Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
The snout-vent length of the female holotype is 28.4 mm, with no male specimen having been measured yet. The head is wider than it is long, and the snout protrudes in the lateral profile and is broadly rounded in the dorsal profile. The widest point of the skull is posterior to the orbit, and at the level where the maxilla articulates with the squamosal bone. The widest point of the skull is posterior to the orbit, and at the level where the maxilla articulates with the squamosal. Further osteological details of the cranium and vertebrae can be found in Castraviejo-Fisher et al (2012). The nostril is small and does not protrude, the eyes are a moderate size, and the lips are not flared. The tympanum is relatively small, and the membrane and annulus are differentiated. Its hands have basal webbing and the relative length of digits is as follows: III>IV>II>I. Ulnar tubercles are absent, subarticular tubercles are round and conspicuous, some supernumerary tubercles are present, and the palmar tubercle is oval and simple. Its legs are relatively long and the relative length of digits on the feet is as follows: IV>V>III>II>I. The feet are about three-fourth webbed and the toes have elliptical discs. The inner metatarsal tubercle is ovoid; the outer metatarsal tubercle is small and hardly evident. Its terminal phalanges are T-shaped as they are in A. ruthveni. The subarticular tubercles are round and conspicuous while supernumerary tubercles are absent. Skin on the dorsal head and body surfaces is shagreen, with hemispherical pustules that have a central spicule (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012).
The main distinguishing feature between Allophryne resplendens, and Allophryne ruthveni, the only other known species in the family Allophrynidae, is its color pattern. The dorsolateral surface of A. resplendens is black and displays large, bright and glossy spots formed by the accumulation of iridophores, most of which also contain irregular yellow blotches forming its striking appearance. In contrast, the dorsolateral surface of A. ruthveni varies in color from cream to light brown, and the aforementioned spots are absent. The ventral surface of A. resplendens is black and opaque, and also has spots formed by the accumulation of iridophores, except on the palmar and plantar surfaces. The ventral surface of A. ruthveni is unpigmented and translucent, and the spots are absent, or if present, are limited to a few off-white spots on the throat/chest, and also on the distal part of the legs (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012).
In life, the dorsolateral surface has washed black reticulum while the ventral surface is black and opaque. The accumulation of iridophores results in large, bright, glossy spots on the dorsolateral surface, most of which contain blotchy, yellow patches. On the ventral surface, these spots are less bright, and have brown spicules rising up from them. They can vary in shape from oval to pentagonal, and are not found on the palmar and plantar surfaces. There is sexual dimorphism in color patterns, as the females have fewer spicules and more ventral spots than males. The iris is dark bronze with dark reticulations. The pupillary ring is absent, and the pupil is black. In preservative, the dorsolateral surface has large white spots due to iridophore accumulation, and the yellow irregular blotches are absent. These spots are set in a dark brown reticulum, which shows smaller and less bright oval to pentagonal-shaped iridophore accumulations with brown spicules. The ventral surface is dark brown with large, bright and glossy spots due to iridophore accumulation except in the palmar and plantar surfaces. In preservative, the iris is brown and the pupil is white (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012).
The species name resplendens comes from the Latin verb resplendo, which means to glitter, and alludes to the frog’s bright and ornate coloration (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012).
The phylogenetic relationships of A. ruthveni have been puzzling, as it was the only species identified within the family Allophrynidae until the discovery of A. resplendens. A combination of characteristics has been identified that has been proposed to be diagnostic of this family. Since only one specimen of A. resplendens has been examined, only some of these characteristics have been compared in the two species (Castroviejo-Fisher et al 2012).