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A new species of the genus Pachytriton (Caudata: Salamandridae) from Hunan and Guangxi, southeastern China



Despite recent descriptions of multiple new species of the genus Pachytriton (Salamandridae), species richness in this China-endemic newts genus likely remains underestimated. In this study, we describe a new species of Pachytriton from northeastern Guangxi and southern Hunan, southeastern China. Both molecular analyses and morphological characters reveal that the new species can be distinguished from its congeners. The mitochondrial gene tree identified the new lineage highly divergent (uncorrected p-distance > 5.8 % by mitochondrial gene) from currently recognized species and placed it as the sister species of P. xanthospilos and P. changi. Furthermore, a nuclear gene haplotype network revealed a unique haplotype in the new populations. Statistical species delimitation using Bayes factor strongly supported the evolutionary independence of the new species from the closely-related P. xanthospilos. Morphologically, the new species is characterized by a uniformly dark brown dorsum without bright orange dots or black spots; irregular orange blotches on the venter; tips of fingers and toes orange on the dorsal side; moderately developed webs on the side of digits; absence of costal grooves between the axilla and groin; and widely open vomerine tooth series.



Amphibia, Amphibians, cryptic diversity, Bayes factor species delimitation, Pachytriton wuguanfui sp. nov.

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
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