Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
The fanged frogs of Asia are a moderately species-rich group of 55 described taxa distributed across much of SE Asia (Evans et al., 2003; Inger, 1999; AmphibiaWeb, 2011: www.amphibiaweb.org). Species of the genus Limnonectes have been recorded from as far west as India and China, through the Malaysian Peninsula and the Sunda Shelf Islands of Indonesia, the Philippines, and as far east as the Indonesian islands of the Malukus, the Lesser Sundas, and Papua New Guinea (Daudin, 1802; Duellman, 1993; Frost, 1985; Inger and Tan, 1996; Iskandar, 1998; Iskandar and Tjan, 1996; Inger, 1999; Smith, 1927; Zhao and Adler, 1993). Females of most species display reverse sexual dimorphism, with males being the larger sex.
Recently, many undescribed cryptic species have been identified (Evans et al., 2003), and widely distributed polytypic species complexes are commonly discussed in taxonomic and geographic summaries (Iskandar and Colijn, 2000; Iskandar and Tjan, 1996; Inger, 1999). The few available molecular phylogenetic studies of Limnonectes suggest that numerous cryptic species may exist (Emerson, 1996; Emerson et al., 2000; Evans et al., 2003; McLeod, 2010; Setiadi et al., 2011), especially in “widespread” species (complexes) like the L. kuhli (McLeod, 2010) and L. blythi groups; however, taxonomists have been reluctant to describe these taxa on the basis of molecular sequence data alone and revisionary studies have lagged far behind molecular work (Iskandar and Tjan, 1996; R. F. Inger, D. T. Iskandar, A. C. Alcala, personal communication). Nevertheless, some of the undescribed species are likely morphologically distinct and readily diagnosable on the basis of morphological characters.
Eleven species of Limnonectes are recognized to occur in the Philippines (Limnonectes acanthi, Limnonectes diuatus, Limnonectes ferneri, Limnonectes leytensis, Limnonectes macrocephalus, Limnonectes magnus, Limnonectes micrixalus, Limnonectes palavanensis, Limnonectes parvus, Limnonectes visayanus, and Limnonectes woodworthi). Several of these species are recognized to possess widespread distributions, some spanning recognized faunal demarcations (Limnonectes acanthi, Limnonectes leytensis, Limnonectes macrocephalus, Limnonectes magnus, Limnonectes visayanus, Limnonectes woodworthi). Several of these species have been shown to consist of deeply divergent, and likely unique, lineages (Evans et al., 2003).