Monday, May 26, 2014

[Herpetology • 2014] Xenophrys lini & X. cheniMorphology, Molecular Genetics, and Bioacoustics Support Two New Sympatric Xenophrys Toads (Anura: Megophryidae) in Southeast China


upper Xenophrys lini sp. nov. A. adult male holotype. D. adult female paratype
lower Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. A. adult male holotype. D. adult female paratype
Abstract
Given their recent worldwide declines and extinctions, characterization of species-level diversity is of critical importance for large-scale biodiversity assessments and conservation of amphibians. This task is made difficult by the existence of cryptic species complexes, species groups comprising closely related and morphologically analogous species. The combination of morphology, genetic, and bioacoustic analyses permits robust and accurate species identification. Using these methods, we discovered two undescribed Xenophrys species, namely Xenophrys lini sp. nov. and Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. from the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains, southeast China. These two new species can be reliably distinguished from other known congeners by morphological and morphometric differences, distinctness in male advertisement calls, and substantial genetic distances (>3.6%) based on the mitochondrial 16s and 12s rRNA genes. The two new species, together with X. jinggangensis, are sympatric in the middle range of Luoxiao Mountains but may be isolated altitudinally and ecologically. Our study provides a first step to help resolve previously unrecognized cryptic biodiversity and provides insights into the understanding of Xenophrys diversification in the mountain complexes of southeast China.

Figure 2. Bayesian inference and maximum-likelihood phylogenies.
The species Paramegophrys oshanensis and Megophrys nasuta were included as outgroup.

Figure 1. Sampling localities of Xenophrys toads in southern China.
These include: I. Huangshan Mountains, here collected refer to X. huangshanensis from Mt. Dazhang, Wuyuan, Jiangxi; II. X. boettgeri from Mt. Tongbo, Jiangxi; III. X. boettgeri from Mt. Yangjifeng, Jiangxi; IV. X. kuatunensis from Guadun ( = Kuatun), Fujian; V. X. brachykolos from Hong Kong; VI. X. mangshanensis from Mt. Nanling, Guangdong; VII. X. minor from Mt. Emei and Mt. Laojun, Sichuan; VIII. the middle Luoxiao Mountains: X. jinggangensis from the peak of Mt. Jinggang, Jiangxi (a), and Taoyuandong, Hunan (d); Xenophrys lini sp. nov. from Dabali (b) and Niushiping (g) in Hunan; Jingzhushan (c), Bamianshan (e), Nafengmian (i) in Jiangxi; Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. from Jingzhushan (c), Jiangxi, Dayuan (f) and Lishuzhou (h) in Hunan.

Xenophrys lini Wang and Yang sp. nov

Figure 5. Xenophrys lini sp. nov.
A. Dorsolateral view of the live adult male Xenophrys lini sp. nov holotype SYS a001420. B: Ventral view of the live holotype. C: A clump of tiny black nuptial spines on the thumb of the preserved holotype. D: Dorsolateral views of the live adult female paratype SYS r0001423. E: Foot with wide lateral fringes and rudimentary webbings on the toes in paratype SYS a002372. F and G: Lateral and dorsal view of X. lini sp. nov. tadpole at stage 32th in preservative.
Photographed by YYW. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093075.g005

Etymology: The specific epithet “lini” is in honor of late Professor and botanist Ying Lin (1914–2003), vice chancellor (1979–1983) of Nanchang University (Jiangxi Province, China), in recognition of his efforts on biodiversity surveys and research in Mt. Jinggang in the 1970s and 80s.

Distribution and biological ecology: Currently, X. lini sp. nov. is known only from the Bamianshan, Jingzhushan, Nanfengmian Nature Reserve and Dabali, within the range of Mt. Jinggang, Jiangxi Province, and from adjacent Taoyuandong Nature Reserve, Hunan Province which are located in the middle of Luoxiao Mountains, running along the border between the Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces, China. All individuals were found in rushing mountain streams surrounded by moist subtropical evergreen broadleaved forests between elevations of 1100–1610 m 



Xenophrys cheni Wang and Liu sp. nov

Figure 6. Xenophrys cheni sp. nov.
A: Dorsolateral view of the live adult male Xenophrys cheni sp. nov. holotype SYS a001873. B: Ventral view of the live holotype. C: Foot with wide lateral fringes and rudimentary webbing on the toes in the live holotype. D and E: Dorsolateral and ventral views of the live adult female paratype SYS r001429. F and G: Hand and foot of the live paratype SYS r001429.
Photographed by YYW and JZ. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0093075.g005

Etymology: The specific epithet “cheni” is in honor of Mr. Chun-Quan Chen, former director of Mt. Jinggang National Nature Reserve, Jiangxi Province, China, in recognition of his dedication to the biodiversity conservation of Mt. Jinggang.

Distribution and biological ecology: Currently, X. cheni sp. nov. is known from the Jingzhushan, Mt. Jinggang, and adjacent Lishuzhou Village, Dayuan Farm, Taoyuandong Nature Reserve; both located in the middle of Luoxiao Mountains, running along the border between the Jiangxi and Hunan Provinces, China. All individuals were found in mountainous swamps surrounded by moist subtropical evergreen broadleaved forests at elevations of about 1200–1530 m 



Yingyong Wang, Jian Zhao, Jianhuan Yang, Zhixin Zhou, Guoling Chen and Yang Liu. 2014. Morphology, Molecular Genetics, and Bioacoustics Support Two New Sympatric Xenophrys Toads (Amphibia: Anura: Megophryidae) in Southeast China. PLoS ONE. 9(4): e93075. DOI:  10.1371/journal.pone.0093075

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