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Cryptic diversity in Amazonian frogs: Integrative taxonomy of the genus Anomaloglossus (Amphibia: Anura: Aromobatidae) reveals a unique case of diversification within the Guiana Shield

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Lack of resolution on species boundaries and distribution can hamper inferences in many fields of biology, notably biogeography and conservation biology. This is particularly true in megadiverse and undersurveyed regions such as Amazonia, where species richness remains vastly underestimated. Integrative approaches using a combination of phenotypic and molecular evidence have proved extremely successful in reducing knowledge gaps in species boundaries, especially in animal groups displaying high levels of cryptic diversity like amphibians. Here we combine molecular data (mitochondrial 16S rRNA and nuclear TYR, POMC, and RAG1) from 522 specimens of Anomaloglossus, a frog genus endemic to the Guiana Shield, including 16 of the 26 nominal species, with morphometrics, bioacoustics, tadpole development mode, and habitat use to evaluate species delineation in two lowlands species groups. Molecular data reveal the existence of 18 major mtDNA lineages among which only six correspond to described species. Combined with other lines of evidence, we confirm the existence of at least 12 Anomaloglossus species in the Guiana Shield lowlands. Anomaloglossus appears to be the only amphibian genus to have largely diversified within the eastern part of the Guiana Shield. Our results also reveal strikingly different phenotypic evolution among lineages. Within the A. degranvillei group, one subclade displays acoustic and morphological conservatism, while the second subclade displays less molecular divergence but clear phenotypic divergence. In the A. stepheni species group, a complex evolutionary diversification in tadpole development is observed, notably with two closely related lineages each displaying exotrophic and endotrophic tadpoles.
Tijdschrift: Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution
ISSN: 1055-7903
Issue: 112
Volume: 112
Pagina's: 158-173
Aantal pagina's: 16
Jaar van publicatie:2017
Trefwoorden:Bioacoustics, DNA barcoding, Larval development modes, Morphometrics, Neotropics, Phylogenetic analysis, Species delimitation