Sphaerotheca maskeyi (Schleich and Anders, 1998)

Class: Amphibia > Order: Anura > Family: Dicroglossidae > Subfamily: Dicroglossinae > Genus: Sphaerotheca > Species: Sphaerotheca maskeyi

Tomopterna maskeyi Schleich and Anders, 1998, in Schleich and Kästle (eds.), Contr. Herpetol. S. Asia Nepal India, 4: 57. Holotype: ZSM 106/91-2, by original designation. Type locality: "Chitwan Jungle Lodge, Royal Chitwan National Park, Central Nepal, at an altitude of approx. 300 m". 

Sphaerotheca maskeyi — Vences, Glaw, Kosuch, Das, and Veith, 2000, Lourenço and Goodman (eds.), Diversité et Endéémisme à Madagascar: 232.

Sphaerotheca pashchima Padhye, Dahanukar, Sulakhe, Dandekar, Limaye, and Jamdade, 2017, J. Threatened Taxa, 9: 10289. Holotype:BNHS 6000, by original designation. Type locality: "India: Maharashtra: Saswad-Waghapur Road, Ambodi Village (18.350°N, 74.041°E, 747m)". Zoobank publication registration: BECF9606-CCAC-4F3E-89F2-432A59C7EF55. Synonymy by Jablonski, Masroor, and Hofmann, 2021, Diversity, 13 (216): 7, and Khatiwada, Wang, Zhao, Xie, and Jiang, 2021, Asian Herpetol. Res., 12: 16. 

English Names

Maskey's Burrowing Frog (Schleich, Anders, and Kästle, 2002, in Schleich and Kästle (eds.), Amph. Rept. Nepal: 80).

Chitwan Frog (Shrestha, 2001, Herpetol. Nepal: 89).

Western Burrowing Frog (Sphaerotheca pashchima [no longer recognized]: Padhye, Dahanukar, Sulakhe, Dandekar, Limaye, and Jamdade, 2017, J. Threatened Taxa, 9: 10289). 

Maskeyi Burrowing Frog (Dinesh, Radhakrishnan, Deepak, and Kulkarni, 2023, Fauna India Checklist, vers. 5.0 : 5).


Western parts of peninsular India from the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Karnataka, onto the Deccan Plateau in eastern Maharashtra in a variety of high to low rainfall through central Madhya Pradesh and north to the Himalayan foothills of Uttarakhand and Himanchal Pradesh, northern India; Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab Provinces, northern Pakistan; Chitaway National Park in central Nepal and Chinpore (=Chainpur) in far western Nepal, 100 to 500 m elevation. Expected in Bhutan. 

Geographic Occurrence

Natural Resident: India, Nepal, Pakistan

Likely/Controversially Present: Bhutan


 Deepak, Dinesh, Ohler, Shanker, Channakeshavamurthy, and Ashadevi, 2020, Zootaxa, 4885: 432, noted that no vouchers of this species exist from outside of Nepal, so literature suggesting otherwise should be employed with caution. Anders, 2002, in Schleich and Kästle (eds.), Amph. Rept. Nepal: 307-310, provided as Sphaerotheca maskeyi an account, figure, and map for the Nepal population. See brief account (as Tomopterna maskeyi) by Shrestha, 2001, Herpetol. Nepal: 89-90. See Shah and Tiwari, 2004, Herpetofauna Nepal: 74, for brief account. Removed from the synonymy of Sphaerotheca pluvialis by Dahanukar, Sulakhe, and Padhye, 2017, J. Threatened Taxa, 9: 10278 (who provided a detailed account) and Vences, Glaw, Kosuch, Das, and Veith, 2000, Lourenço and Goodman (eds.), Diversité et Endéémisme à Madagascar: 232, where it had been placed without discussion by Dubois, 1999, J. South Asian Nat. Hist., 4: xxx, and by Dubois, 2004, Alytes, 21: 178. Das and Dutta, 2007, Hamadryad, 31: 154–181, noted no larval descriptions in the literature. Prasad, Dinesh, Das, Swamy, Shinde, and Vishnu, 2019, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 119: 207, reported Sphaerotheca pashchima for Uttarakhand, northern India, on the basis of genetic data. Sreekumar and Dinesh, 2020, Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 120: 33–40, discussed the range in Maharashtra, India, in terms of agro-climatic zones.  Prasad, Gautam, Gupta, Murthy, Ramesh, Shinde, and Das, 2020, Zootaxa, 4851: 450–476, reported on morphology and advertisement call for a population of nomimal Sphaerotheca pashchima in the Panna Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh, central India. Dandekar, Sulakhe, and Padhye, 2020, Reptiles & Amphibians, 27: 390–396, discussed and mapped the range of Sphaerotheca pashchima, providing several major range extensions confirmed by molecular markers. Khatiwada, Wang, Zhao, Xie, and Jiang, 2021, Asian Herpetol. Res., 12: 1–35, discussed the species in Nepal. Jablonski, Masroor, and Hofmann, 2021, Diversity, 13 (216): 1–8, provided a genetically confirmed record from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, northern Pakistan, and a densely sampled 16s mtDNA Bayesian tree which resulted in the synonymy of Sphaerotheca pashchimaAkram, Rais, López-Hervas, Tarvin, Saeed, Bolnick, and Cannatella, 2021, Ecol. Evol., 11: 14175–14216, provided genetically-confirmed records from Rawalpindi District, Punjab Province, Pakistan, as well as briefly discussing the systematics of the species. Rais, Ahmed, Sajjad, Akram, Saeed, Hamid, and Abid, 2021, ZooKeys, 1062: 157–175, included this species in an identification key to the amphibian species of Pakistan as well as providing a photograph. Gosavi and Yadav, 2022, Reptiles & Amphibians, 29: 70–82, reported on vocalization. 

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