Litoria aplini sp. nov., a new species of treefrog (Pelodryadidae) from Papua New Guinea
We describe a new species in the Australopapuan pelodryadid frog genus Litoria from upper hill forest (940 m a.s.l.) on the northern slopes of Papua New Guinea’s central cordillera. The new species is moderately small (male body length = 31.9–35.1 mm) and slender (head width/body length = 0.29–0.30), with extensive golden-yellow markings ventrally. It is most similar to Litoria iris, L. majikthise, L. ollauro, and L. verae but differs from them by a suite of morphological and colour features. The advertisement call is a series of short buzzes and clicks reminiscent of calls produced by both L. iris and L. ollauro. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial ND4 nucleotide sequences shows that the new species is closest to L. iris and L. majikthise but shows a net sequence divergence of 14–15% from both of these taxa. The new species is unusual in being found calling from forest on limestone substrate where free-standing water is rarely encountered.
Richards, Stephen J., and Stephen C. Donnellan. 2020. Litoria aplini sp. nov., a new species of treefrog (Pelodryadidae) from Papua New Guinea. In Papers in Honour of Ken Aplin, ed. Julien Louys, Sue O’Connor, and Kristofer M. Helgen. Records of the Australian Museum 72(5): 325–337.