ZooKeys 48: 39-59, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.48.446
New genus of diminutive microhylid frogs from Papua New Guinea
Fred Kraus
Abstract A new genus of diminutive (10.1-11.3 mm) microhylid frogs is described from New Guinea that is unique in its combination ofonly seven presacral vertebrae, a reduced phalangeal formula that leaves the first fingers and first toes as vestigial nubs, and reduction of the prepollex and prehallux to single elements. Relationships to other genera are unknown, but overall similarity suggests some relationship to Cophixalus, although that genus also differs in some muscle characters and likely remains paraphyletic. The new genus contains two species, which are among the smallest known frogs in the world. Their miniaturization may be related to their inhabiting leaf litter, exploitation of which may for small size. The new genus is currently known only from one mountaintop in the southeasternmost portion of New Guinea and another on a nearby island. This region is part of the East Papuan Composite Terrane and, should this lineage prove endemic to that region, it may suggest that it originated prior to that geological unit’s docking with mainland New Guinea at 23–29 MY.