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Chapter 5. Amphibians of the Afrotropical Realm 59 Due to their permeable skin few amphibians are able to tolerate dry or salty
 

Summary: Chapter 5. Amphibians of the Afrotropical Realm 59
Due to their permeable skin few amphibians are able to tolerate dry or salty
conditions, a characteristic that has prevented most species from colonising
oceanic islands. The most diverse oceanic island amphibian fauna is found
in the Seychelles, an archipelago of about 115 granitic and coralline islands
in the Indian Ocean, some 1,600km east of mainland Africa, and northeast of
the island of Madagascar (Figure 1). Eleven native amphibian species have
been recorded from the Seychelles islands, comprising both recent colonists
and ancient endemics. Recent colonization by one species, the Mascarene
Grass Frog Ptychadena mascariensis (LC), is probably the result of human
introduction (Vences et al. 2004) in the 1800s, whilst the endemic Seychelles
Treefrog Tachycnemis seychellensis (LC) is believed to be descended from a
natural colonist from Madagascar (Vences et al. 2003). The remaining spe-
cies are all ancient endemics that have probably existed on the island since
their isolation from the Indian landmass some 65 million years ago. These
species comprise the endemic frog family Sooglossidae and seven species
of burrowing caecilians (Order Gymnophiona).
Sooglossidae are an exceptional family in several respects. Four species
arecurrentlyrecognizedintwogenera,althoughrecentmorphologicalandmo-
lecular data suggests that a further three species remain to be described and

  

Source: Andreone, Franco - Zoology Department, Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali di Torino

 

Collections: Biology and Medicine; Environmental Sciences and Ecology