Frogs and lizards from the Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea. Bulletin of the AMNH ; v. 165, article 5

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New York : American Museum of Natural History
"The Huon Peninsula forms the eastern end of the Finisterre-Saruwaged mountainous region, nearly 300 km. long, which rises to 4000 m. above the sea and nearly that far above adjacent lowlands. Thirty-eight species of frogs and 52 of lizards are recorded from the peninsula, many of them for the first time. Endemism is slight: none of the lizards and only three of the frog species appear to be endemic. Most of the lizards (92%) and frogs (54% of non-endemic species) are lowland forms, although many of these range into uplands as well. Populations of four species of lizards and 16 of frogs evidently are disjunct from conspecific populations elsewhere, almost all of which are in mountains to the southwest of the Peninsula, across the Ramu-Markham River Valley. The disjunct species are ones with lower elevational limits at about 1000-1400 m., some lower. Frog species restricted to high mountain forests or grasslands elsewhere in New Guinea are absent from the Peninsula. Geological evidence indicates that the mountain mass of which the Huon Peninsula is part has undergone 3000 m. of uplift since the late Pliocene, and that for part of its existence the area was insular. In the Pleistocene, glaciers existed on the highest peaks, montane grassland expanded and cooler temperatures prevailed. It is hypothesized that these altered climatic conditions permitted immigration of such upland species as are present and now, with changed climate, exist in disjunct populations. Climate did not charge sufficiently to permit immigration of high montane species. Lowland species--especially skinks--would have become established shortly after the land mass first appeared above the sea, and the more balanced lowland fauna would have been achieved when the Ramu-Markham area became dry land. The scarcity of endemic forms suggests that the Finisterre-Saruwaged region has not been isolated long enough or continuously enough to permit speciation of isolated populations. The frog and lizard faunas provide no evidence of a former land connection between New Britain and the Huon Peninsula, and the scarcity of lowland New Guinea frog species in New Britain argues against any such connection. One new species of microhylid frog--Cophixalus pipilans--is described, and distributional, ecological, and systematic notes are given for many of the species"--P. 390.
p. 390-434 : ill., maps ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 430-434).