Tuesday, February 6, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Resurrection and Re-description of Plethodontohyla laevis (Boettger, 1913) and transfer of Rhombophryne alluaudi (Mocquard, 1901) to the Genus Plethodontohyla (Microhylidae, Cophylinae)


 [a-d] Individuals of Plethodontohyla laevis in life, illustrating the diversity of colour patterns from different sites of the species known distribution range.   Individuals of (A) Plethodontohyla alluaudi in dorsolateral and (inset) ventral view (ZSM 89/2004 , until now referred to as Pbipunctata; from Andohahela); (B) P. sp. Ca01 in dorsolateral view (ZCMV 555; from Ambatolahy)

in Bellati, Scherz, Megson, et al., 2018. 

Abstract
The systematics of the cophyline microhylid frog genera Plethodontohyla and Rhombophryne have long been intertwined, and their relationships have only recently started to become clear. While Rhombophryne has received a lot of recent taxonomic attention, Plethodontohyla has been largely neglected. Our study is a showcase of just how complex the taxonomic situation between these two genera is, and the care that must be taken to resolve taxonomic conundrums where old material, multiple genus transitions, and misattribution of new material obfuscate the picture. We assessed the identity of the historic names Dyscophus alluaudi (currently in the genus Rhombophryne), Phrynocara laeve and Plethodontohyla laevis tsianovohensis (both synonyms of Rhombophryne alluaudi) based on an integrative taxonomic approach harnessing genetics, external morphology, osteological data obtained via micro-Computed Tomography (micro-CT) and bioacoustics. We show that (1) the holotype of Dyscophus alluaudi is a member of the genus Plethodontohyla; (2) the Rhombophryne specimens from central Madagascar currently assigned to Rhombophryne alluaudi have no affinity with that species, and are instead an undescribed species; and (3) Phrynocara laeve and Dyscophus alluaudi are not synonymous, but represent closely related species, whereas Plethodontohyla laevis tsianovohensis is tentatively confirmed as synonym of D. alluaudi. We resurrect and re-describe Plethodontohyla laevis, and re-allocate and re-describe Plethodontohyla alluaudi on the basis of new and historic material.

Key Words: Amphibia, Anura, Phrynocara laeve, Plethodontohyla alluaudi, Madagascar, Integrative taxonomy



Figure 3. Individuals of Plethodontohyla laevis in life, illustrating the diversity of colour patterns from different sites of the species known distribution range:
(a) MRSN A6188 from Betampona in dorsolateral and (inset) ventral view; (b) MRSN A6181 from Betampona in dorsolateral view; (c) FAZC 13898 from Betampona in dorsolateral view (Photos by Gonçalo M. Rosa); (d) MRSN A6787 from Anivorano Est in dorsolateral and (inset) ventral view (Photo by Jasmin E. Randrianirina); (e) ZSM 189/2016 from Analalava-Foulpointe in dorsolateral view (Photo by Frank Glaw); (f) individual (not collected) from Ambodiriana in dorsolateral view (Photo by Lauric Reynes).

 Figure 4. Individuals of (a) Plethodontohyla alluaudi in dorsolateral and (inset) ventral view (ZSM 89/2004 , until now referred to as P. bipunctata; from Andohahela); (b) P. sp. Ca01 in dorsolateral view (ZCMV 555; from Ambatolahy); (c) P. brevipes in dorsolateral view (ZSM 649/2003; from Ranomafana); and (d) Rhombophryne sp. (formerly identified as R. alluaudi) in lateral view (ZFMK 52765 from Andasibe) (Photos by Frank Glaw and Miguel Vences).

 Adriana Bellati, Mark D. Scherz, Steven Megson, Sam Hyde Roberts, Franco Andreone, Gonçalo M. Rosa, Jean Noël, Jasmin E. Randrianirina, Mauro Fasola, Frank Glaw and Angelica Crottini. 2018. Resurrection and Re-description of Plethodontohyla laevis (Boettger, 1913) and transfer of Rhombophryne alluaudi (Mocquard, 1901) to the Genus Plethodontohyla (Amphibia, Microhylidae, Cophylinae). Zoosystematics and Evolution. 94(1); 109-135.   DOI: 10.3897/zse.94.14698


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