Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

The genus Megophrys is part of a large family of unique frogs (Megophryidae), consisting of roughly 140 species in 10 genera (Brachytarsophrys, Borneophrys, Leptobrachella, Leptolalax, Leptobrachium, Megophrys, Ophryophryne, Oreolalax, Scutiger, Xenophrys; Brown et al., 2009). Common names for some of the unique genera include “spadefoot toads,” “moustache toads,” “litter frogs,” and “horned frogs” (Brown et al., 2009). For more than half a century, only two megophryid genera have been recognized in the Philippines: Megophrys and Leptobrachium (Taylor, 1920; Inger, 1954; Brown and Alcala, 1970; Alcala, 1986; Alcala and Brown, 1998; Brown and Diesmos, 2002; Diesmos et al., 2004; Brown 2007; Brown et al., 2009).

Two species in the genus Megophrys are currently recognized to occur in the Philippines. Megophrys ligayae occurs in the Palawan faunal region, and Megophrys stejnegeri occurs in the Mindanao faunal region. Both species are leaf-litter mimics, with spiny body projections that mimic the outline of leaves. This body morphology, coupled with body coloration that matches the leaf-litter substrate, aides individuals in concealing their location on the forest floor. Males will often be observed calling from beneath leaves and debris.

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Distribution

Range Description

This species is known from Basilan, Biliran, Bohol, Dinagat, Leyte, Samar, and many parts of Mindanao, in the southern and eastern islands of the Philippines. It probably occurs more widely than current records suggest.
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Type Locality

Bunawan, Agusan Province, Mindanao, Philippines; type stored in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh; CM 3394

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Faunal Affinity

Mindanao Pleistocene Aggregate Island Complex (PAIC; Brown and Diesmos, 2002)

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This species has been documented to occur on the islands of Basilan, Biliran, Bohol, Dinagat, Leyte, Samar, and Mindanao islands in the Philippines.

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Physical Description

Look Alikes

Megophrys stejnegeri most closely resembles M. ligaye.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It is usually found on the forest floor in leaf-litter of montane and lowland rainforests and is dependent on mountain streams where it breeds. Tadpoles are suspension feeders and prefer quiet pools in streams.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Freshwater
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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
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
Arvin Diesmos, Angel Alcala, Rafe Brown, Leticia Afuang, Genevieve Gee, Mae Leonida Diesmos, Aldrin Mallari, Perry Ong, Marisol Pedregosa, Dondi Ubaldo, Baldwin Gutierrez

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 there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its forest habitat in the Philippines.
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Population

Population
It is generally common.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
Major threats include the loss of the lowland rainforest due to logging, and the pollution of mountain streams and rivers, due to agricultural effluents and mine-tailings.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
Some populations of this species are protected in national parks, such as Mount Malindang National Park, and other protected areas, although there is a need for improved protection on Mindanao, Leyte, Samar, and Bohol to protect the remaining forest on these islands.
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Wikipedia

Mindanao horned frog

The Mindanao horned frog or Southeast Asian horned toad (Megophrys stejnegeri) is a species of amphibian in the Megophryidae family. It is endemic to the Philippines.[2]

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, rivers, and intermittent rivers. It is threatened by habitat loss.

Habitat[edit]

The Mindanao horned frog is only found on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines. It is mostly found near a fresh water supply when it can lay its eggs or in dense underbrush, leaf litter, or other fallen object covering the ground.[1] The climate of the ecoregion is tropical wet, with temperature and rainfall modified by the elevation, which reaches up to 2,700 meters. The vegetation in this area consists of hill dipterocarp forests, lower and upper montane forest, elfin woodland (mossy forest) and summit grasslands. The area also experiences rainy seasons and frequent monsoons. June–October is the areas monsoon/rainy season, while in December–May there are "trade winds" which bring little rainfall, making it harder for the frog to find suitably wet places to breed.

Diet[edit]

The Mindanao horned frog's diet is affected by its homeland in the forests of Mindanao. It will eat most of the insects found in Mindanao, it will also consume snails, spiders, worms, and occasionally frogs that are smaller than itself.[3]

Threats[edit]

The Mindanao horned frog is currently listed as vulnerable on the endangered species scale because its distribution is rather fragmented; it covers an area of less than 20,000 km2 and is continuously shrinking due to deforestation.[1] The frog's major threat is presented by humans. The loss of the frogs habitat in the lowland forest, due to logging, is causing the frogs to compete for food, water and space. Also the pollution caused by the agricultural and mine-tailing of humans in the area is causing the mountain streams and rivers to become polluted leaving fewer places for frogs to produce and rear their young. There are many other animal species living on and around the island of Mindanao. There are over thirty-four bird species native to the area, of which more than half, such as the Mindanao Scops Owl, the Philippine Eagle-Owl, and the Blue-capped Kingfisher, prey on the Mindanao horned frog. In addition to the birds, other animals such as snakes and fish prey on the frog and its young, whilst pets, such as cats and dogs, also pose a threat.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Arvin Diesmos, Angel Alcala, Rafe Brown, Leticia Afuang, Genevieve Gee, Mae Leonida Diesmos, Aldrin Mallari, Perry Ong, Marisol Pedregosa, Dondi Ubaldo, Baldwin Gutierrez (2004). Megophrys stejnegeri. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
  2. ^ a b Frost, Darrel R. (2013). "Megophrys stejnegeri Taylor, 1920". Amphibian Species of the World 5.6, an Online Reference. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 
  3. ^ Mindanao horned frog (Megophrys stejnegeri). arkive.org
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