Diversity, Abundance, and Distribution of Anurans in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Abdul Majid *

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

Soneela Azim

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

Kamran Nawaz

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

Siraj U Din

Department of Zoology, University of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Aims: This paper presents a comprehensive study of the Anuran fauna of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, which was conducted across nine districts.  After the collection and identification of specimens from the study area, their diversity, relative abundance (RA), and distribution (C) were evaluated to understand their distribution patterns within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Place and Duration of Study: Anurans were collected from the districts of Peshawar, Dir, Bannu, Buner, Charsadda, Chitral, Karak, Lakki Marwat, and Haripur of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from July to September 2021 and from April to June 2022.

Study Design: Visual encounter surveys were conducted during different seasons, encompassing both daytime and nighttime observations near various water bodies such as water channels, small pools, and microhabitats suitable for the anurans. Emphasis was placed on the collection of specimens from diverse habitats. The collected specimens underwent thorough morphological and morphometric analyses to accurately identify the species.

Methodology: In total, 190 specimens were collected and transported to the laboratory for identification. The collected specimens were euthanized, carefully arranged, and preserved in glass jars filled with a 10% formalin solution. Accurate species identification was achieved through the utilization of authentic literature, updated taxonomic keys, and observation and measurement of morphological and morphometric parameters.

Results: The specimens that were examined and identified belonged to two families, Bufonidae and Dicroglossidae, and five genera. Two genera were observed in the Bufonidae family, Duttaphrynus and Bufotes. The Dicroglossidae family comprised three genera: Hoplobatrachus, Euphlyctis, and Allopaa. In the current study, seven different species were identified: Duttaphrynus stomaticus, Duttaphrynus melanostictus, Bufotes surdus from the Bufonidae family, and Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis, Euphlyctis kalasgramensis, and Allopaa hazarensis from the Dicroglossidae family. Duttaphrynus stomaticus was the most abundant species found at all the study sites (C=88.8% and RA=44.2%), whereas Euphlyctis kalasgramensis and Allopaa hazarensis were sporadic (C=11.1% and RA=0.52%), and (C=11.1% and RA=2.10%), respectively. Furthermore, this research unveils the first-ever report of Euphlyctis kalasgramensis within Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, specifically in the Peshawar District, while Allopaa hazarensis was solely reported in the Dir district.

Conclusion: The study found that Duttaphrynus stomaticus exhibited a vast distribution across all nine districts surveyed.  Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, being an ecologically diverse area, holds diverse anuran fauna. Taxonomic revision of the anuran fauna using both classical and molecular approaches may yield several new taxa. This will further help in the study of biology and conservation as well as the ecological role of anurans. The current taxonomic work may require improvement.

Keywords: Anurans, khyber pakhtunkhwa, species diversity, relative abundance, taxonomic identification, morphological analysis


How to Cite

Majid , A., Azim , S., Nawaz , K., & Din , S. U. (2023). Diversity, Abundance, and Distribution of Anurans in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Asian Journal of Research in Zoology, 6(4), 51–70. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajriz/2023/v6i4122

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Ahmad KSUD. Climatic regions of West Pakistan. Pakistan association for the advancement of science, university Institute of Chemistry; 1951.

Ali W, Javid A, Hussain A, Hafeez-ur-Rehman M, Chabber AL, Hemmatzadeh F. First record of Euphlyctis kalasgramensis (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from Punjab, Pakistan. Mitochondrial DNA B Resour. 2020;5(2):1227-31.

Azim S, Nawab S, Ali N. Relative abundance, distribution, and diversity of mosquitoes in district Peshawar, Charsadda, and Swabi. AJRiZ. 2023;6(1): 7-19.

Baig KJ, Masroor R, Arshad M. Biodiversity and ecology of the herpetofauna of Cholistan Desert, Pakistan. Russ J Herpetol. 2008;15(3): 193-205.

Banks B, Beebee TJC. Factors influencing breeding site choice by the pioneering amphibian Bufo calamita. Ecography. 1987;10(1):14-21.

Bibi S, Khan MA, Rehman A. An annotated checklist of herpeto fauna of district Haripur, KPK, Pakistan. Entomol Ornithol Herpetol. 2020;9(2):1-5.

Bosch J, Martínez-Solano I. Factors influencing occupancy of breeding ponds in a montane amphibian assemblage. J Herpetol. 2003;37(2):410-3.

Thomas G, W. Boulenger, albert. London: Taylor & Francis. p. 570; 1890. London and tropical medicine. The fauna of British india, including Ceylon and Burma.

