Introduction of Eleutherodactylus planirostris (Amphibia, Anura, Eleutherodactylidae) to Hong Kong
An unidentified small frog species was first encountered in Hong Kong Special Administration Region (SAR), China, in 2000, where the local amphibian diversity is well-studied. We herein identified this unknown frog as Eleutherodactylus planirostris (greenhouse frog) using DNA barcoding. We found that its distribution in Hong Kong is widespread (>18 localities), and breeding has been observed in multiple occasions. The populations in at least four localities persisted for over seven years. We discuss its potential negative impacts to terrestrial ecosystems in Hong Kong, with particular concern of its potential competition with the endemic Liuixalus romeri. We call for studies to investigate the impacts of the introduced E. planirostris on the local ecosystem. Screening for E. planirostris in exported plants from Hong Kong should be carried out.
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