Tuesday, November 15, 2011

[Herpetology • 2008] Phylogeography of Pristimantis (formerly Eleutherodactylus) ridens • across Isthmian Central America

Pristimantis (formerly Eleutherodactylus) ridens
We used a phylogeographic approach to elucidate the evolutionary history of a lineage of frogs, known as Pristimantis (formerly Eleutherodactylus) ridens (Anura: Brachycephalidae), restricted to the wet forests occurring along the Caribbean versant of isthmian Central America as well as the disjunct wet forest on the Pacific slope of Costa Rica. We placed our phylogeographic study of P. ridens within a larger molecular phylogenetic analysis of Central American Pristimantis. All phylogenetic inferences were based on a 1455 base pair fragment of mitochondrial DNA, containing the complete ND2 gene and five flanking tRNA genes. Our reconstruction of the intraspecific phylogeny of P. ridens yielded a basal trichotomy dating to an estimated 12+ million years ago (Ma), consisting of central Panama, western Panama, and Costa Rica plus Honduras. Thus, the presence of P. ridens appears to predate the completion of the Isthmus 3.1 Ma. Using a parametric bootstrap (SOWH) test, we evaluated four a priori zoogeographic hypotheses for the origin and spread of P. ridens. This analysis suggested that the P. ridens populations on the Caribbean versant of Costa Rica were established by Pacific versant ancestors only recently, in contrast to the very old lineages found in Panama. Our results support a model of Miocene colonization, long-term geographic stasis, followed by rapid dispersal across the Caribbean lowlands during the Pliocene or Pleistocene.

Keywords: Central America; Dispersal; Mitochondrial DNA; Golfo Dulce; Phylogeography; SOWH test; Eleutherodactyline; Cruentus group; Range expansion

Distribution of Pristimantis (formerly Eleutherodactylus) ridens
across the lowland wet forests of Isthmian Central America

Wang, IJ, AJ Crawford, and E Bermingham. 2008. Phylogeography of the Pygmy Rain Frog (Pristimantis ridens) across the lowland wet forests of Isthmian Central America. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 47: 992-1004.: