IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

Comprehensive Description

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Platymantis spelaeus is a small frog, though relatively large for the genus Platymantis. Adult females measure 52.8-60.5 mm in SVL, with males reaching 41.5-46.9 mm (Brown and Alcala 1982). The snout is broadly rounded, with the upper jaw protruding (Brown and Alcala 1982). The canthus rostralis is rounded and the lores are concave and moderately oblique (Brown and Alcala 1982). The tympanum is relatively large (Brown and Alcala 1982). Fingers are slender and lack webbing, whereas the toes have slight webbing at the base (Brown and Alcala 1982). The first finger is slightly longer than the second when adpressed (Brown and Alcala 1982). Finger discs are only slightly dilated and are about the same diameter as the toe discs; both sets of discs have a circummarginal groove but lack a transverse ventral groove (Brown and Alcala 1982). Fingers have distinct rounded subarticular tubercles and a prominent palmar tubercle at the base, plus three large metacarpal tubercles (Brown and Alcala 1982). Toes have prominent subarticular tubercles which are somewhat pointed; there is an elongate outer metatarsal tubercle and a rounded inner one, and solar tubercles are absent (Brown and Alcala 1982). Hind limbs are relatively long (Brown and Alcala 1982). The skin is shagreened, with small dorsal dermal tubercles, and lacks dorsal ridges (Brown and Alcala 1982). The rictal tubercle cluster is small and frequently consists of a single tubercle (Siler et al. 2007).

In life the dorsal coloration is olive-green to brown, with darker mottling. The thighs have dark bars on the upper surfaces and have orange or lavender inner surfaces. The ventrum is creamy and sometimes has brown flecking (Brown and Alcala 1982).

This species is a member of the Platymantis dorsalis group, which is characterized by small, blunt digital discs, narrow subtending part of the digits, strongly protruding subarticular tubercles which are usually pointed, and non-T-shaped terminal phalanges (Alcala and Brown 1998).

The related species Platymantis insulatus has also been reported to be cave-dwelling (Brown and Alcala 1970).


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