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We discuss the taxonomic status of seven nominal species of Oreophryne described from northern New Guinea and New Britain. These include Cophixalus geislerorumBoettger (1892) and Sphenophryne biroiMéhelÿ (1897), two of the first three species of Oreophryne described from New Guinea. Each has been a source of taxonomic confusion—the first known only from a single specimen of indefinite provenance, and the second because of the destruction of the type specimens and the indiscriminate application of the name biroi to specimens from virtually the entire length and breadth of New Guinea. We identify a well-characterized species with geislerorum and associate biroi with a species known from the vicinity of the type locality, designating a neotype to establish formally this association.
We retain two species—Mehelyia affinisWandolleck (1911) and Mehelyia lineataWandolleck (1911)—as junior synonyms of biroi, tentatively characterize Oreophryne parkeriLoveridge (1955) and refer new specimens to the species, and describe one new species. Hylella wolterstorffiWerner (1901) by default remains a valid species of Oreophryne, now with a somewhat restricted but still indefinite type locality, and not yet well characterized morphologically.
The specific identity of specimens in some samples of Oreophryne from the north coastal region of New Guinea is unclear and is likely to remain so until recordings of advertisement calls become available.