Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

A new species of the genus Xenophrys (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from an offshore island in Guangdong Province, southeastern China



A new species, Xenophrys insularis sp. nov., is described based on a series of specimens collected from Nan’ao Island, Shantou City, Guangdong Province, China. The new species is a separately evolving lineage that was robustly supported by the phylogenetic analysis based on the mitochondrial CO1 + 12S rRNA + 16S rRNA genes; morphologically, it can be distinguished from other known congeners by the following combination of characteristics: body size moderate, SVL 38.6–41.2 mm in adult males, 47.1 mm in a single adult female; snout obtusely rounded in dorsal view; head width slightly larger than head length; strong vomerine ridge bearing vomerine teeth; margin of tongue weakly notched behind; supratympanic fold forming a large swollen supraaxillary gland above insertion of arm; hindlimbs relatively short, heels not meeting when thighs are held at right angles to body, tibio-tarsal articulation reaches forward the posterior edge of tympanum; fingers and toes without lateral fringes, with rudiment of web at bases of toes, distinct subarticular tubercle only at the base of each finger and toe; single vocal sac in males; gravid female bears pure white oocytes. Xenophrys insularis sp. nov. is endemic to the Nan’ao Island and represents the first Xenophrys species found on and possibly endemic to a small offshore island.



Amphibia, Xenophrys insularis sp. nov., mitochondrial DNA, morphology, taxonomy, insular endemic species

Full Text:



Boulenger, G.A. (1908) A revision of the oriental pelobatid batrachians (genus Megalophrys). Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 78 (2), 407–430.

Bourret, R. (1942) Les batraciens de l'Indochine. Gouvernement Général de l'Indochine, 1942, 199–202.

Chen, J.M., Zhou, W.W., Nikolay, A., Poyarkov, Jr., Stuart, B.L., Brown, R.M., Lathrop, A., Wang, Y.Y., Yuan, Z.L., Jiang, K., Hou, M., Chen, H.M., Suwannapoom, C., Nguyen, S.N., Duong, T.V., Papenfuss, T.J., Murphy, R.W., Zhang, Y.P. & Che, J. (2017) A novel multilocus phylogenetic estimation reveals unrecognized diversity in Asia toads, genus Megophrys sensu lato (Anura: Megophryidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 106, 28–43.

Darriba, D., Taboada, G.L., Doallo, R. & Posada, D. (2012) jModelTest 2: more models, new heuristics and parallel computing. Nature methods, 9 (8), 772.

Fei, L., Ye, C.Y. & Jiang, J.P. (2012) Colored Atlas of Chinese Amphibians and Their Distributions. Sichuan Publishing House of Science & Technology, Chengdu, 619 pp.

Fei, L., Hu, S.Q., Ye, C.Y. & Huang, Y.Z. (2009) Fauna Sinica, Amphibia. Vol. 2. Anura. Science Press, Beijing, 957 pp.

Fei, L. & Ye, C.Y. (1992) Two new species of the genus Xenophrys, Pelobatidae (Amphibia: Anura) from China. Zoological Research, 13 (1), 5–12.

Felsenstein, J.R. (2004) Inferring phylogenies. Sunderland, MA, Sinauer Associates. Journal of Classification, 22, 139–142.

Frost, D.R., Grant, T., Faivovich, J., Bain, R.H., Haas, A., Haddad, C.F.B., de Sa′, R.O., Channing, A., Wilkinson, M., Donnellan, S.C., Raxworthy, C.J., Campbell, J.A., Blotto, B.L., Moler, P., Drewes, R.C., Nussbaum, R.A., Lynch, J.D., Green, D.M. & Wheeler, W.C. (2006) The amphibian tree of life. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 297, 1–291.[0001:tatol];2

Gill, F.B., Slikas, B. & Sheldon, F.H. (2005) Phylogeny of Titmice (Paridae): II. Species relationships based on sequences of the mitochondrial Cytochrome-b gene. The Auk, 122 (1), 121–143.[0121:POTPIS]2.0.CO;2

Inger, R.F. & Iskandar, D.T. (2005) A collection of amphibians from West Sumatra, with description of a new species of Xenophrys (Amphibia: Anura). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 53 (1), 133–142.

Inger, R.F., Stuebing, R.B. & Tan, F.L. (1995) New species and new records of anurans from Borneo. Raffles of Bulletion of Zoology, Singapore, 43, 115–132.

