Vol. 12 No. 2 (2017)
Articles

Meristic and morphometric characters of <em>Leptopelis natalensis</em> tadpoles (Amphibia: Anura: Arthroleptidae) from Entumeni Forest reveal variation and inconsistencies with previous descriptions

James Harvey
41 Devonshire Avenue, Howick, 3290, South Africa
Theresa Otremba
Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischem Museum, Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, Erbertstrasse 1, 07743 Jena, Germany
Janina Weber
Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischem Museum, Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, Erbertstrasse 1, 07743 Jena, Germany
Hendrik Müller
Institut für Spezielle Zoologie und Evolutionsbiologie mit Phyletischem Museum, Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, Erbertstrasse 1, 07743 Jena, Germany
Published December 31, 2017
How to Cite
Schweiger, S., Harvey, J., Otremba, T., Weber, J., & Müller, H. (2017). Meristic and morphometric characters of <em>Leptopelis natalensis</em&gt; tadpoles (Amphibia: Anura: Arthroleptidae) from Entumeni Forest reveal variation and inconsistencies with previous descriptions. Acta Herpetologica, 12(2), 125-132. https://doi.org/10.13128/Acta_Herpetol-20740

Abstract

The tadpole of Leptopelis natalensis is described based on a series of 32 specimens from Entumeni Forest, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Previous descriptions are brief, lack morphometric data, or are based on specimens of imprecise origin. The tadpole resembles other Leptopelis tadpoles and is generally in agreement with existing accounts, although some differences exist. Some of these differences seem to fall within the range of natural variation. Others, such as the presence of a fifth anterior row of keratodonts, might be indicative of variation at the population level and should be considered in future taxonomic revisions. Leptopelis natalensis tadpoles seem to be most readily distinguished by their more narrowly keratinized beaks from the geographically overlapping or adjacent L. mossambicus and L. xenodactylus.

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