Stumpffia be Köhler, Vences, D’Cruze& Glaw, 2010
This species is known only from the eastern side of the Ankarana Special Reserve limestone karst, in northern Madagascar.
Morphology & Colouration:
Stumpffia be is a large species of the typically small stump-toed frogs (genus Stumpffia), reaching a maximum recorded length of 25.2 mm (Malagasy ‘be’ = large). The eyes are large, and the tympanum is distinct, and 2/3rds the width of the eye.
This species possesses distinctly expanded discs at the ends of its well-developed fingers and toes.
The hindlimbs are bright orange-red on their inner and outer surfaces, and there is a distinct orange colour to the axillary region (arm pit).
The dorsal colour is beige with brown markings, strongly contrasting the brown of the loreal region. The throat is whitish with fine dark speckling. The underside of the torso is bluish. The iris is greenish gold.
No males of this species are known, so sexually dimorphic characters are unknown. Juveniles appear to have a series of bright blue spots arranged regularly around the posterior half of their body.
Very little is known of the habits of these frogs. They are known to live near streams in the limestone karst formations, and also potentially in caves in the region. Their call is unknown. A single female was found to have traces of black ants in her gut.
Stumpffia be is not currently listed in the IUCN Red List. However, a conservation status of Vulnerable was proposed for it by Köhler et al. 2010, due to its apparently very small range, and the potential therefore for rapid population decline due to anthropogenic activity.
This species belongs to a group or rather large Stumpffia species from the extreme north of Madagascar, and a subgroup of these containing S. hara, S. be, S. megsoni, and S. staffordi. Among these, it differs from all by its bright orange leg colouration, and also from S. hara and S. megsoni by its more expanded finger tips, and from S. staffordi also by contrasting dorsal and lateral head colouration.
Photos are of the holotype; the second photo is taken from Köhler et al. 2010.
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Köhler, J., M. Vences, N. D’Cruze & F. Glaw (2010) ‘Giant dwarfs: discovery of a radiation of large-bodied ‘stump-toed frogs’ from karstic cave environments of northern Madagascar' Journal of Zoology 282:21-38