Saturday, May 28, 2022

[Herpetology • 2022] Gephyromantis fiharimpe, G. matsilo, etc. • An Integrative Taxonomic Revision and Redefinition of Gephyromantis (Laurentomantis) malagasius (Anura: Mantellidae) based on Archival DNA Analysis reveals Four New mantellid Frog Species from Madagascar


Gephyromantis fiharimpeG. matsilo,
 G. oelkrugi & G. portonae 
 Vences, Köhler, Crottini, Hofreiter, Hutter, du Preez, Preick, Rakotoarison, Rancilhac, Raselimanana, Rosa, Scherz & Glaw, 2022

The subgenus Laurentomantis in the genus Gephyromantis contains some of the least known amphibian species of Madagascar. The six currently valid nominal species are rainforest frogs known from few individuals, hampering a full understanding of the species diversity of the clade. We assembled data on specimens collected during field surveys over the past 30 years and integrated analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear-encoded genes of 88 individuals, a comprehensive bioacoustic analysis, and morphological comparisons to delimit a minimum of nine species-level lineages in the subgenus. To clarify the identity of the species Gephyromantis malagasius, we applied a target-enrichment approach to a sample of the 110 year-old holotype of Microphryne malagasia Methuen and Hewitt, 1913 to assign this specimen to a lineage based on a mitochondrial DNA barcode. The holotype clustered unambiguously with specimens previously named G. ventrimaculatus. Consequently we propose to consider Trachymantis malagasia ventrimaculatus Angel, 1935 as a junior synonym of Gephyromantis malagasius. Due to this redefinition of G. malagasius, no scientific name is available for any of the four deep lineages of frogs previously subsumed under this name, all characterized by red color ventrally on the hindlimbs. These are here formally named as Gephyromantis fiharimpe sp. nov., G. matsilo sp. nov., G. oelkrugi sp. nov., and G. portonae sp. nov. The new species are distinguishable from each other by genetic divergences of >4% uncorrected pairwise distance in a fragment of the 16S rRNA marker and a combination of morphological and bioacoustic characters. Gephyromantis fiharimpe and G. matsilo occur, respectively, at mid-elevations and lower elevations along a wide stretch of Madagascar’s eastern rainforest band, while G. oelkrugi and G. portonae appear to be more range-restricted in parts of Madagascar’s North East and Northern Central East regions. Open taxonomic questions surround G. horridus, to which we here assign specimens from Montagne d’Ambre and the type locality Nosy Be; and G. ranjomavo, which contains genetically divergent populations from Marojejy, Tsaratanana, and Ampotsidy.

Keywords: Amphibia, Anura, archival DNA, Mantellidae, new species, phylogeography

Gephyromantis horridus (Boettger, 1880)

Gephyromantis ranjomavo Glaw and Vences, 2011

Gephyromantis striatus (Vences, Glaw, Andreone, Jesu and Schimmenti, 2002)

Gephyromantis marokoroko Hutter, Andriampenomanana, Andrianasolo, Cobb, Razafindraibe, Abraham and Lambert, 2022

Gephyromantis malagasius (Methuen and Hewitt, 1913)

 Gephyromantis matsilo sp. nov. (lineage A) in life in dorsolateral view.
 Specimen from Ambodiriana probably corresponding to tissue sample PSG 1015.  

Gephyromantis matsilo sp. nov. (lineage A)

Etymology: The species epithet is derived from the Malagasy adjective matsilo (spiny) and refers to the spiny tubercles on the dorsum of this frog. The name is used as a noun in apposition.

  Gephyromantis fiharimpe sp. nov. (lineage B) in life
 Adult male from Ranomafana, photographed 2003. 

Gephyromantis fiharimpe sp. nov. (lineage B)

Etymology: The species epithet is derived from the Malagasy words fihary (gland) and fe (leg) which written together become fiharim-pe according to Malagasy grammar. The name makes reference to the tibial gland of the species, and is used as a noun in apposition.

 Gephyromantis oelkrugi sp. nov. (lineage C) from the type locality, Ambodivoangy, in life.
 Adult male holotype (ZSM 314/2010, field number FGZC 4220)  

Gephyromantis oelkrugi sp. nov. (lineage C)

Etymology: The specific epithet is a patronym for Christopher Roland Oelkrug in recognition of his support for biodiversity research and nature conservation through the BIOPAT initiative.

  Gephyromantis portonae sp. nov. (lineage D) in life 
Specimen ACZCV 1358 from Betampona. 

Gephyromantis portonae sp. nov. (lineage D)

Etymology: The specific epithet is a matronym for Ingrid Porton, our dear friend and colleague. Ingrid is a primatologist and Vice-Chair of Madagascar Fauna and Flora Group, and this honor is a recognition of her continuous support to the study of the unique biodiversity of Betampona Strict Natural Reserve, and her overall commitment to the conservation of Malagasy ecosystems.

 Miguel Vences, Jörn Köhler, Angelica Crottini, Michael Hofreiter, Carl R. Hutter, Louis du Preez, Michaela Preick, Andolalao Rakotoarison, Loïs Rancilhac, Achille P. Raselimanana, Gonçalo M. Rosa, Mark D. D. Scherz and Frank Glaw. 2022. An Integrative Taxonomic Revision and Redefinition of Gephyromantis (Laurentomantismalagasius based on Archival DNA Analysis reveals Four New mantellid Frog Species from Madagascar. Vertebrate Zoology. 72: 271-309. DOI: 10.3897/vz.72.e78830