Tomopterna gallmanni, Wasonga, Domnick V. & Channing, Alan, 2013

Wasonga, Domnick V. & Channing, Alan, 2013, Identification of sand frogs (Anura: Pyxicephalidae: Tomopterna) from Kenya with the description of two new species, Zootaxa 3734 (2), pp. 221-240 : 229-232

publication ID 10.11646/zootaxa.3734.2.7

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Tomopterna gallmanni

sp. nov.

Tomopterna gallmanni View in CoL sp. nov. Wasonga & Channing

Gallmann’s Sand Frog ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 )

Holotype. NMK A/5039/1, an adult male from an artificial water pond, Dam Ya Colin, in Ol Ari Nyiro, Laikipia Nature Conservancy, Laikipia County, Kenya (0° 34’ N; 36° 24’ E) collected 3 August 2009 by Domnick V. Wasonga and Michael Roberts.

Paratypes. NMK A/5039/2, an adult male and NMK A/5039/3 an adult female collected together with the holotype; NMK A/5154/1, adult female and NMK A/5154/ 2 adult male collected from a pond at Mogwooni Ranch, Laikipia County, Kenya (0° 14.5’ N; 36° 58.6’ E) on 10 and 11 May, 2010 by Michael Roberts; NMK A/5045 adult male collected from wooded grassland near Ngare Ndare Forest, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Lakipia County, Kenya (0° 09’10” N; 37° 26’16” E); NMK A/5151/1-3, three sub-adults dug from the soil on the banks of a seasonal stream in Baawa village near Maralal, Isiolo County, Kenya (0° 02’ 45” N; 36° 48’ 55” E) collected 5 June, 2010 by Domnick V. Wasonga, Michael Roberts and Victoria Zero; NMK A/5159, subadult from the roadside, between Baragoi and South Horr, Samburu County, Kenya (01° 20.76’ N; 36° 53.1’ E) collected 20 June, 2010 by Michael Roberts.

Material used for genetic analysis. NMK A/5154/1, NMK A/5045 (one male from Mogwooni Ranch), NMK A/5039/2 (one male from Laikipia Nature Conservancy), NMK A/5151/1 (one sub-adult from Baawa Village, Maralal) and NMK A/5159 (sub-adult from Baragoi-South Horr Road).

Diagnosis. Based on both morphological similarities and phylogenetic affinities that place T. gallmanni sp. nov. within the clade that includes all other Tomopterna , we assign the new taxon to the genus Tomopterna . Appendices 3 and 4 give a summary of morphological features as well as interspecific comparisons. This species can be distinguished from other Tomopterna spp. by a combination of morphological and advertisement characters.

It has divided subarticular tubercles, which are found also in T. krugerensis and T. wambensis . The nostrils are midway between the eye and snout tip, a condition only shared with T. cryptotis . The advertisement calls of T. krugerensis , T. wambensis and T. cryptotis are quite different. The body is stout, morphologically similar to T. cryptotis . It is about the same size as T. monticola (SVL 41.2, n=1) with standard size ranging from 40.0–45.0 (n=6); but mainly differs from T. monticola which has a deeply notched tongue, finely serrated upper jaw, smaller head width, tympanum partially hidden (although this may be due to prolonged preservation of this material), shorter snout length, smaller tympanum diameter, nostril slightly closer to snout tip than eye and smaller inner metatarsal tubercle. The advertisement call consists of a series of notes, each consisting of one or two pulses, which resemble a rapid knocking, different from the slow repetitive “knock” of T. krugerensis . The typical note rate of two individuals is 5.5– 6.5 s -1 ( Fig. 5 View FIGURE 5 ). The individual note rates in a chorus vary from 2.7– 3.3 s -1. This differs from T. tandyi , T. delalandii and T. cryptotis where the repetition rates are as high as 7–9 s -1. Each note is brief, about 0.012 s long, with two harmonics (others being slightly longer e.g. T. tandyi and T. cryptotis 0.039– 0.048 s). The mean frequency of the harmonics is 980 Hz and 1960 Hz with a fainter third harmonic at 2940 Hz. The second harmonic is emphasized (differing from T. krugerensis with multiple and higher frequency harmonics 1900–3100 Hz; T. tandyi 2500 –2700 Hz; T. delalandii 1800 –2200 Hz; T. cryptotis 3100–3800 Hz). Subarticular tubercles single and prominent. Webbing on feet is scanty; up to 2 ½ phalanges free of web on the forth digit. Glandular ridge below the tympanum asymmetric; continuous on the left side and interrupted on the right side (vs. T. wambensis sp. nov. where it is interrupted on both sides). Outer metatarsal tubercle absent; a weak whitish bump present instead. Dorsal pattern consists of irregular grey patches on a lighter background ( Figs. 6 View FIGURE 6 A and D) contrasting with greenish brown patches on a lighter background in T. wambensis sp. nov.; irregular dark markings and dark spots on a lighter ground colour in T. krugerensis and also varying from the scantily marked orange-brown to grey-brown of T. marmorata . Scanty, slightly enlarged brown warts present on the dorsum spreading to dorsolateral surface, bordered with black edges (different from more denser, small reddish-brown warts present in T. wambensis sp. nov.; smooth in T. krugerensis , distinctive and prominent tubercles in T. tuberculosa ). Ventral surface smooth but coarsely granular towards the vent and inner thighs ( Figs. 6 View FIGURE 6 G and H).

