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Rana cretensis Beerli, Hotz, Tunner, Heppich, and Uzzell 1994

Peter Beerli*

Table of Contents



[Excerpt of the original description:Beerli et al. 1994] A member of the western Palearctic water frog group, distinguished from the Palearctic brown frog group by paired external lateral vocal sacs in males, extension of webbing of feet to the toe tips, absence of a black face mask from the eye to the tympanum, and presence of dark mottling on the inner thigh surfaces; distinguished from the eastern Palearctic water frog group by protein electrophoretic data: among the loci sharing no alleles with eastern Palearctic water frogs (at least 50%; cf. Nishioka and Sumida 1992), those at [[alpha]]GDH, LDH-B, sMDH[=MDH-1], MPI, and 6PGDH are shared with one to many species of western Palearctic water frogs, whereas those at LDH-A, mMDH[=MDH-2], and sSOD[=SOD-1] are shared with all. Rana cretensis is discriminated from all other western Palearctic water frog species by a unique multilocus combination of electrophoretically detected alleles: among alleles shared with other species, our samples are fixed for mACO c, AHH a, CK-A b, aGDH b, mIDH[=IDH-2] b; LDH-B d, sMDH a, MPI q; MPR1[=MProt1] b, 6PGDH e, PGM-2 d, sSOD a. Rana cretensis has unique (private) alleles, all fixed in our samples, at the loci sAAT[=AAT-1] (m), sACO (d), ALB (k), EST-5 (f), EST-6 (d), GPI (h), sIDH[=IDH-1] (g). Centromeres of the 2N=26 chromosomes are conspicuously fluorescent after Actinomycin D / 33258 Hoechst double staining. Morphologically (Fig. 1), among western Palearctic water frogs Rana cretensis is medium-sized (mean ± standard deviation of body length 64.6±9.5 mm for 8 adults). Relative tibia length medium (body length/tibia length 1.97±0.15, N=37). Callus internus relatively short (body length/callus internus length 18.8±2.7, N=31), of medium height (callus length/height 3.4±0.6, N=8), slightly rounded. Digitus primus medium-sized (body length/digitus primus length 7.3±0.8, N=37; digitus primus length/callus internus length 2.4±0.3, N=37). Dorsal coloration light gray to brown with brown to olive-gray spots, occasionally grass-green with distinct brown spots. Venter and throat uniformly whitish with slight gray pigmentation. No vertebral stripe in our samples. Marked yellow pigmentation on posterior flank and inner side of femur and tibia. Prominent broad brown dorsolateral fold. Vocal sacs of males dark gray. The advertisement calls of males (Fig. 2A,C; subsequent values are mean±SD and refer to water temperature 20°C, air temperature 26°C) are produced in long series, with call durations of 646±58 msec and intercall intervals of 612±30 msec. The calls consist of a large number (12.3±1.5) of relatively short (32±4 msec) pulse groups with short (19±5 msec) intervals. These pulse groups contain a further level of amplitude subdivision into 3-7 (5.0±1.2) distinct short (6.4±1.8 msec) pulse groups with virtually no intervals, each with an amplitude maximum near the beginning and then a gradual decline, that consist of 12.4±3.6 pulses.

Photo of paratype MHNG2543.91


The distribution of this species is restricted to Crete (Greece). It is the only water frog species known so far on this island.


The following recordings a short sequences of longer recordings. These files are size reduced (MULAW 8-bit encoded) from 16-bit encoded sound files. [will come]


Valid name: Rana (Pelophylax) cretensis Beerli, Hotz, Tunner, Heppich, and Uzzell 1994


Beerli H. Hotz, H. Tunner, S. Heppich, and T. Uzzell. 1994. Two new water 
        frog species from the Aegean islands Crete and Karpathos 
        (Amphibia, Salientia, Ranidae). Notulae Naturae, Academy of 
        Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 470:1-9.
        [see full text]
Beerli, P. 1994. Genetic isolation and calibration of an average protein clock 
        in western Palearctic water frogs of the Aegean region. 
        Dissertation Universität Zürich 1994. 

Title Illustration

Rana cretensis (The photo represents the paratype ANSP35280)

Photographs copyright 1995, Peter Beerli.

About the map

The map is a transverse Mercator projection and was created with GMT 3.0 ( Wessel and Smith, 1995) and postprocessed in Virtuoso on a NeXT, and then converted from eps to gif. [If you need maps, take a look at GMT 3.0 and create them yourself]

About this page

Peter Beerli

e-mail: beerli@scs.fsu.edu.
Genetics 357360
University of Washington
Seattle WA 98195-7360

Page copyright 1995 Peter Beerli
Last modified 20 December 1995

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