The discovery of new vertebrate species in developed countries is still occurring at surprising rates for some taxonomic groups, especially the amphibians and reptiles. While this most often occurs in under-explored areas, it occasionally still happens in well-inhabited regions. We report such a case with the discovery and description of U. mahonyi sp. nov., a new species of frog from a highly populated region of New South Wales, Australia. We provide details of its morphology, calls, embryos and tadpoles, and phylogenetic relationships to other species of eastern Uperoleia. We also provide the results of targeted surveys to establish its distribution and provide observations of its habitat associations. As a consequence of these surveys, we comment on the likely restricted nature of the species’ distribution and habitat, and place this in the context of a preliminary assessment of its putative conservation status, which should be assessed for listing under the IUCN’s red list. We note this species, which is morphologically distinct, has gone unnoticed for many decades despite numerous ecological surveys for local development applications.
Anstis, M. (2013) Tadpoles and Frogs of Australia. Sydney: New Holland Publishers.
Bouckaert, R., Heled, J., Kühnert, D., Vaughan, T., Wu, C.-H., Xie, D., Suchard, M.A., Rambaut, A & Drummond, A.J. (2014) BEAST 2: A software platform for Bayesian evolutionary analysis. PLoS Comput Biol, 10, e1003537.
Byrne, M., Steane, D.A., Joseph, L., Yeates, D.K., Jordan, G.J., Crayn, D., Aplin, A., Cantrill, D.J., Cook, L.G., Crisp, M.D., Keogh, J.S., Melville, J., Moritz, C., Porch, N., Sniderman, J.M., K., Sunnucks, P. & Weston, P.H. (2011) Decline of a biome: evolution, contraction, fragmentation, extinction and invasion of the Australian mesic zone biota. Journal of Biogeography, 38, 1635---–1656.
Catullo, R.A., Doughty, P. & Keogh, J.S. (2014a) A new frog species (Myobatrachidae: Uperoleia) from the Northern Deserts region of Australia, with a redescription of U. trachyderma. Zootaxa, 3753 (3), 251–-262.
Catullo, R.A., Doughty, P., Roberts, J.D. & Keogh, J.S. (2011) Multi-locus phylogeny and taxonomic revision of Uperoleia toadlets (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from the western arid zone of Australia, with a description of a new species. Zootaxa, 2902, 1-–43.
Catullo, R.A. & Keogh, J.S. (2014) Aridification drove repeated episodes of diversification between Australian biomes: Evidence from a multi-locus phylogeny of Australian toadlets (Uperoleia: Myobatrachidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 79, 106–-117.
Catullo, R.A., Lanfear, R., Doughty, P. & Keogh, J.S. (2014b) The biogeographical boundaries of northern Australia: evidence from ecological niche models and a multi-locus phylogeny of Uperoleia toadlets (Anura: Myobatrachidae). Journal of Biogeography, 41, 659-–672.
Chapple, D.G., Hoskin, C.J., Chapple, S.N. & Thompson, M.B. (2011) Phylogeographic divergence in the widespread delicate skink (Lampropholis delicata) corresponds to dry habitat barriers in eastern Australia. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 11, 191.
Clemann, N. (2015) Action Statement No. 265, Martin’s Toadlet (Uperoleia martini), Department of Environment, Land, Water, and Planning, Victoria, Australia. Available from: http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/321818/Martins-Toadlet-Uperoleia-martini.pdf (Accessed 2 Nov. 2016)
Cogger, H.G. (2014) Reptiles and Amphibians of Australia (6th Ed.). Reed New Holland, Sydney.
Davies, M. & Littlejohn, M.J. (1986) Frogs of the genus Uperoleia Gray (Anura: Leptodactylidae) in south-eastern Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 110, 111–-143.
Davies, M. & McDonald, K.R. (1985) A redefinition of Uperoleia rugosa (Andersson) (Anura: Leptodactylidae). Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 109, 37–-42.
Davies, M., Mahony, M. & Roberts, J.D. (1985) A new species of Uperoleia (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from the Pilbara region, Western Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 109, 103-–108.
Davies, M., McDonald, K.R. & Corben, C. (1986) The genus Uperoleia Gray (Anura: Leptodactylidae) in Queensland, Australia. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, 98, 147-–188.
Department of Primary Industries (2012) Guidelines for riparian corridors on waterfront land Sydney: NSW Office of Water. Available from: http://www.water.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/547222/licensing_approvals_controlled_activit
ies_riparian_corridors.pdf (Accessed 2 Nov. 2016)
Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria, Australia (2013) Advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, 2013. Available from: http://www.depi.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/210439/Advisory-List-of-Threatened-Vertebrate-Fauna_FINAL-2013.pdf (Accessed 2 Nov. 2016)
Doughty, P., Maryan, B., Donnellan, S. & Hutchinson, M. (2007a) A new species of taipan (Elapidae: Oxyuranus) from central Australia. Zootaxa, 1422, 45–-58.
Doughty, P., Maryan, B., Melville, J. & Austin, J. (2007b) A new species of Ctenophorus (Lacertilia: Agamidae) from Lake Disappointment, Western Australia. Herpetologica, 63, 72-–86.
