamom Mountains, southwestern Cambodia. Fieldiana, Zoology, New Series, 109, 1–27.[1:ACOAAR]2.0.CO;2

    Swofford, D.L. (2003) PAUP*: Phylogenetic Analysis Using Parsimony *(and Other Methods). Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Massachusetts, 142 pp.

    Wang, J., Li, Y.-L., Li, Y., Chen, H.-H., Zeng, Y.-J., Shen, J.-M. & Wang, Y.-Y. (2019) Morphology, molecular genetics, and acoustics reveal two new species of the genus Leptobrachella from northwestern Guizhou Province, China (Anura, Megophryidae). ZooKeys, 848, 119–154.

    Yang, J.-H., Zeng, Z.-C. & Wang, Y.-Y. (2018) Description of two new sympatric species of the genus Leptolalax (Anura: Megophryidae) from western Yunnan of China. PeerJ, 6, e4586.