Newly described Chinese treefrog species: Kurixalus inexpectatus

New lab paper with collaborators describing a new Rhacophorid treefrog from Zhejiang in China! The species is named Kurixalus inexpectatus (Changxing Treefrog ; 长兴原指树蛙 ) following it’s unexpected presence in the region, a full 600 km further north than the closest related species – and across the sea!

A Kurixalus sp. nov. specimen (HM 323117) in-situ from 26 April 2018 and B dorsal and C ventral view of NJFU20180704005.

The species diverged from its closest relative during the Late Pliocene to Pleistocene, ca. 3.06 Mya (HPD 95%: 5.82-0.01), based on calibrations with a relaxed clock species tree of unlinked mtDNA 12S rRNA and nuclear DNA TYR. The status of the newly-described species is also supported by a divergence in call properties and morphometrics. 

Holotype of Kurixalus inexpectatus sp. nov. A dorsal view B ventral view C right hand, ventral view D right foot, ventral view E dorsolateral view.

For more information on the backstory – and why we were looking for a totally different treefrogs, here is a fun read!

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