Available:https://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/180183

Bousbouras D, Ioannidis Y. The distribution and habitat preferences of the amphibians of Prespa National Park. Lake Prespa Northwest Greece Unique Balkan Wetland. 1997;127-33.

Brode JM, Bury RB. The importance of riparian systems to amphibians and reptiles¹ Bury2. Calif Riparian Syst Ecol Conserv Productive Manag. 1984;30.

Christie M, Fazey I, Cooper R, Hyde T, Deri A, Hughes L, et al. An evaluation of economic and noneconomic techniques for assessing the importance of biodiversity to people in developing countries. London: Defra; 2008.

Darlington P. Zoogeography: the geographical distribution of animals. New York: John Wilwey & Sons; 1957.

Dash MC, Hota AK. Density effects on the survival, growth rate, and metamorphosis of Rana tigrina tadpoles. Ecology. 1980;61(5):1025-8.

Dubois A, Khan MS. A new species of frog (genus Rana, subgenus Paa) from northern Pakistan (Amphibia, Anura). J Herpetol. 1979;13(4):403-10.

Dubois A. Notes sur la classification des Ranidae (Amphibiens, Anoures). Publications de la Société Linnéenne de Lyon. 1992;61(10):305-52.

Duellman WE, Trueb L. Biology of amphibians. McGraw; 1986.

Faiz AH, Hassan MU, Bagaturov MF, Tariq G, Khan FM, Faiz LZ. Status and distribution of amphibians in Tolipir National Park. Pakistan. J Bioresour Manag. 2018;5(1):8-11.

Frost DR. Amphibian species of the world: An online reference. Version 5.2. Electronic Database. New York: American Museum of Natural History; 2016.

Frost DR; 2010. Amphibian Species of the World: an online reference. Version 5.4.

Available:http://research. amnh. org/vz/herpetology/amphibia/.

Frost DR, Grant T, Faivovich J, Bain RH, Haas A, Haddad CFB, et al. The amphibian tree of life. Bull Am Museum Nat Hist. 2006;297:1-291.

Hamid HN, Rais M, Arif M, Noor R. Amphibians and reptiles of sheikh Baddin national park, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: diversity, threats, and conservation prospects. Pak J Zool. 2021;53(2):785.

Hopkins WA. Amphibians as models for studying environmental change. ILAR J. 2007;48(3):270-7.

Howlader MSA, Nair A, Gopalan SV, Merilä J. A new species of Euphlyctis (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from Barisal, Bangladesh. PLOS ONE. 2015;10(2): e0116666.

Khan MS, Malik SA. Reproductive strategies in a subtropical anuran population in arid Punjab, Pakistan. Biologia. 1987;33:279-303.

Khan MS, Mufti SA. Buccopharyngeal specializations of tadpole of Bufo stomaticus and its ecological correlates. Pak J Zool. 1994;26(4):285-92.

Khan MS. A new subspecies of common skittering frog Euphlyctis. Pak J Zool. 1997;29(2):107-12.

Khan MS. Food particle retrieval in amphibian tadpoles. Zoos Print J. 1999; 14(5):17-20.

Khan MS. Herpetology of habitat types of Pakistan. Pak J Zool. 1999b;31(3):275-89.

Khan MS. A checklist and key to the Amphibia of Pakistan. Bull Chic Herpetol Soc. 2002;37(9):158-63.

Khan MS. Morphology of the Limnonectes tadpole, with notes on its feeding ecology and on the breeding habits of Limnonectes frogs in riparian Punjab. Boll Chic Herpetol Soc Chic. 2003; 38(9):177-9.

Khan MS. Annotated checklist of amphibians and reptiles of Pakistan. Asiatic Herpetol Res. 2004;10(1):191-201.

Khan MS. Frogs of the genus Paa Dubois, 1992, of submontane regions of Pakistan. Bull Chic Herpetol Soc. 2004b;39(3):45-7.

Khan MS. Amphibians and reptiles of Pakistan. FL, Malabar: Krieger Publishing; 2006;311.

Khan MS. Checklist of amphibians of Pakistan. Pak J Wildl. 2010;1(2):37-42.

Khan MS. Amphibians of Pakistan and their conservation status. Conservation biology of amphibians of Asia. Status of conservation and decline of amphibians: eastern hemisphere. Natural History Publications. 2014;1-35.

Khan W, Hadi N, Dad I, Panhwar WA, Khan T, Shah M, et al. Euphlyctis Cyanophlyctis Schneider, 1799 (Amphibia: Dicroglossidae) in district Lower Dir, Pakistan. Braz J Biol. 2021;82:e236496.

Arsalan M, Abbas A, Gul SU, Rehman HU, Sadia H, Shah N, et al. Vertebrate and Invertebrate fauna of Barghanati Dam FR Domel Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; JBES. 2018;13(N1, July): 241-9.

