Comprehensive Description

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Diagnosis: Bufo crocus is a moderately-sized (adult males to 59.1 mm SVL, adult females to 67.8 mm SVL), stout-bodied toad. It has a head that is wider than long, protruding snout, subterminal mouth and distinct, cornified cephalic crests (canthal, pre-orbital, and post-orbital). Parietal ridges are weakly defined and are not cornified, in contrast to the other crests. Subarticular tubercles are singular and prominent. Breeding males are bright yellow (Wogan et al. 2003).

Description: The head is wider than it is long, with a protruding snout and a distinct canthus rostralis. Nostrils are rounded and are closer to the snout tip than to the eye. Parotoid glands are prominent and oval-shaped, and are slightly less than twice as long as wide. Pupils are horizontal. Tympanum is vertically oval and small (~2.2 mm diameter) but distinct. No supratympanic fold is present. The tips of fingers and toes are keratinized. Fingers are long, with relative length III>IV>I>II, and lack both webbing and dermal fringes. Fingertips are rounded but not expanded. On fingers, subarticular tubercles are present singly and are prominent and rounded. Hindlimbs have femur and tibia of equal length. Toes are long, with toe IV being half the length of the femur; relative toe length is IV>III>V>II>I. Toes have webbing. No dermal fringe is present on toe V. On toes, the subarticular tubercles are more pronounced than the supernumerary tubercles. The plantar surface of the foot bears numerous tubercles. Inner metatarsal tubercle is round and prominent; outer metatarsal tubercle is also prominent. No tarsal fold is present. Anterior dorsum, anterior snout and region between the eyes all have dense, flat, keratinized warts. Lower lip bears a row of keratinized warts. Posterior dorsum also has flat keratinized warts but less numerous. Flanks have a scattering of flat keratinized warts. Forelimbs, tarsi, and legs also have flat keratinized warts. Venter has flattened glandular warts, with or without spicules. Males possess nuptial spines on the prepollex, first and second fingers (covering the entire dorsal side of finger I), and have proportionately larger forearms than females. Males also have vocal sacs (Wogan et al. 2003).

Coloration in life: Breeding males are bright yellow on the dorsal surfaces of the head, trunk, and limbs, and the lateral surfaces of head and body, with numerous small black keratinized warts clustered around the head and forearms. Non-breeding males are a duller shade of tan. Females are brown with mottled red markings and small black warts. The undersides of both sexes are white with pink. The male holotype has a yellow throat (Wogan et al. 2003).

Similar species: Bufo crocus can be distinguished from the similar species B. melanostictus by its breeding coloration (bright yellow in B. crocus males), smaller body size, in having weak parietal ridges and single subarticular tubercles, and lacking paired warts between the parotoid glands, as well as by calls (a series of notes without distinct pulses in B. crocus, vs. having a variable number of distinct pulses in B. melanostictus) and habitat preference (primary evergreen forest for B. crocus, vs. disturbed habitat for B. melanostictus) (Wogan et al. 2003).

First described by Wogan et al. (2003). This species has been tentatively placed in the Bufo melanostictus group, given a suite of characteristics shared with B. melanostictus, B. himalayanus, B. cyphosus, B. microtympanum, B. noellerti and B. stuarti.

Etymology: Bufo is Latin for toad; the specific name crocus is Latin for "yellow" or "saffron," a reference to the bright yellow breeding coloration of males (Wogan et al. 2003).


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