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Eastern spadefoot toad

Eastern spadefoot toads (Leptobrachium) is a genus of the Megophryidae family in the order Anura, and are found in southern China, northeast India, Southeast Asia, and islands of the Sunda Shelf as well as the Philippines.[1] They are characterized by a stocky body with slender, short hindlimbs.[2] In identifying species, iris colour is a valuable diagnostic morphological characteristic (see Leptobrachium bompu for an example of a blue-eyed species); the iris has uniform colour in some species, whereas in other species the upper half is coloured and the lower half is dark.[3]

Leptobrachium boringii male at the height of the breeding season. Nuptial spines are clearly visible.[4] This character has been used to define subgenus Vibrissaphora.

The sister taxon of Leptobrachium is a clade that includes Scutiger and Oreolalax.[1][5]


Two subgenera, Leptobrachium and Vibrissaphora, are recognized; the latter was originally described as a genus, with Vibrissaphora boringii as the type species.[1] These subgenera (or genera) were originally separated by presence (in Vibrissaphora, hence the common name moustache or spiny toad) and absence of nuptial spines on the upper labium in males during the breeding season (in Leptobrachium). Later genetic analyses have not supported this original separation, but still indicate the presence of two distinct clades. These clades can be referred to as subgenera Leptobrachium and Vibrissaphora, but their contents differ from the earlier, purely morphological definition (Vibrissaphora contains all spiny species, but also non-spiny ones). Subgenus Vibrissaphora thus defined is distributed in southern China and Indochina, and subgenus Leptobrachium in the Malay Peninsula and the Malay Archipelago northwest of the Wallace Line.[3] No morphological character that could uniquely separate the subgenera has yet been identified.[6]


As of beginning of the year 2013, there were 32 recognized species,[1] and at least one more has been described in 2013:[6]


  1. ^ a b c d Frost, Darrel R. (2013). "Leptobrachium Tschudi, 1838". Amphibian Species of the World 5.6, an Online Reference. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 2 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Matsui, Masafumi; Jarujin Nabhitabhata, Somsak Panha (1999). "On Leptobrachium from Thailand with a description of a new species (Anura: Pelobatidae)". Japanese Journal of Herpetology 18 (1): 19–29. 
  3. ^ a b Matsui, M.; Hamidy, A.; Murphy, R. W.; Khonsue, W.; Yambun, P.; Shimada, T.; Ahmad, N.; Belabut, D. M.; Jiang, J. P. (2010). "Phylogenetic relationships of megophryid frogs of the genus Leptobrachium (Amphibia, Anura) as revealed by mtDNA gene sequences". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56 (1): 259–272. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2010.03.014. PMID 20302957.  edit
  4. ^ Hudson, C. M.; Fu, J. (2013). "Male-biased sexual size dimorphism, resource defense polygyny, and multiple paternity in the Emei moustache toad (Leptobrachium boringii)". PLoS ONE 8 (6): e67502. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0067502. PMC 3696078. PMID 23840725.  edit
  5. ^ Alexander Pyron, R.; Wiens, J. J. (2011). "A large-scale phylogeny of Amphibia including over 2800 species, and a revised classification of extant frogs, salamanders, and caecilians". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 61 (2): 543–583. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.06.012. PMID 21723399.  edit
  6. ^ a b Matsui, M. (2013). "A new Leptobrachium (Vibrissaphora) from Laos (Anura: Megophryidae)". Current Herpetology 32 (2): 182–189.  edit
  7. ^ Sondhi, S., and Orlov, A. (2011). "A blue-eyed Leptobrachium (Anura: Megophryidae) from Arunachal Pradesh, India". Zootaxa 2912: 28–36. 
  8. ^ Ohler, A., Teynié, A., and David, P. (204). "A green-eyed Leptobrachium (Anura: Megophryidae) from southern Laos". Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 52 (2): 695–700. 
  9. ^ Stuart, B. L., Rowley, J. J., Tran, Dao T. A., Le, Duong T. T., and Hoang, H. D. (2011). "The Leptobrachium (Anura: Megophryidae) of the Langbian Plateau, southern Vietnam, with description of a new species". Zootaxa 2804: 25–40. 
  10. ^ Hamidy, A., and Matsui, M (2010). "A new species of blue-eyed Leptobrachium (Anura: Megophryidae) from Sumatra, Indonesia". Zootaxa 2395: 34–44. 
  11. ^ Stuart, B. L., Phimmachak, S., Seateun, S. & Sivongxay, N. (2012). "A new Leptobrachium (Anura: Megophryidae) from the highlands of southeastern Laos". Zootaxa 2155: 29–37. 


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