Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Rediscovery of the High Altitude Lazy Toad, Scutiger occidentalis Dubois, 1978, in India

S. N. Litvinchuk, D. A. Melnikov, L. J. Borkin, S. Hofmann


Scutiger occidentalis is considered extinct in India. This species has been last reported from India about 40 years ago. We describe a new, genetically confirmed record of S. occidentalis obtained in October 2017 from Himachal Pradesh (India), representing the so far southernmost locality for the species. Based on 16 previously known localities of the species, we predicted its potential distribution using a MaxEnt niche model. Of the parameters included in the model, mean diurnal range, land cover and temperature seasonality were the variables with the highest percent contribution for the species. The most suitable habitats for the species were located in Deosai Plateau in Pakistan, mountains around the Kashmir Valley, and along the Dras and Suru river valleys in Ladakh (India).


Amphibia; Anura; Megophryidae; distribution; GIS modeling; mtDNA barcoding; Himalaya; Jammu and Kashmir; Himachal Pradesh; extinct species

Full Text:



Ahmad N. (1946), «On a small collection of vertebrates from high altitudes in Kashmir State», J. Roy. Asiat. Soc. Bengal Sci., 11, 119 – 121.

Annandale N. (1917), «The occurrence of Rana pleskii, Günther, in Kashmir», Rec. Ind. Mus., 13(6), 417 – 418.

Biju S. D. (2017), Lost! Amphibians of India in Search of «Lost Species». Version 2. http://www.lostspeciesindia. org/LAI2/wanted.php

Chabanaud P. (1922), Mission Guy Babault dans les provinces centrales de l’Inde et dans la région occidentale de l’Himalaya 1914. Résultats scientifiques. Reptiles et batraciens, Paris.

Darriba D., Taboada G. L., Doallo R., and Posada D. (2012), «jModelTest 2: more models, new heuristics and parallel computing», Nat. Meth., 9(8), 772.

Dubois A. (1978). «Une espèce nouvelle de Scutiger Theobald 1868 de l’Himalaya occidental (Anura: Pelobatidae)», Senck. Biol., 59(3/4), 163 – 171.

Dubois A. (1987 «1986»), «Miscellanea taxonomica batrachologica (I)», Alytes, 5(1 – 2), 7 – 95.

Fei L., Lau M. W. N., Dutta S., Ohler A., and Shrestha T. K. (2004), «Scutiger nyingchiensis», in: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T57619A11664484. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2004.RLTS.T57619A11664484.en.

Ficetola G. F., Crottini A., Casiraghi M., and Padoa-Schioppa E. (2010), «New data on amphibians and reptiles of the Northern areas of Pakistan: distribution, genetic variability and conservation tissue», N.-W. J. Zool., 6(1), 1 – 12.

Fu J., Weadick C. J., and Bi K. (2007), «A phylogeny of the high-elevation Tibetan megophryid frogs and evidence for the multiple origins of reversed sexual size dimorphism», J. Zool., 273(3), 315 – 325.

Gosner K. L. (1960), «A simplified table for staging anuran embryos and larvae with notes on identification», Herpetologica, 16(3), 183 – 190.

Hofmann S., Stöck M., Zheng Y., Ficetola F. G., Li J.-T., Scheidt U., and Schmidt J. (2017), «Molecular phylogenies indicate a Paleo-Tibetan origin of Himalayan lazy toads (Scutiger)», Sci. Reports, 7(3308), 1 – 12.

Litvinchuk S. N., Borkin L. J., Mazepa G., Skorinov D. V., Melnikov D. A., and Rosanov J. M. (2017), «Distribution of amphibians in the Western Himalaya (India)», in: L. J. Borkin (Ed.), Russian Himalayan Research: Past, Present, Future, Evropeisky Dom, St. Petersburg, pp. 188 – 194 [in Russian].

Mehta H. S. (2005), «Amphibia», in: Director, Zoological Survey of India (Ed.), Fauna of Western Himalaya. Part 2. Himachal Pradesh, Zool. Surv. India, Kolcata, pp. 269 – 274.

Miller M. A., Pfeiffer W., and Schwartz T. (2010), «Creating the CIPRES Science Gateway for inference of large phylogenetic trees», in: Proc. of the Gateway Computing Environments Workshop (GCE), New Orleans, LA, pp. 1 – 8.

Phillips S. J., Anderson R. P., and Schapire R. E. (2006), «Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions», Ecol. Modeling, 190, 231 – 259.

Rambaut A. (2016), Figtree ver. 1.4.3. http://treebioedacuk/ software/figtree.

Ronquist F., Teslenko M., van der Mark P., Ayres D. L., Darling A., Höhna S., Larget B., Liu L., Suchard M. A., and Huelsenbeck J. P. (2012), «MrBayes 3.2: efficient Bayesian phylogenetic inference and model choice across a large model space», Syst. Biol., 61(3), 539 – 542.

Sahi D. N. and Duda P. L. (1985), «A checklist and keys to the amphibians and reptiles of Jammu and Kashmir State, India», Bull. Chicago Herpetol. Soc., 20(3 – 4), 86 – 97.

Sahi D. N., Abrol B., and Verma A. K. (1996), «Ecological notes on the herpetofauna of Ladakh region in J&K State (India)», Cobra, Madras, 26, 1 – 9.

Sharma I. and Sidhu A. K. (2016), «Faunal diversity of all vertebrates (excluding Aves) of Himachal Pradesh», Biol. Forum Int. J., 8(1), 1 – 26.

Singh H. (1982), Studies on the Systematics of the Amphibian Fauna of Himachal Pradesh with Notes on Bionomics of Some Species. Ph.D. thesis, Panjab University, Chandigarh.

Swets K. (1988), «Measuring the accuracy of diagnostic systems», Science, 240, 1285 – 1293.

Tamura K., Stecher G., Peterson D., Filipski A., and Kumar S. (2013), «MEGA6: Molecular evolutionary genetics analysis version 6.0», Mol. Biol. Evol., 30(12), 2725 – 2729.

Thompson J. D., Higgins D. G., and Gibson T. J. (1994), «CLUSTAL W: improving the sensitivity of progressive multiple sequence alignment through sequence weighting, position-specific gap penalties and weight matrix choice», Nucl. Acids Res., 11(22), 4673 – 4680.

Warren D. L., Glor R. E., and Turelli M. (2010), «ENMTools: a toolbox for comparative studies of environmental niche models», Ecography, 33(3), 607 – 611.



  • There are currently no refbacks.