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A new species of Xenopus (Anura: Pipidae) from the highlands of Ethiopia

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image of Amphibia-Reptilia

A new species of African clawed toad is described from the Bale Mountains region in southern Ethiopia. A series of small field samples indicate a maximum body length for females of about 50 mm. The new species is a 3-clawed Xenopus, distinguished by a rounded snout with relatively small eyes, a dark brown dorsal colouration lacking large spots or patches (which are common elsewhere in the genus), the absence of both a subocular tentacle and a metatarsal tubercle, and a small number of lateral line plaques (18 or 19 transverse plaques between eye and vent). The new species occurs in a region noted for the high proportion of endemic taxa in its fauna and flora; it occurs sympatrically with the single previously-known Ethiopian Xenofius, X. clivii, at around 2600 m asl., but is easily distinguished from this 4-clawed species. The new species has a chromosome number of 2n = 36; a series of biochemical and genetic studie indicate that it is most closely related to X. laevis and X. gilli and that it is relatively distant from the three species which are its nearest geographical neighbours, X. clivii, X. borealis and X. muelleri.

Affiliations: 1: School of Biological Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1UG, UK

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/content/journals/10.1163/156853895x00451
1995-01-01
2016-12-09

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