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I bet Disney has not seen this frog.

This species of frog is “distinguished from other members of the genus by its possession of a bright yellow-green dorsum with conspicuous orange flower-shaped spots in females…” So says the authors of a paper published in Herpetologica this month.

Sanguirana aurantipunctata belongs to the Genus (Sanguirana) that includes the monophyletic group of exclusively Philippine species formerly assigned to the R. (H.) everetti complex – S. sanguinea, S. luzonensis, S. everetti, S. albotuberculata, S. igorota and S. tipanan.

The following distinguishes this species from the others in the genus:

(1) absence of a dark canthal stripe (vs. presence)

(2) presence of brigh-to-range, flower-shaped spots on the yellow-green-dorsum (vs. absence) (see pic)

(3) presence of white post axial dermal flanges on limbs (vs. absence)

(4) presence of a distinct green-to-purple color transition on the flanks (vs. absence); and

(5) presence of highly tuberculate, white ventral surface (vs. absence or presence only on posterior part of abdomen)

Some of the details are in the paper but according to the authors it is difficult to differentiate these frogs when they are still juveniles.

A typical female (Sanguirana aurantipunctata) frog. A. Fuiten, Herpetologica, 67 (1), 89-103

Found only in Mt. Palali (Nueva Vizcaya) and Barangay Real and Mt. Mingan (Aurora Province) on Luzon island, these frogs are seen on “mountain streams, where they perched on rocky banks, midstream boulders, or stream side vegetation in primary rainforest”.  The elevation where they saw these frogs is around 750 and 1450 m (above sea level).

The biogeography of this genus is quite interesting as this genus does not follow the intuitive biogeographic delineations of the Philippines.

This genus is all over the islands but Taxonomists say that they can not completely study the biogeography of this genus as they are having logistical difficulty observing other species in their natural environment specially those in Mindanao island.

The Philippines is one of the countries with high levels of both biodiversity and endemism specially for amphibians. 80% of more than 100 amphibians in the islands are not found anywhere.

By the way, the name came from the latin word aurantia (color orange) and punctata (spotted).

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[1] Fuiten, A., Welton, L., Diesmos, A., Barley, A., Oberheide, B., Duya, M., Rico, E., & Brown, R. (2011). A New Species of Stream Frog (Sanguirana) from the Mountains of Luzon Island, Philippines Herpetologica, 67 (1), 89-103 DOI: 10.1655/HERPETOLOGICA-D-10-00042.1

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