By Benjamin Tapley, Luan Thanh Nguyen, Christopher Portway, Timothy Cutajar, Chung Thanh Nguyen, Manh Van Le, Hao Van Luong, and Jodi J. L. Rowley. Zoological Society of London, Asian Turtle Program, Indo-Myanmar Conservation, Australian Museum, Danang University of Education and Hoang Lien National Park

The megophryid frog genus Megophrys is comprised of 107 described species within seven subgenera and the genus is known to harbour cryptic species diversity. These frogs are usually associated with streams  in montane forest and their distinctive larvae have umbelliform oral discs. The few Asian horned frog tadpoles that have been described have often dubiously allocated to species by association with post metamorphic specimens at collection sites and without supportive molecular data. Our international team published detailed descriptions of the larvae of six species of Asian horned frogs Vietnam: Megophrys fansipanensis, M. gigantica, M. hoanglienensis, M. intermedia, M. jingdongensis and M. maosonensis. Tadpoles from different subgenera differ from each other via a combination of patternation in life, oral disc shape and tail morphology but as we only had few specimens from relatively few species to work with, further research is needed to verify whether or not these differences can be applied more widely to delineate subgenera. Detailed descriptions of tadpoles are important when undertaking rapid biodiversity inventories. Furthermore, a thorough understanding of both the microhabitat for both larvae and post metamorphic amphibians is essential for informing amphibian conservation strategies, such as which habitat to protect and optimal periods in which to monitor populations of a species.

Tapley, B., Nguyen, L.T., Cutajar, T., Nguyen, C.T., Portway, C., Luong, H.V. & Rowley, J.J.L. (I2020) The tadpoles of five Megophrys Horned frogs (Amphibia: Megophryidae) from the Hoang Lien Range, Vietnam. Zootaxa, 4845 (1), 35–52.

Tapley, B., Nguyen, L.T. & Le. M.V. (2020) A description of the tadpole of MegophrysBrachytarsophrysintermedia (Smith,1921), Zootaxa, 4845 (1), 26–34.

Photo © Benjamin Tapley