Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
The genus Leptobrachium 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).
Until recently, a single species of Leptobrachium, Leptobrachium hasseltii, was recognized in the Philippines. Upon closer examination of populations in each of the three major faunal regions in the Philippines that it is recognized to occur in, Brown et al. (2009) revised the taxonomy of the species, and described three unique Philippine endemics. Leptobrachium lumadorum is recognized to occur in the Mindanao faunal region, Leptobrachium mangyanorum is recognized to occur in the Mindoro faunal region, and Leptobrachium tagbanorum is known only from the Palawan faunal region. Interestingly, no populations of Leptobrachium have ever been recorded from the Visayan (central) or Luzon (northern) faunal regions in the country. These bizaar species of frogs have incredibly long arms and move by crawling across the surface of the substrate rather than hopping.