Revision of the little brown frogs in the Gephyromantis decaryi complex with description of a new species

Katharina C. Wollenberg, Frank Glaw, Miguel Vences

Abstract


We revise the systematics of a group of little brown leaf litter frogs from Madagascar that are notoriously difficult to di-agnose, the Gephyromantis decaryi complex. Using an integrative combination of molecular data, bioacoustics, and mor-phology, we reveal four divergent evolutionary lineages which all are monophyletic in the mitochondrial gene genealogiesand have unique haplotypes in the nuclear RAG1 gene. We recognize three of these as distinct species and a fourth one ascandidate species which requires additional study for final confirmation and description. The three species are (1) G. de-caryi Angel, 1930, from Midongy and Ranomafana, characterized by relatively long limbs and continuous dorsal folds;(2) Gephyromantis verrucosus Angel, 1930 from Vondrozo and Manombo, herein removed from the synonymy of G. bou-lengeri, including the designation of a lectotype, characterized by irregular tubercles on the dorsum, and G. hintelmannaesp. nov. from Tsitolaka forest near Ambohitsara village and a second nearby site, characterized by a relatively smoothdorsum, short note duration in advertisement calls, and lack of light-dark pattern along the upper lip. A fourth lineage mor-phologically similar and phylogenetically placed sister to G. hintelmannae is characterized by the shortest note durationin calls of the complex but we consider the available data as insufficient to fully assess its status and propose to keep considering this lineage as candidate species Gephyromantis sp. 7 until more specimens and data become available.

Keywords


Amphibia: Anura: Mantellidae: <i>Gephyromantis;</i> <i>Gephyromantis</i> <i>decaryi</i>; <i>Gephyromantis</i> <i>verrucosus</i>; <i>Gephyromantis</i> <i>hintelmannae</i> <b>sp.</b> <b>nov.,</b> LBF; little brown frogs; cryptic diversity; Madagascar

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand