IUCN threat status:

Critically Endangered (CR)

Comprehensive Description

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Description

Sooglossus thomasseti is a small to medium sized frog with a snout-vent length that can reach up to 55 mm in females and 45 mm in males (Nussbaum and Wu 2007). It characteristically has a very depressed head that is wider than it is long. The snout is round and short. The space between the eyes is about the same length as the eyelid. Pupils are horizontal and the tympanum is hidden. The nostril is closer to the most anterior portion of the snout than the eye. It does not have a canthus rostralis, and the loreal region is slightly grooved and oblique. The fingers in general are short with the first finger is shorter than the second. The toes are moderate in length. Neither fingers or toes contain metatarsal tubercles or subarticular. There is no webbing on the digits, the tips of digits have small disks and the terminal phalanges are pointed. The tibio-tarsal articulation meets the eye and the tibia is roughly half the length of the snout-vent length. There is a glandular fold connecting the eye to the shoulder but over all the skin on the body is smooth. Skin is tubercular on hands (Boulenger 1909).

Sooglossus thomasseti is distinct from other Sooglossus species due to the fact it has vomerine teeth and that it does not have claw-like, dermal tips on the digits (Boulenger 1909). It is also significantly larger than the similar Sooglossus sechellensis. Recently, Nussbaum and Wu (2007) have identified fifteen unique derived characters of this species. They are: fleshy discs at the tips of toes and fingers, the muscle of the tensor fascia latae originating on the posterior 1/3 of the ilium, a crest on the posterior half of the frontoparietal, a 45 degree or greater angle between the horizontal process of squamosal and prootic, the squamosal leans posteroventrally, the prevomer dentary processes are posterior to the choana and do not contact medially, presences of prevomerine teeth, the prevomer and palatine fused, a deep hyoglossal sinus of the hyoid, bifurcated posterolateral process of the hyoid, the length of the transverse process III is shorter than IV, the procoracoid is reduced along the lateral edge, and there is a distal expansion of the omosternum.

In life, the dorsal surface of S. thomasseti ranges from reddish-brown to golden. In some individuals there is a broad, brown mid-dorsal stripe. Legs and toes are banded with black bands lines and a thin yellow or white line travels dorsally down the back and along the back of the thighs. Most of the individuals have a white line that extends from behind the eyes backwards to just above the forelimbs. There are two rows of 2 - 6 lightly colored dots running down the back. The eyes are golden with black pupils. The ventral side of the frog is lightly mottled on a brown background (Nussbaum and Wu 2007).

The middorsal strip, the thin white or yellow line down the back and across the thighs, and the white line that runs from the eyes to the forelimbs are all variations (Nussbaum and Wu 2007).

The species authority is Nesomantis thomasseti - Boulenger 1909: 293. Holotype: BM 1907.10.15.111, collected in 1905 by H. P. Thomasset (Nussbaum and Wu 2007).

Sooglossus thomasseti was named after Mr. H. P. Thomasset, who was the collector of the holotype specimen in 1905 (Nussbaum and Wu 2007).

Sooglossus thomasseti was recently placed within Sooglossus, from Nesomantis, thus making it synonymous with Nesomantis thomasseti. It is sister to Sooglosssus sechellensis. That clade is sister to Sechellophryne gardineri. The Sooglossus genus is monophyletic (Nussbaum and Wu 2007).

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