Identity of Sphaerotheca pluvialis (Jerdon, 1853) and other available names among the burrowing frogs (Anura: Dicroglossidae) of South Asia

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Neelesh Dahanukar
Shauri Sulakhe
Anand Padhye


Species diversity of South Asian burrowing frogs within the genus Sphaerotheca is still obscure because of lack of taxonomic review.  There are taxonomic issues within the genus Sphaerotheca with several names being synonymized to S. breviceps and names, such as S. pluvialis, being available without proper diagnosis. To resolve the taxonomic confusion, we describe and diagnose S. pluvialis by designating a neotype from Carnatic region of southern India, from where the original species was described, and make S. fodiens as its objective synonym.  We designate lectotype of S. breviceps and provide diagnosis for separating the species from its congeners. We clarify the identity of S. dobsonii and resurrect S. swani and S. maskeyi.  Based on morphology we define three groups within genus Sphaerotheca and provide key to the groups and eight valid species in the genus.  We assign genetic barcodes to S. pluvialis, S. dobsonii and S. breviceps.    

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Dahanukar, N., Sulakhe, S. and Padhye, A. 2017. Identity of Sphaerotheca pluvialis (Jerdon, 1853) and other available names among the burrowing frogs (Anura: Dicroglossidae) of South Asia. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 9, 6 (Jun. 2017), 10269–10285. DOI:
Author Biographies

Neelesh Dahanukar, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), G1 Block, Dr. Homi Bhabha Road, Pashan, Pune, Maharashtra 411008, India. Systematics, Ecology and Conservation Laboratory, Zoo Outreach Organization, No. 12 Thiruvannamalai Nagar, Saravanampatti - Kalapatti Road, Saravanampatti, Coimbatore 641 035, Tamil Nadu, India.

DST-INSPIRE Faculty Fellow

Anand Padhye, Department of Zoology, Abasaheb Garware College, Pune

Associate Professor


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