Pyxicephalus maltzanii ( Boulenger, 1882 )

Ayoro, Halamoussa Joëlle, Segniagbeto, Gabriel Hoinsoudé, Hema, Emmanuel Midibahaye, Penner, Johannes, Oueda, Adama, Dubois, Alain, Rödel, Mark-Oliver, Kabré, Gustave Boureima & Ohler, Annemarie, 2020, List of amphibian species (Vertebrata, Tetrapoda) of Burkina Faso, Zoosystema 42 (28), pp. 547-582: 573

publication ID 10.5252/zoosystema2020v42a28

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Pyxicephalus maltzanii ( Boulenger, 1882 )


Pyxicephalus maltzanii ( Boulenger, 1882)  

( Fig. 6E, F View FIG )

COLLECTION MATERIAL. — Burkina Faso   2 adults; Pabré ; 12.51000°N, – 1.57953°W; 290 m a.s.l.; 5. V.1970; M. Lamotte leg.; MNHN-RA-1989.4058, 1989.4059 GoogleMaps   2 adults; Samba ; 2.70144°N, – 2.40389°W; 290 m a.s.l.; M. Lamotte leg.; MNHN-RA-1989.4062, 1989.4063 GoogleMaps   2 adults; Garango ; 11.79985°N, – 0.55053°W; 280 m a.s.l.; 18. VI.1962; M. Lamotte leg.; MNHN-RA-1995.1901, 1995.1902 GoogleMaps   .

FIELD MATERIAL. — Burkina Faso   1 subadult ( SVL 61.9 mm); W National Park , Nangouli swampy valley; 11.89793°N, 2.00091°E; 250 m a.s.l.; 21. VI.2018; H. J. Ayoro leg., under a shrub; hand capture GoogleMaps   3 ♀ ( SVL 95.3-129.5 mm); Kabougou village ; 11.96070°N, 1.99742°E; 280 m a.s.l.; 22. VI.2018; same collector as for preceding; in a paddy field; hand capture GoogleMaps   7 juveniles ( SVL 29.1-38.1 mm); the edge of Dori pond, Toroodi; 14.00554°N, – 0.02405°W; 280 m a.s.l.; 24.VIII.2018; same collector as for preceding; under grasses near water body; hand capture GoogleMaps   1 ♀ ( SVL 112.5 mm); the edge of N’Djomga village pond; 14.07225°N, – 0.04862°W; 265 m a.s.l.; 25.VIII.2018; same collector as for preceding; near water body; hand capture GoogleMaps   .

LITERATURE REPORTS. — Burkina Faso • Gourma province, Fada N’gourma ; 12.06051°N, 0.34913°E; 300 m a.s.l. (Mohneke 2011; Mohneke et al. 2011) GoogleMaps   Ganzourgou province, Zorgho ; 12.2483°N, – 0.6278°W; 300 m a.s.l.; I-III.2008 ( Mohneke et al. 2010b; Mohneke 2011; Mohneke et al. 2011) GoogleMaps   .

DESCRIPTION. — 20 specimens studied. A plump, large and compact frog with a short and wide head ( Fig. 6E, F View FIG ). Its skin faintly warty and discontinuous ridges present on back. Measures for four females 95.3-129.5 mm SVL, thus larger than frogs from Benin ( Nago et al. 2006) (female 90 mm and males 106-110 mm). Tympanum moderately large. Limbs relatively short and strong. A large inner metatarsal tubercle present. In life, dorsal colour greyish to green. Dori subadults and juveniles with a greenish colour and a white mediodorsal line. In W National Park, subadults with a dominantly greyish colour with large dark grey spots on the back ( Fig. 6E, F View FIG ). Adult females with olive green or light grey dorsal colouration. Belly white and throat yellow.

REMARKS. — The taxonomy of West African Pyxicephalus Tschudi, 1838   needs revision ( Nago et al. 2006; Böhme & Heath 2018). The West African specimens of this genus were in the past traditionally assigned to P. edulis Peters, 1854   which type locality is in Mozambique. The oldest available nomen for West African specimens is Rana maltzanii Boulenger, 1882   , a replacement name for Maltzania bufonia Boettger, 1881   . At the time of Boulenger (1882), Pyxicephalus Tschudi, 1838   was considered a subjective synonym of the genus Rana Linnaeus, 1758   . Thus Boulenger (1882) considered Maltzania bufonia Boettger, 1881   as a secondary homonym of Rana bufonia Merrem, 1820   (valid as Elachistocleis surinamensis (Daudin, 1802))   (see Article 59.3 of the International Code of zoological Nomenclature for nomina replaced before 1961 for validity), and cannot be used as valid for the West African Pyxicephalus   . The epithet Maltzania bufonia   , as proposed by Böhme & Heath (2018), is permanently invalid and cannot be used for this taxon because the replacement name was“in use” (e. g. cited as valid by Loveridge [1950] and Channing et al. [2012] listed in various synonymies of Pyxicephalus adspersus   or Rana edulis   ; but the expression “in use” is quite imprecise). If we follow this taxonomic change, the nomen Rana maltzanii Boulenger, 1882   should be used as the valid name for Pyxicephalus maltzanii ( Boulenger, 1882)   . Rana (Pyxicephalus) reiensis Monard, 1951   from Cameroon would be available if the central African populations proove to be taxonomically distinct. Thus here, we applied the name Pyxicephalus maltzanii   to our voucher specimens, although a formal taxonomic revision including detailed morphological and molecular data is still pending.

HABITAT. — This species was captured among grasses close to Dori and N’Djomga ponds. It was also found in Kabougou village near W National Park. Pyxicephalus maltzanii   was recorded by gardeners in a banana plantation, vegetable gardens and paddy fields at Dédougou, Koti, Loumila and Koubri. Other authors indicate its presence in arid savannahs where it apparently prefers sand and clay substrates and it spends most of the year buried, appearing only to breed ( Perret 1966; Böhme 1975). It is widely distributed in West Africa but rarely recorded; the species is almost everywhere eaten by the local population ( Rödel 2000; Nago et al. 2006; Mohneke et al. 2010b; Padial et al. 2013; Böhme & Heath 2018).


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Mykotektet, National Veterinary Institute