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Xenopus muelleri (Peters, 1844)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Pipidae > Genus: Xenopus > Species: Xenopus muelleri

Dactylethra muelleri Peters, 1844, Monatsber. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1844: 37. Syntypes: ZMB 3556 (3 tadpoles), 3557 (3 specimens), 6164 (2 specimens) according to Bauer, Günther, and Robeck, 1996, Mitt. Zool. Mus. Berlin, 72: 270, and MZUT An 262 (received from ZMB), according to Gavetti and Andreone, 1993, Cat. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat., Torino, 10: 41. Type locality: "Mozambique"; restricted to "Tete, Zambezi River", Mozambique, by Loveridge, 1957, Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 117: 308.

Xenopus mülleriPeters, 1875, Monatsber. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. Berlin, 1875: 201; Peters, 1882, Naturwiss. Reise Mossambique, Zool. 3: 180; Noble, 1924, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 49: 157.

Xenopus muelleriBoulenger, 1882, Cat. Batr. Sal. Coll. Brit. Mus., Ed. 2: 457.

Xenopus (Xenopus) muelleriKobel, Barandun, and Thiebaud, 1998, Herpetol. J., 8: 13.

English Names

Yellow-bellied Platanna (Pienaar, 1963, Koedoe, 6: 78).

Northern Platanna (Wager, 1965, Frogs S. Afr.: 97; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 44).

Tropical Platanna (Broadley, 1973, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 10: 22; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 3; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 44).

MUller's Clawed Frog (Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 44; Lambiris, 1990 "1989", Monogr. Mus. Reg. Sci. Nat. Torino, 10: 44).

Müller's Platanna (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14).

Müller's Clawed Frog (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14; Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 241).

Müller's Clawed Toad (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14).

Sago-bellied Platanna (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14).

Sago-bellied Clawed Frog (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14).

Sago-bellied Clawed Toad (Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 14).

Muller's Clawed Frog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 110; Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 97).

Muller's Smooth Clawed Frog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 110).

Savanna Clawed Frog (Ananjeva, Borkin, Darevsky, and Orlov, 1988, Dict. Amph. Rept. Five Languages: 110).

Distribution

Found along the East African coastal belt from extreme southern Kenya through Tanzania into northwestern border areas of Rep. South Africa, Botswana and Caprivi region of Nambiia; a seemingly allopatric population from Burkina Faso eastward across Sudan-Guinea zone to northeastern Dem. Rep. Congo; isolated record in the Ennedi (northeastern Chad) (see comment). 

Comment

Chromosome number 2n = 36 (Tymowska and Kobel, 1972, Cytogenetics, 11: 271). A savanna species, like Xenopus laevis, but distinguished throughout extensive range by preference for hotter, more lowland regions (Tinsley, 1981, Monit. Zool. Ital., N.S., Suppl., 15: 135). Poynton and Broadley, 1985, Ann. Natal Mus., 26: 507-508, noted specimens that they regarded as intermediate between Xenopus muelleri and Xenopus laevis laevis, although they did not doubt the species status of the taxa. See account by Inger, 1968, Explor. Parc Natl. Garamba, Miss. H. de Saeger, 52: 18, and also brief accounts by Lambiris, 1988, Lammergeyer, 39: 43-44, Pickersgill, 2007, Frog Search: 55-56, and Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 334-335. Rödel, 2000, Herpetofauna W. Afr., 1: 42-46, provided an account and countries within its range. Channing and Howell, 2006, Amph. E. Afr.: 241-243, provided an account as did Measey, 2004, in Minter et al. (eds.), Atlas Frogs S. Afr. Lesotho and Swaziland: 266-267. Padial and De la Riva, 2004, Rev. Esp. Herpetol., 18: 96, suggested that this species will be found in southern Mauritania. Schiøtz, 1963, Vidensk. Medd. Dansk Naturhist. Foren., 125: 14-15, provided records for Nigeria. Mercurio, 2011, Amph. Malawi: 243-244, provided an account for Malawi. Channing, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 297, provided information on comparative larval morphology. Mechkarska, Ahmed, Coquet, Leprince, Jouenne, Vaudry, King, and Conlon, 2011, Peptides, 32: 1502–1508, suggested on the basis of skin peptide analysis that the western population of nominal Xenopus muelleri is an unnamed species distinct from Xenopus muelleri and closer to Xenopus borealis.  Harper, Measey, Patrick, Menegon, and Vonesh, 2010, Field Guide Amph. E. Arc Mts. Tanzania and Kenya: 254–255, provided a brief account and photograph. 

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