Inger, R.F. & Romer, J.D. (1961) A new pelobatid frog of the genus Xenophrys from Hong Kong. Fieldiana: Zoology, 39 (46), 533–538.

IUCN Standards and Petitions Subcommittee (2017) Guidelines for Using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. Version 13. Prepared by the Standards and Petitions Subcommittee, 108 pp. Available from: (accessed 22 August 2017)

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 Xenophrys (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from Heishiding Natural Resreve, Fengkai, Guangdong, China, based on molecular and morphological data. Zootaxa, 3795 (4), 449–471.

Li, Z.C., Xiao, Z. & Liu, S.R. (2011) Amphibians and Reptiles of Guangdong. Guangdong Science & Technology Press,LTD, Guangzhou, 266pp.

Mahony, S. (2011) Two new species of Xenophrys 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 Xenophrys 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, Xenophrys (Amphibia: Megophryidae), from northeast India, with a resolution to the identity of Xenophrys boettgeri populations reported from the region. Zootaxa, 3722 (2), 143–169.

Mahony, S., Foley, N.M., Biju, S. & Teeling, E.C. (2017) Evolutionary history of the Asian Horned Frogs (Megophryinae): integrative approaches to timetree dating in the absence of a fossil record. Molecular biology and evolution, 34, 744–771.

Mathew, R. & Sen, N. (2007) Description of two new species of Xenophrys (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from north-east India. Cobra, 1 (2), 18–28.

Mo, X.Y., Shen, Y.H., Li, H.H. & Wu, X.S. (2010) A new species of Xenophrys (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) from the northwestern Hunan Province, China. Current Zoology, 56 (4), 432−436.

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. 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, 1–83.

Orlov, N.L., Poyarkov, N.A. Jr. & Nguyen, T.T. (2015) Taxonomic notes on Xenophrys frogs (Megophryidae: Anura) of Vietnam, with description of a new species. Russian Jurnal of Herpetology, 22, 206–218.

Ray, P. (1997) Amphibia. In: Alfred, J.R.B. (Ed.), Fauna of Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve. Fauna of Conservation Areas. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, 9, 109–114.

Ronquist, F., Teslenko, M., van der Mark, P., Ayres, D.L., Darling, A., Höhna, S., Larget, B., Liu, L., Suchard, M.A. & Huesenbeck, J.P. (2012) MrBayes 3.2: Efficient Bayesian Phylogenetic Inference and Model Choice Across a Large Model Space. Systematic biology, 61 (3), 539–542.

Silvestro, D. & Michalak, I. (2012) raxmlGUI: a graphical front-end for RAxML[J]. Organisms Diversity & Evolution, 12 (4), 335–337.

Stejneger, L. (1926) Two new tailless amphibians from western China. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 39, 53–54.[1:TNSOFA]2.0.CO;2

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

Tian, Y.Z., Gu, X.M. & Sun, A.Q. (2000) A new species of Xenophrys in China (Amphibia: Pelobatidae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 25, 462−466.

Tamura, K., Stecher, G., Peterson, D., Filipski, A. & Kumar, S. (2013) MEGA6: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis Version 6.0. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30 (12), 2725–2729.

Taylor, E.H. (1962) The amphibian Fauna of Thailand. The University of Kansas Science Bulletin, 43, 284–302.

Thompson, J.D., Gibson, T.J., Plewniak, F., Jeanmougin, F. & Higgins, D.G. (1997) The CLUSTAL_X windows interface: flexible strategies for multiple sequence alignment aided by quality analysis tools. Nucleic Acids Research, 25, 4876–4882.

Yang, J.H., Hong, Y.H., Zhao, J., Zhang, C.Y. & Wang, Y.Y. (2013) Five new records of Amphibians in Jiangxi Province, China. Chinese Journal of Zoology, 48 (1), 129–133. [in Chinese with English abstract]

Wang, Y.F., Liu, B.Q., Jiang, K., Jin, W., Xu, J.N. & Wu, C.H. (2017) A new species of the horn toad of the genus Xenophrys from Zhejiang, China (Amphibia: Megophryidae). Chinese Journal of Zoology, 52 (1), 19–29. [in Chinese with English abstract]

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

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, 53–67.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand