Amietia vertebralis (Hewitt, 1927)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Pyxicephalidae > Subfamily: Cacosterninae > Genus: Amietia > Species: Amietia vertebralis

Rana vertebralis Hewitt, 1927, Rec. Albany Mus., 3: 404. Holotype: AMG , by original designation; now PEM A1550, according to Tarrant, Cunningham, and Du Preez, 2008, Zootaxa, 1962: 37. Type locality: "from a stream near the summit of Mont-aux-Sources, at the source of the Tugela River", Lesotho. See Tarrant, Cunningham, and Du Preez, 2008, Zootaxa, 1962: 33-48, for discussion of the confusing application of this name in the literature predominantly to what is now Amietia umbraculata and the possible imprecision of the type locality.

Rana umbraculata Bush, 1952, Ann. Natal Mus., 12: 153. Holotype: TMP 22210, by original designation; reported, apparently in error, as TMP 22211 by Tarrant, Cunningham, and Du Preez, 2008, Zootaxa, 1962: 37. Type locality: "Umzimkulu River, Drakensberg Gardens, Natal (altitude 5400 ft.)", Rep. South Africa. Synonymy by Poynton, 1964, Ann. Natal Mus., 17: 109, Channing, 1979, Ann. Natal Mus., 23: 797-831, Lambiris, 1988, Lammergeyer, 39: 95, and Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 264. This synonymy not accepted by implication of Van Dijk, 1966, Ann. Natal Mus., 18: 259, and Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 49.

Rana (Amietia) umbraculataDubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 49; Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 322.

Rana (Amietia) vertebralis — Dubois, 1987 "1986", Alytes, 5: 49; Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: 322.  

Amietia vertebralis — Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 264; Tarrant, Cunningham, and Du Preez, 2008, Zootaxa, 1962: 42.

English Names

Maluti River Frog (Tarrant, Cunningham, and Du Preez, 2008, Zootaxa, 1962: 45; Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 404; Channing, 2015, Zootaxa, 3925: 278).

Aquatic River Frog (Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 134; Bates, 2004, in Minter et al. (eds.), Atlas Frogs S. Afr. Lesotho and Swaziland: 278-280 [as Rana vertebralis]).

Water Rana (Wager, 1965, Frogs S. Afr.: 142; Passmore and Carruthers, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 19: 5 [as Rana vertebralis]; Passmore and Carruthers, 1979, S. Afr. Frogs: 134 [as Rana vertebralis]).

Water Frog (Lambiris, 1988, in Branch (ed.), South Afr. Red Data Book, Amph. Rept.: 122 [as Rana vertebralis]).

Ice Frog (Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 110 [as Rana vertebralis]).

Umbraculate Frog (Rana umbraculata: Van Dijk, 1978, J. Herpetol. Assoc. Afr., 17: 15 [as Rana umbraculata]).

Umzimkulu River Leopard Frog (Rana umbraculata: Frank and Ramus, 1995, Compl. Guide Scient. Common Names Amph. Rept. World: 110 [as Rana umbraculata]).

Distribution

Highlands of Lesotho, as well as immediately adjacent areas in the Drakensberg range in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, and Eastern Cape, Rep. South Africa, 1750-3314 m elevation.

Comment

Prior to the revision of Frost, Grant, Faivovich, Bain, Haas, Haddad, de Sá, Channing, Wilkinson, Donnellan, Raxworthy, Campbell, Blotto, Moler, Drewes, Nussbaum, Lynch, Green, and Wheeler, 2006, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 297, placed (as Rana vertebralis) by Dubois, 1992, Bull. Mens. Soc. Linn. Lyon, 61: XXX, in his section Amietia, subgenus Amietia, of Rana. Discussed by Poynton, 1964, Ann. Natal Mus., 17: 109, who included Rana umbraculata in synonymy. See accounts by Channing, 1979, Ann. Natal Mus., 23: 797-831, Lambiris, 1988, Lammergeyer, 39: 95, Channing, 2001, Amph. Cent. S. Afr.: 264-265, and Bates, 2004, in Minter et al. (eds.), Atlas Frogs S. Afr. Lesotho and Swaziland: 278-280 (as Rana vertebralis), as well as that of Du Preez and Carruthers, 2009, Compl. Guide Frogs S. Afr.: 404-405. Bates, 2002, Navors. Nas. Mus. Bloemfontein, 18: 77-94, discussed geographic variation (as Rana vertebralis) and supported the synonymy of Rana umbraculata Bush, 1952. Tarrant, Cunningham, and Du Preez, 2008, Zootaxa, 1962: 33-48, noted that the type specimen of Rana vertebralis Hewitt, 1972, is actually a specimen of the species that had been commonly referred to as Stronglylopus hymenopus (the name of which was itself incorrectly applied), rendering Amietia umbraculata the appropriate name for this species. Bates and Haacke, 2003, Navors. Nas. Mus. Bloemfontein, 19: 133-134, discussed the species (as Amietia vertebralis) in Lesotho. Kruger, Weldon, and Du Preez, 2011, Afr. Zool., 46: 309-319, discussed the morphological disitinctiveness of this species and Amietia umbraculataChanning, Rödel, and Channing, 2012, Tadpoles of Africa: 324–325, provided information on comparative larval morphology.  Channing, 2015, Zootaxa, 3925: 271–280, reported on the relevant types and discussed and resolved the difficult taxonomic history of this species. See account by Channing, Dehling, Lötters, and Ernst, 2016, Zootaxa, 4155: 53–55. 

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