Doughty, P. & Oliver, P. (2013) Systematics of Diplodactylus (Squamata: Diplodactylidae) from the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot: redefinition of D. polyophthalmus and the description of two new species. Records of the Western Australia Museum, 28, 044–-065.
Doughty, P. & Roberts, J.D. (2008) A new species of Uperoleia (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from the northwest Kimberley, Western Australia. Zootaxa, 1939, 10-–18.
Gosner, K.L. (1960) A simplified table for staging anuran embryos and larvae with notes on identification. Herpetologica, 16, 183–-190.
Hoskin, C.J. & Couper, P.J. (2013) A spectacular new leaf-tailed gecko (Carphodactylidae: Saltuarius) from the Melville Range, north-east Australia. Zootaxa, 3717 (4), 543–-558.
Hutchinson, M., Sistrom, M., Donnellan, S. & Hutchinson, R.G. (2014) Taxonomic revision of the Australian arid zone lizards Gehyra variegata and G. montium (Squamata, Gekkonidae) with description of three new species. Zootaxa, 3814 (2), 221–-241.
IUCN (2001) IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria: Version 3.1 (2nd Ed.). Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/technical-documents/categories-and-criteria/2001-categories-criteria (Accessed 2 Nov. 2016)
Katoh, K., Misawa, K., Kuma, K. & Miyata, T. (2002) MAFFT: a novel method for rapid multiple sequence alignment based on fast Fourier transform. Nucleic Acids Research, 30, 3059–3066.
Lanfear, R., Calcott, B., Ho, S.Y.W. & Guindon, S. (2012) PartitionFinder: combined selection of partitioning schemes and substitution models for phylogenetic analyses. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 29, 1695–-1701.
Meyer, E., Hero, J.-M., Shoo, L. & Lewis, B. (2006) National recovery plan for the wallum sedgefrog and other wallum-dependent frog species. Report to Department of the Environment and Water Resources, Canberra. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Minh, B.Q., Nguyen, M.A.T. & Haeseler, A.v. (2013) Ultrafast Approximation for Phylogenetic Bootstrap. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 30, 1188-–1195.
Nylander, J.A.A., Wilgenbusch, J.C., Warren, D.L. & Swofford, D.L. (2008) AWTY (are we there yet?): a system for graphical exploration of MCMC convergence in Bayesian phylogenetics. Bioinformatics, 24, 581-–583.
Oliver, P., Couper, P.J. & Pepper, M. (2014a) Independent Transitions between Monsoonal and Arid Biomes Revealed by Systematic Revison of a Complex of Australian Geckos (Diplodactylus; Diplodactylidae). PLoS ONE, 9, e111895.
Oliver, P., Laver, R.J., Melville, J. & Doughty, P. (2014b) A new species of Velvet Gecko (Oedura: Diplodactylidae) from the limestone ranges of the southern Kimberley, Western Australia. Zootaxa, 3873 (1), 49–-61.
Oliver, P. & Parkin, T. (2014) A new phasmid gecko (Squamata: Diplodactylidae: Strophurus) from the Arnhem Plateau: more new diversity in rare vertebrates from northern Australia. Zootaxa, 3878 (1), 37–-48.
Pepper, M., Barquero, M.D., Whiting, M.J. & Keogh, J.S. (2014) A multi-locus molecular phylogeny for Australia’s iconic Jacky Dragon (Agamidae: Amphibolurus muricatus): Phylogeographic structure along the Great Dividing Range of south-eastern Australia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 71, 149–-156.
Pepper, M., Doughty, P., Fujita, M.K., Moritz, C. & Keogh, J.S. (2013) Speciation on the rocks: integrated systematics of the Heteronotia spelea species complex (Gekkota; Reptilia) from western and central Australia. PLoS ONE, 8 (11), e78110.
Tyler, M.J. (1962) On the preservation of anuran tadpoles. Australian Journal of Science, 25, 222
Tyler, M.J. & Davies, M. (1984) Uperoleia Gray (Anura: Leptodactylidae) in New Guinea. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 108, 123-–125.
Tyler, M.J., Davies, M. & Martin, A.A. (1981a) Australian frogs of the Leptodactylid genus Uperoleia Gray. Australian Journal of Zoology, 79, 1–-64.
Tyler, M.J., Davies, M. & Martin, A.A. (1981b) Frog fauna of the Northern Territory: new distributional records and the description of a new species. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 105, 149–-154.
Tyler, M.J., Davies, M. & Martin, A.A. (1981c) New and rediscovered species of frogs from the Derby-Broome area of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australia Museum, 9, 147–172.
Westgate, M.J., Driscoll, D.A. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2012) Limited influence of stream networks on the terrestrial movements of three wetland-dependent frog species. Biological Conservation, 153, 169–-176.
Young, J.E., Tyler, M.J. & Kent, S.A. (2005) Diminuitive new species of Uperoleia Gray (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from the vicinity of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. Journal of Herpetology, 39, 603–-609.