Sylvirana malayana Sheriden & Stuart, 2018

Mulcahy, Daniel G., Lee, Justin L., Miller, Aryeh H., Chand, Mia, Thura, Myint Kyaw & Zug, George R., 2018, Filling the BINs of life: Report of an amphibian and reptile survey of the Tanintharyi (Tenasserim) Region of Myanmar, with DNA barcode data, ZooKeys 757, pp. 85-152: 85

publication ID

publication LSID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Sylvirana malayana Sheriden & Stuart, 2018


Sylvirana malayana Sheriden & Stuart, 2018   Black-sided Forest Frog Fig. 3H


Immature female, 39.9 mm SVL.

Natural history notes.

Specimen was found adjacent to the forest stream.

General Distribution.

Once thought to be widespread, Nepal, northern peninsular and Northeast India to southwest China and Southeast Asia. However, several recent studies based on molecular data suggest "S. nigrovittata" represents a multiple-species complex, with this species ( S. malayana   ) being recently described from the Thai-Malay Peninsula our our specimen extends the range into central Tanintharyi, ostensibly overlapping with S. nigrovittata   sensu strico (see below).

Molecular Data.

One specimen was collected in 2014, it was placed in its own COIBIN and in a 16S clade with other individuals identified as S. nigrovittata   in GenBank from Phang-Nga, Thailand (KR827826, Grosjean et al. 2015b), and other un-published sequences that lack specimen information (KF738999-9002, EU604197). Our specimen was placed sister to the COI barcode for the same individual for which 16S date were available ( Grosjean et al. 2015b). A very recent paper (Sheriden and Stuart 2018), published during revision of this manuscript, describes four new species in this complex. Our specimen falls (not shown) within one of their newly described peninsular-Malaysian species ( S. malayana   ), extending it into Tanintharyi. Dubois (1992) designated a lectotype of Limnodytes nigrovittatus   Blyth 1856 and restricted the type locality to "Mergui and the valley of the Tenasserim River." Mergui is present day Myeik, adjacent to the mouth of the Tanintharyi River. We find it peculiar that our specimen, from a tributary of the Tanintharyi River, represents this newly described species and not S. nigrovittata   as it was collected in between their S. nigrovittata   genetic samples (from western Thailand) and the type locality (Myeik). Nevertheless, two clades appear to extend across the Isthmus of Kra on the eastern ( S. nigrovittata   ) and western ( S. malayana   ) sides. The type of S. nigrovittata   is a female specimen for which distinguishing characteristics are lacking. Until sequence data can be obtained from the type specimen, or additional material can be collected from the Myeik area proper, we remain skeptical that the newly described S. malayana   may represent S. nigrovittata   sensu stricto and populations sampled by Sheriden and Stuart (2018) to the north, and east may represent a new species.

Specimens examined.

USNM 586970.

Red List status.


Additional Sylvirana   / Hylarana.  

We sequenced several other individuals from northern Myanmar identified as Sylvirana   / Hylarana   sp. We found several clades of "S. nigrovittata" in our 16S tree. We sequenced two individuals from Mon State ( USNM 583176 and USNM 583178) and one from Mandalay ( USNM 583174) that were identified as S. menglaensis   and were placed in two COIBINs (Mon and Mandalay). The Mandalay specimen was placed in a BIN with nine other individuals, seven identified as H. menglaensis   , and two as S. nigrovittata   . The COI data placed these individuals in a clade with other S. menglaensis   for which COI data were available, with the BINs forming clades, with other clades of specimens identified as S. menglaensis   . These were all placed in a 16S clade containing other specimens identified as S. menglaensis   in GenBank (KR827810-22, Grosjean et al. 2015b). Sheriden and Stuart (2018) placed S. menglaensis   in synonymy with S. nigrovittata   . We sequenced three additional specimens from Mandalay ( USNM 583124, USNM 583126, and MBM- USNM-FS 36020). These specimens were placed in their own COIBIN and in a 16S clade, nearly identical to two individuals identified as Hylarana   sp. C MS-2010 (AB543604-5, Hasan et al. 2012a) from Bangladesh, and two sequences in GenBank (KR264116-7), from the same series as ours ( USNM 583124-5) identified as Sylvirana cf. nigrovittata   ( Oliver et al. 2015). Our sequences differ by two base-pairs from the ones in GenBank, including USNM 583124 ( Oliver et al. 2015). We sequenced this specimen twice and provide the raw trace files in BOLD. There are many other 16S sequences in GenBank identified as Sylvirana nigrovittata   elsewhere in the tree, but no other COI sequences to compare. Sheriden and Stuart (2018) described specimens of this clades as a new species S. lacrima   , and our specimens fall out within this clade (not shown).