Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Rediscovery of Rhacophorus yaoshanensis and Theloderma kwangsiensis at their type localities after five decades



Rhacophorus yaoshanensis Liu & Hu, 1962 and Theloderma kwangsiensis Liu & Hu, 1962 were described by Liu & Hu (1962) based on two specimens and one specimen, respectively, from the Dayaoshan Ranges, Guangxi, China. Since these two species were described, no additional specimens have been collected from their type localities, presenting an issue for phylogenetic studies of the genera. Five decades later, we have rediscovered R. yaoshanensis and T. kwangsiensis from their type localities. In this paper, we re-describe the two species and conduct a preliminary assessment of their phylogenetic relationships using two mitochondrial DNA genes (12S and 16S rRNA). The results indicate with high support that R. yaoshanensis is closely related to Rhacophorus pinglongensis. Theloderma kwangsiensis is nested within Theloderma corticale, with only 0.0–0.6% pairwise divergence, a level typical of intraspecific variation. Based on both molecular and morphological analyses, we further confirm that T. kwangsiensis is a synonym of T. corticale. Shiwandashan National Nature Reserve, Guangxi Province, China, is a new record for T. corticale.



Amphibia, Rhacophorus yaoshanensis, Theloderma kwangsiensis, phylogenetic relationship, synonym, southern China

Full Text:



Altschul, S.F., Madden, T.L., Schäffer, A.A., Zhang, J., Zhang, Z., Miller, W. & Lipman, D.J. (1997) Gapped BLAST and PSI-BLAST: a new generation of protein database search programs. Nucleic Acids Research, 25, 3389–3402.

Boulenger, G.A. (1903) Descriptions of three new batrachians from Tonkin. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Series 7, 12, 186–188.

Fouquet, A., Gilles, A., Vences, M., Marty, C., Blanc, M. & Gemmell, N.J. (2007) Underestimation of species richness in Neotropical frogs revealed by mtDNA analyses. PLoS ONE, 2 (10), e1109.

Hou, M., Yu, G.H., Chen, H.M., Liao, C.L., Zhang L., Chen, J., Li, P.P. & Orlov, N.L. (2017) The Taxonomic Status and Distribution Range of Six Theloderma Species (Anura: Rhacophoridae) with a New Record in China. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 24 (2), 99–127.

Huang, H., Chen, Z., Wei, Z., Bu, R. & Wu, Z. (2017) DNA barcoding revises a misidentification on mossy frog: new record and distribution extension of Theloderma corticale, Boulenger, 1903 (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae). Mitochondrial DNA, Part A, DNA Mapping, Sequencing, and Analysis, 29 (2), 273–280.

Kumar, S., Stecher, G. & Tamura, K. (2016) MEGA7: Molecular Evolutionary Genetics Analysis version 7.0 for bigger datasets. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 33, 1870–1874.

Liao, C.L. (2013) A preliminary study on biology of Theloderma kwangsiensis. Sichuan Journal of Zoology, 6, 850–852.

Liu, C.C. & Hu S.Q. (1962) A herpetological report of Kwangsi. Acta Zoologica Sinica, 14 (Supplement), 73–104.

Liu, H.N. & Chen, B.L. (2012) Amphibian Fauna of Hainan Yinggeling Nature Reserve, with New Genus and Species Records for Hainan Island. Chinese Journal of Zoology, 47 (1), 51–61.

Mo, Y.M., Chen, W.C., Liao, X.W. & Zhou, S.C. (2016) A New Species of the Genus Rhacophorus (Anura: Rhacophoridae) from Southern China. Asian Herpetological Research, 7 (3), 139–150.

Myers, C.W. & Duellman, W.E. (1982) A new species of Hyla from Cerro Colorado and other tree frog records and geographical notes from western Panama. American Museum Novitates, 275, 32.

Nylander, J.A.A. (2004) MrModeltest v2. Program Distributed by the Author. Evolutionary Biology Centre, Uppsala University, Uppsala. [software]

Orlov, N.L., Murphy, R.W., Ananjeva, N.B., Ryabov, S.A. & Ho, C.T. (2002) Herpetofauna of Vietnam, a checklist. Part 1. Amphibia. Russian Journal of Herpetology, 9, 81–104.

Orlov, N.L., Ryabov, S.A., Ananjeva, N.B. & Evsyunin, A.A. (2010) Asian tree frogs of genus Theloderma Tschudi, 1838 (Amphibia: Anura: Rhacophoridae: Rhacophorinae). Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg, 10 pp. [pp. 137–146, in Russian]

Palumbi, S.R., Martin, A., Romano, S., McMillan, W.O., Stice, L. & Grabowski, G. (1991) The simple fool’s guide to PCR. Department of Zoology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, 47 pp.

Poyarkov, N.A.J., Orlov, N.L., Moiseeva, A.V., Pawangkhanant, P., Ruangsuwan, T., Vassilieva, A.B., Galoyan, E.A., Nguyen, T.T. & Gogoleva, S.S. (2015) Sorting out moss frogs: mtDNA data on taxonomic diversity and phylogenetic relationships of the Indochinese species of the genus Theloderma (Anura, Rhacophoridae). Russian Journal of Herpetology, 22, 241–280.

Ronquist, F.R. & Huelsenbeck, J.P. (2003) MrBayes 3: Bayesian phylogenetic inference under mixed models. Bioinformatics, 19, 1572–1574.

Vences, M., Thomas, M., Bonett, R.M. & Vieites, D.R. (2005) Deciphering amphibian diversity through DNA barcoding: chances and challenges. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 360, 1859–1868.

Wilkinson, J.A., Drewes, R.C. & Tatum, O.L. (2002) A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the family Rhacophoridae with an emphasis on the Asian and African genera. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 24, 265–273.

Xiao, Z., Li, Z.C. & Gao, L.B. (2008) A New Record of Theloderma kwangsiensis in Hainan Province, China. Chinese Journal of Zoology, 43 (4), 131–132.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

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