Overview

Comprehensive Description

Summary

Phrynobatrachus bequaerti is a small species (SVL > 25 mm) of puddle frog from montane regions of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, western Rwanda and north-western Burundi. Members of this genus are identified by the presence of a midtarsal tubercle, elongate inner metatarsal tubercle, and outer metatarsal tubercle. Phrynobatrachus bequaerti is characterized by a distinct tympanum, moderate pedal webbing, and tips of the fingers are toes that are slightly expanded.

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Etymology

This species was named for Dr. Joseph Charles Bequaert, who was an Entomolgist, Malacologist, and Botanist working as the Curator of Insects at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University at the time of the publication of this species description.

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Distribution

Range Description

This very poorly known species occurs in the mountains of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, from the region of Mount Ruwenzori, south to west of Lake Kivu, and in western Rwanda, and north-western Burundi. It is very likely to occur in Uganda, but there appear to be no confirmed records. It occurs at very high altitudes, from at least 2,400m asl (perhaps lower) to over 3,000m asl.
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This species occurs in the mountains of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo from Mount Ruwenzori south to the western side of Lake Kivu, western Rwanda and north-western Burundi. It is very likely to occur in Uganda, but there appear to be no confirmed records (Pickersgill and Drewes, 2004).

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Physical Description

Morphology

Habit is moderate. Tongue is as broad as long or slightly longer than broad with a median conical papilla. Snout is rounded, projecting slightly beyond the mouth, and shorter than the diameter of the orbit. The nostril is equidistant from the orbit and snout top. The interorbital space is considerably broader than the upper eyelid. The tympanum is very distinct. Fingers are moderate with the digit I shorter than II, which is slightly shorter than III. Digit III is approximately twice the length of the first. Manual webbing is absent. Toes are moderate, approximately one-third webbed, except for toe IV which exhibits a narrow fringe, leaving 2 phalanges free of web. Zimkus (unpublished) examined speciments with 3-3.5 digits free of webbing on toe IV. Tips of the fingers are toes are slightly expanded. Subarticular tubercles are well developed. Small inner and outer metatarsal tubercles, as well as a tarsal tubercle, are present. The tarsal tubercle is as far from the inner metatarsal tubercles as the inner is from the outer. A slight skin fold is present from the tarsal tubercle to the inner metatarsal tubercle. The tibio-tarsal articulation reaches the nostril, eye, or somewhere in between when the hind limb is bent. Boulenger (1929) reports that the dorsal and ventral skin is smooth, but Grandison and Howell (1983) note that the dorsum male paratype in the British Museum exhibits minute spiny tubercles. De Witte (1941) also reports that prominent tubercles exist in a female, although they are less developed.

Dorsum is uniform brown with or without a vertebral stripe from snout to vent. Dorsum of limbs may be barred. Venter is white, mottled, and vermiculated with dusky brown on the throat and chest. The throat may exhibit some large spots or minute speckling as to appear dusky. The belly and thighs are immaculate. The edges of the lower jaw, as well as the soles of the hands and feet, are grey (Boulenger, 1929).

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Size

The holotype measured 22 mm, and paratypes ranged from 12 to 25 mm with the largest in the series being females (Boulenger, 1929). Zimkus (unpublished) measured specimens from 17.1-22.2 mm in snout-vent length (N=7).

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Diagnostic Description

Phrynobatrachus bequaerti is a small species (SVL > 25 mm) characterized by a distinct tympanum, moderate pedal webbing, and tips of the fingers are toes that are slightly expanded.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is a species of swamps and marshes in both montane forest and montane grassland. It presumably breeds in swamps.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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Habitat and Ecology

It is a species of swamps and marshes in both montane forest and montane grassland. It occurs at very high altitudes, from at least 2,400m asl (perhaps lower) to over 3,000m asl. (Pickersgill and Drewes, 2004).

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Population Biology

There is little recent information on the population status of this species, but it is apparently not uncommon in suitable habitat (Pickersgill and Drewes, 2004).

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Life History and Behavior

Reproduction

It presumably breeds in swamps. Large ovules (1.3 mm. in the holotype) were found in adult females (Barbour and Loveridge, 1929).

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Genetics

Phylogenetics

Sequence data is not currently available for this species.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
B1ab(iii)

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2004

Assessor/s
Martin Pickersgill, Robert Drewes

Reviewer/s
Global Amphibian Assessment Coordinating Team (Simon Stuart, Janice Chanson and Neil Cox)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Vulnerable because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and the quality and extent of its forest habitat in the Albertine Rift is declining.
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IUCN Red List Category and Justification of Conservation Status

The IUCN Red List (2009) categorizes this species as Vulnerable because its Extent of Occurrence is less than 20,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and the quality and extent of its forest habitat in the Albertine Rift is declining (Pickersgill and Drewes, 2004).

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Population

Population
There is little recent information on the population status of this species, but it is apparently not uncommon in suitable habitat.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Populations of this species are presumably decreasing (Pickersgill and Drewes, 2004).

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Threats

Major Threats
It is probably affected by the mass movement and settlement of refugees, and the resultant increased demands for firewood and building materials.
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It is probably affected by the mass movement and settlement of refugees, and the resultant increased demands for firewood and building materials (Pickersgill and Drewes, 2004).

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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It occurs in the Virunga National Park (Democratic Republic of Congo) and the Volcanoes National Park (Rwanda). However, the quality of habitat in these protected areas has declined due to the influx and settlement of refugees as a result of regional political instability.
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Conservation Actions and Management

It occurs in the Virunga National Park within Democratic Republic of Congo and the Volcanoes National Park within Rwanda. However, the quality of habitat in these protected areas has declined due to the influx and settlement of refugees as a result of regional political instability (Pickersgill and Drewes, 2004).

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Wikipedia

Phrynobatrachus bequaerti

Phrynobatrachus bequaerti is a species of frog in the Petropedetidae family. It is found in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and possibly Uganda. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, shrub-dominated wetlands, swamps, and freshwater marshes. It is threatened by habitat loss.

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