Saturday, March 25, 2023

[Herpetology • 2023] Blommersia dupreezi • Genetic Diversity of the mantellid frog Blommersia blommersae (Anura: Mantellidae), and Description of A New anuran Species from south-eastern Madagascar

Blommersia dupreezi
Vences, Armerding, Köhler & Glaw, 2023

A range-wide assessment of genetic variation in one mitochondrial (16S rRNA) and one nuclear-encoded (Rag-1) gene fragment of the widespread Madagascar frog Blommersia blommersae revealed the presence of up to 12 deep genetic lineages. Many of these differed by genetic distances >3% in the 16S gene. In the Ranomafana area in the southern central east of Madagascar, two mitochondrial lineages differing by 1.2–1.8% in 16S occurred in close syntopy across multiple sites. A phylogeny of representative samples based on multiple mitochondrial genes supported three main mitochondrial clades within B. blommersae, with lineages from the (i) north, (ii) north and northern central east, and (iii) southern central east, respectively. In addition, one lineage from Sainte Luce in the south-east was sister to all other species of Blommersia, and thus clearly not belonging to B. blommersae, to which it has been tentatively assigned previously. Except for the Sainte Luce population, most of the mitochondrial lineages did not show a concordant and consistent differentiation in Rag-1 and no obvious morphological differences were detected among the lineages. We therefore refrain from taxonomic conclusions for them at this time, although indications exist that the populations from the northern central east and southern central east may show certain differences in relative note duration of advertisement calls, which require further study. However, the Sainte Luce individuals were highly divergent in 16S (>10%) and Rag-1, phylogenetically isolated, and characterised by differences in colour pattern. This lineage represents the most evolutionarily divergent species of Blommersia known to date and is herein formally named and described as Blommersia dupreezi sp. nov.

KEYWORDS: Amphibia, Anura, Mantellidae, Blommersia dupreezi sp. nov., systematics, taxonomy, bioacoustics, Madagascar

Blommersia dupreezi sp. nov. from Sainte Luce. 
Adult female holotype and paratype

Miguel Vences, Moritz Armerding, Jörn Köhler and Frank Glaw. 2023. Genetic Diversity of the mantellid frog Blommersia blommersae, and Description of A New anuran Species from south-eastern Madagascar. African Journal of Herpetology. DOI: 10.1080/21564574.2023.2165547