Monday, February 15, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Phylogenetic Relationships of the Boana pulchella Group (Anura: Hylidae)

in Faivovich, Pinheiro, Lyra, ... et Haddad, 2021. 

• The monophyly of the Boana pulchella Group is corroborated.
• Five well-supported major clades are recognized.
• The relationships among the early diverging species are weakly supported.
• Five currently recognized species are considered synonyms of other species.

In this paper we present a phylogenetic analysis of the treefrogs of the Boana pulchella Group with the goals of (1) providing a rigorous test of its monophyly; (2) providing a test of relationships supported in previous studies; and (3) exploring the relationships of the several species not included in previous analyses. The analyses included>300 specimens of 37 of the 38 species currently included in the group, plus 36 outgroups, exemplars of the diversity of Boana and the other genera of the hylid tribe Cophomantini. The dataset included eight mitochondrial genes (12S, 16S, CytB, COI, ND1, tRNAIle, tRNALeu, and tRNAVal) and five nuclear genes (RHO, TYR, RAG-1, CXCR4, SIAH1). The phylogenetic analyses recover the monophyly of the B. pulchella Group with lower support than previous studies, as a result of the inclusion of the B. claresignata Group, which is recovered as its sister taxon. Within the B. pulchella Group, the inclusion of almost all species of the group had little impact on previous notions of its phylogeny, except for the rejection of the hypothesized B. polytaenia Clade (B. goiana and B. phaeopleura are nested in the clade here called the B. prasina Clade), which is redefined. Phylogenetic support is strong for five major clades, which collectively include all but three of the species sampled: the B. balzani Clade (B. aguilari, B. balzani, B. gladiator, B. melanopleura, B. palaestes), the redefined B. polytaenia Clade (B. botumirim, B. buriti, B. cipoensis, B. jaguariaivensis, B. leptolineata, B. polytaenia, B. stenocephala, and two undescribed species), the B. prasina Clade (B. bischoffi, B. caingua, B. cordobae, B. goiana, B. guentheri, B. marginata, B. phaeopleura, B. prasina, B. pulchella, and one undescribed species), the B. riojana Clade (B. callipleura, B. marianitae, B. riojana), and the B. semiguttata Clade (B. caipora, B. curupi, B. joaquini, B. poaju, B. semiguttata, B. stellae, and two undescribed species). The monophyly of the B. prasina + B. riojana Clades, and that of the B. polytaenia + B. semiguttata Clades are well-supported. The relationships among these two clades, the B. balzani Clade, B. ericae + B. freicanecae, and B. cambui (representing the deepest phylogenetic splits within the B. pulchella Group) are recovered with weak support. We discuss the phenotypic evidence supporting the monophyly of the B. pulchella Group, and the taxonomy of several species, identifying three new synonyms of Boana polytaenia, one new synonym of Boana goiana, and one new synonym of B. riojana.
Keywords: Hylidae, Hylinae, Cophomantini, Systematics, Taxonomy, Neotropics

The present study complements previous analyses and nearly exhausts the taxonomic sampling of the B. pulchella Group, allowing us to recognize five major clades (the B. balzani, B. polytaenia, B. pulchella, B. riojana, B. semiguttata Clades). However, far from being definitive, our results point to a number of weak areas in our knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships and taxonomy of the group. This is exemplified by the lack of support for relationships at various levels, such as some of the major clades or among species in the B. polytaenia Clade. As a result of our study, five new junior synonyms are recognized: B. bandeirantes (Caramaschi and Cruz, 2013), B. beckeri (Caramaschi and Cruz, 2004), and B. latistriata (Caramaschi and Cruz, 2004), are junior synonyms of B. polytaenia (Cope, 1870); B. phaeopleura (Caramaschi and Cruz, 2000) is a junior synonym of B. goiana (B. Lutz, 1968); and B. albonigra (Nieden, 1923) is a junior synonym of B. riojana (Koslowsky, 1895). These synonymies reduce the number of valid species included in the group from 38 to 33. However, at least other five species remain to be described. The taxonomy of some species, such as those included in the B. balzani and B. polytaenia Clades, remains challenging. Furthermore, the recent discovery of B. cambui (Pinheiro et al., 2016), the new species included in this study, and those revealed by our results, indicate that the areas encompassed by the broad distribution of this species group are still far from adequately sampled.

Julian Faivovich, Paulo D.P. Pinheiro, Mariana L. Lyra, Martín O. Pereyra, Diego Baldo, Arturo Muñoz, Steffen Reichle, Reuber A. Brandão, Ariovaldo A. Giaretta, Maria Tereza C. Thomé, Juan C .Chaparro, Délio Baêta, Ronaldo Libardi Widholzer, Jorge Baldo, Edgar Lehr, Ward C. Wheeler, Paulo C. A. Garcia and Célio F.B. Haddad. 2021.  Phylogenetic Relationships of the Boana pulchella Group (Anura: Hylidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 155, 106981. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106981