Description of Holotype. Body is stout and toad like; head comparatively small (HL/SVL 0.28, HW/SVL 0.40), narrow compared to trunk, not longer than wide (HL/HW 0.70); snout short (SL/HL 0.55), rounded in dorsal view, blunt in profile ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 A), slightly projecting beyond moderately cusped lower jaw, narrower than long (SL/ INS 1.56); canthus rostralis is moderately angled; loreal region almost straight; nostrils situated on slight projections of the canthus, approximately midway between the snout tip and the eye (ENL/SNL 1.06); eyes directed anterolaterally, protrusion less distinct, relatively small (ED/HL 0.47); snout longer than eye diameter (ED/SL 0.86); interorbital distance is shorter than upper eyelid (IOS/ED 1.25), and longer than internarial distance (INS/ED 0.75); tympanum distinct externally, vertically oval, discontinuous glandular ridge present below, smaller than eye diameter (TD/ED 0.70); upper jaw without dentition; choanae large, round, located anteriorly on the roof of the mouth and easily visible, vomerine teeth in two oblique rows between the choanae; tongue short and strongly notched behind, divided in fairly equal parts (6.0 at widest part); median lingual processes present; vocal sac single, darkly pigmented; gular flap absent, with three distinct longitudinal folds clearly visible ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 G).

Dorsal surfaces of head, trunk and limbs generally smooth; ventral surface of limbs, gular and abdomen smooth, but turning coarsely granular in the ventral area and thighs.

Fore limbs fairly thick; hand moderately large (HND/SUL 0.21); tips of fingers not enlarged into discs; relative length of fingers: IV<II<I<III; subarticular tubercles single and distinct, with one on fingers I and IV, two on finger II and three on finger III; fingers without webbing; thenar tubercle distinct; palmar tubercles absent; metacarpals without supernumerary tubercles; nuptial pad present on manual digit I.

Hind limbs stout, more than half body length (LEG/SVL 0.83); tibio-tarsal articulation not reaching to level of tip of snout when legs are adpressed to body; tibiofibula short (TL/SVL 0.40), slightly shorter than thigh (TL/FL 0.91); heels not reaching each other when knees are flexed and thighs are held laterally at right angle to body; foot longer than tibiofibula (FOT/TL 1.09); relative length of toes: I<II<V<III<IV; toes without expanded discs; subarticular tubercles: one on toe I and II, two on toe III and V and three on toe IV; pedal webbing formula I 1– 1 II 1.5–1.5 III 1.5+–1.5 IV 1.5+– 2 V; inner metatarsal tubercle prominent and shovel-shaped; outer absent.

Colouration in life. The dorsal pattern consists of irregular grey patches on a lighter background. Scanty, brown warts present on the dorsum spreading to dorsolateral surface, bordered with black edges; darker bar present between the eyes, anteriorly bordered by a white patch extending to the snout; dorsal stripe absent, ventrum creamy white, turning pinkish on the ventral surface and palms, soles of feet black; extended dark patch on the throat; hands and thighs show two and three transverse dark markings respectively. Colouration in preservative. Reddish dorsal wart and creamy colours on the ventral surface are lost; the other patterns are visible.

Paratype variation. The paratypes are similar to the holotype in measurements (Table 4). Female type specimen (SVL 55.9) is larger than males (SVL 40.0–45.0, mean 43.8, n=6). Thin, continuous white dorsal line from the snout to the vent in the female specimen, dorsolateral white steaks originating just behind the tympanum running towards the thigh but not reaching it; in other male specimens dorsal white line present but interrupted near the head. Female throat almost clear, with only scant dark speckles ( Fig. 6 View FIGURE 6 H). See measurements (in mm) of the type series of Tomopterna gallmanni in Table 3.

Eggs and tadpoles. Unknown.

Habitat. T. gallmanni specimens were found in habitats similar to those of T. wambensis . Large breeding congregations were observed in Laikipia Nature Conservancy. Solitary males were captured crossing the road during day time following a heavy downpour (at Lewa and near Baragoi). Calling males took solitary positions, in some cases in shallow edges of a water body. The following species were found sympatrically with T. gallmanni : Ptychadena anchietae and Ptychadena mascareniensis .

Distribution. The collecting records of Tomopterna gallmanni are mostly situated on the Laikipia Plateau of Kenya, with two northern populations at Maralal and Baragoi areas. Current data suggest a limited range, but with some populations known within privately protected property. The elevation of collecting localities ranged from 1314 m (Baragoi-South Horr Road) to 1952 m (Lewa Wildlife Conservancy).

Etymology. The species is named for the Gallmann Memorial Foundation for contributing funding for this research.

Remarks. Based on its wide distribution, and abundance at breeding sites, we propose a Least Concern status according to the current IUCN Redlist criteria.













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