A new species of the Boophis rappiodes group is described from the hidden streams of Ankarafa Forest, northwest of Madagascar. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.
The new species Boophis ankarafensis is green in colour with bright red speckling across its head and back, but what truly distinguishes this species is a high genetic divergence and different call with a triple click, compared to the usual double.
All individuals were detected from the banks of two streams in Ankarafa Forest. The new species represents the only member of the B. rappiodes group endemic to Madagascar’s western coast, with the majority of other members known from the eastern rainforest belt. Despite its conspicuous call, it has not been detected from other surveys of northwest Madagascar and it is likely to be a local endemic to the peninsula.
The ranges of two other amphibian species also appear restricted to Sahamalaza, and so the area seems to support a high level of endemicity. Although occurring inside a National Park, this species is highly threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat.
Due to these threats it is proposed that this beautiful new species should be classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria.
Penny SG, Andreone F, Crottini A, Holderied MW, Rakotozafy LS, Schwitzer C, Rosa GM (2014) A new species of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) from the Sahamalaza Peninsula, northwest Madagascar, with acoustic monitoring of its nocturnal calling activity. ZooKeys 435: 111-132. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.435.7383