A new species of Arenophryne (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from the central coast of Western Australia
Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

UC Merced

UC Merced Previously Published Works bannerUC Merced

A new species of Arenophryne (Anura: Myobatrachidae) from the central coast of Western Australia

  • Author(s): Doughty, P;
  • Edwards, DL
  • et al.

The sandhill frog, Arenophyrne rotunda, belongs to a monotypic genus that occurs on the central coast of Western Australia. It has a highly modified body shape with a small head and large front limbs. Members of this species burrows forwards through sand substrates. Here we describe a new species of Arenophyrne from the Geraldton sandplain that occurs to the south of the populations of the type species A. rotunda at Shark Bay. Relative to A. rotunda, the new taxon has a more pointed snout, smaller face and eyes, larger hands, rougher dorsal surface and darker colouration that matches the background colour of the sands on which it occurs. Molecular evidence indicates divergence of the two taxa in the late Miocene to early Pliocene, approximately 5ñ6 mya. The western coast of Australia has a complex biogeographic history owing to geological activity and changes in sea level interacting with extensive sandy areas. Speciation within Arenophyrne on the coastal dunes of Western Australia indicates that levels of diversity in subterranean groups there may be underestimated owing to conservative fusiform morphology of burrowing animals.

Many UC-authored scholarly publications are freely available on this site because of the UC's open access policies. Let us know how this access is important for you.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View