Martin RE. Other aquatic life of economic significance: frogs and frog legs. Marine and freshwater products handbook. Lancaster: Technomic Publishing Co. Inc. 2000;279-87.

Masroor R. A Contribution to the herpetology of northern Pakistan: The amphibians and reptiles of Margalla Hills National Park and surrounding regions. Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles; 2012.

Minton SA. A contribution to the herpetology of West Pakistan. Bull AMNH. 1966;134:article 2.

Muhammad S, Khan M. Herpetology of Pakistan part 1 Frogs & toads Herpetological laboratory; 2017.

Noureen S, Khatoon N, Gul SU, Rehman HU, Khan S, Haq IU et al. Invertebrates and vertebrates fauna of district, Karak, KP, Pakistan; 2018.

Ohler A, Dubois A. Phylogenetic relationships and generic taxonomy of the tribe Paini (Amphibia, Anura, Ranidae, Dicroglossinae), with diagnoses of two new genera. Zoosyst-Paris. 2006; 28(3):769.

Pope SE, Fahrig L, Merriam HG. Landscape complementation and metapopulation effects on leopard frog populations. Ecology. 2000;81(9):2498-508.

Pough FH, Andrews RM, Cadle JE, Crump ML, Savitzky AH, Wells KD. Foraging ecology and interspecific interactions. Herpt. 2nd ed. NJ: Prentice Hall. 2001; 431-64.

Quaranta A, Bellantuono V, Cassano G, Lippe C. Why amphibians are more sensitive than mammals to xenobiotics. PLOS ONE. 2009;4(11):e7699.

Rehman A, Ahmed S, Bibi S. Diversity and feeding behavior of toads (Amphibia: Anura) in district Abbottabad Khyber Paktunkhwa, Pakistan. JOJ Wildl Biodivers. 2020;2(1):33-40.

Shaikh K, Gachal GS, Yusuf SM, Nabi G. Qadri, A.H. and Afghan, A [journal]. 2014;46(2):159-62.

Sindaco R, Jeremčenko VK, Venchi A, Grieco C. The Reptiles of the western Palaearctic: Annotated checklist and distributional atlas of the turtles, crocodiles, amphisbaenians and lizards of Europe, North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. Latina: Edizioni Belvedere. 2008;1.

Smith MA. The fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma. Reptilia and amphibia Volume III.-Serpentes. London: Taylor & Francis. 1943;584.

Smith MA. Fauna of British India including Ceylon and Burma: Reptilia and Amphibia, Vol. II. Indian reprint, 1974. New Delhi: Sauria; 1935.

Tagar I, Shaikh K, Gachal GS, Arain I, Arain M, Sarhindi BA. Assessment of anurans (frogs and toads) inhabiting district Naushahro Feroze, Sindh, Pakistan. J Entomol Zool Stud. 2019;7(1):1419-22.

Ullah K, Momeen A, Khalil E, Bibi M, Kalsoom N, Qazi AI. Invertebrates and vertebrates fauna of Zameer gul dam, Kohat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Texas J Agric Biol Sci. 2022;2: 1-9.

Vitt LJ, Caldwell JP. Herpetology: an introductory biology of amphibians and reptiles. Amsterdam, Boston: Academic Press; 2014.

Wake DB, Koo MS. Amphibians. Curr Biol. 2018;28(21):R1237-41.

Watson JW, McAllister KR, Pierce DJ. Home ranges, movements, and habitat selection of Oregon Spotted Frogs (Rana pretiosa). J Herpetol. 2003; 37(2):292-300.

Watters JL, Cummings ST, Flanagan RL, Siler CD. Review of morphometric measurements used in anuran species descriptions and recommendations for a standardized approach. Zootaxa. 2016;4072(4):477-95.

Wells K. The ecology & behavior of amphibians. Bibliovault OAI Repository, the University of Chicago Press; 2007.

Younas S, Gul S, Rehman HU, Junaid F, Achakzai WM, Saddozai S et al. Zoological fauna of Khurum Dam and Muhabbat Khel Dam of district Karak, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan; 2017b.

Younas S, Rehman HU, Gul S, Gul R, Khattak B. Animal diversity of district Karak, KP, Pakistan; 2017a.

Zaryab M, Yousaf MA, Gul SU, Rehman HU, Ullah S, Haider I, et al. Vertebrate and invertebrate fauna of Tanga dam district Karak Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan; 2016.

Zug GR, Vitt L, Caldwell JP. Herpetology: An introductory biology of amphibians and reptiles. Academic press; 2001.