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Type: Article
Published: 2021-11-22
Page range: 1-41
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Two new frog species from the Litoria rubella species group from eastern Australia

Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney 2010, Australia. Centre for Ecosystem Science, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia.
School of Environmental and Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle, University Drive, Callaghan, 2308, Australia.
Department of Environment and Science, PO Box 64, Bellbowrie, Qld, 4070, Australia. Honorary Research Fellow, Biodiversity, Queensland Museum, PO Box 3300, South Brisbane, QLD 4101.
South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, Adelaide, 5000, Australia. ALS Water Resources Group, 22 Dalmore Drive, Scoresby, Victoria, 3179, Australia.
School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide, 5005, Australia.
Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, 1 William St, Sydney 2010, Australia. Sydney School of Veterinary Science B01, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide, Adelaide, 5000, Australia.
Amphibia Frog diversity genetic diversity species complex


The bleating tree frog (Litoria dentata) is one of the more prominent pelodryadid frogs of eastern Australia by virtue of its extremely loud, piercing, male advertisement call. A member of the Litoria rubella species group, L. dentata has a broad latitudinal distribution and is widespread from coastal and subcoastal lowlands through to montane areas. A recent mitochondrial DNA analysis showed a deep phylogeographic break between populations of L. dentata on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. Here we extended the mitochondrial survey with more geographically comprehensive sampling and tested the systematic implications of our findings with nuclear genome wide single-nucleotide polymorphism, morphological and male advertisement call datasets. While similar in appearance and in male advertisement call, our integrative analysis demonstrates the presence of three species which replace each other in a north-south series. We redescribe Litoria dentata, which is restricted to coastal north-eastern New South Wales, and formally describe Litoria balatus sp. nov., from south-eastern Queensland, and Litoria quiritatus sp. nov., from the mid-coast of New South Wales to north-eastern Victoria.



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