Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Barbourula busuangensis is a large, heavy-bodied, highly aquatic frog found in the fast-moving waters of mountain streams on the Philippine islands of Busuanga and Palawan. Adaptations to this life-style include a dorsoventrally flattened body shape, dorsally placed nostrils and eyes, robust and muscular hind limbs and forelimbs, and webbed digits on the forelimbs as well as the hind limbs. The body is covered with numerous very fine warts that increase in size laterally from the midline. This species is dark in color, from dark green to black, with faint lighter green blotches and crossbars on the hind limbs. There is no external tympanum.
Taylor and Noble (1924) described the Philippine Flat-headed frog, B. busuangensis, as a new genus and species from a single preserved specimen. The authors noted the similarity of this species to some of the most basal lineages of anurans, and especially members of the genus Bombina. Currently, Barbourula is grouped with Bombina in the Bombinatoridae (Ford and Cannatella 1993). Iskandar (1978) described a second species of the genus, Barbourula kalimantanensis, from neighboring Borneo.