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      A new species of the horned toad Megophrys Kuhl & Van Hasselt, 1822 (Anura, Megophryidae) from southwest China


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          A new species of the genus Megophrys is described from Guizhou Province, China. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial DNA and nuclear DNA sequences all strongly supported the new species as an independent clade sister to M. minor and M. jiangi . The new species could be distinguished from its congeners by a combination of the following characters: body size moderate (SVL 43.4–44.1 mm in males, and 44.8–49.8 mm in females; vomerine teeth absent; tongue not notched behind; a small horn-like tubercle at the edge of each upper eyelid; tympanum distinctly visible, rounded; two metacarpal tubercles on palm; relative finger lengths II < I < V < III; toes without webbing; heels overlapping when thighs are positioned at right angles to the body; tibiotarsal articulation reaching the level between tympanum and eye when leg stretched forward; in breeding males, an internal single subgular vocal sac in male, and the nuptial pads with black spines on dorsal surface of bases of the first two fingers.

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          Phylogenetic systematics and biogeography of hummingbirds: Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses of partitioned data and selection of an appropriate partitioning strategy.

          Hummingbirds are an important model system in avian biology, but to date the group has been the subject of remarkably few phylogenetic investigations. Here we present partitioned Bayesian and maximum likelihood phylogenetic analyses for 151 of approximately 330 species of hummingbirds and 12 outgroup taxa based on two protein-coding mitochondrial genes (ND2 and ND4), flanking tRNAs, and two nuclear introns (AK1 and BFib). We analyzed these data under several partitioning strategies ranging between unpartitioned and a maximum of nine partitions. In order to select a statistically justified partitioning strategy following partitioned Bayesian analysis, we considered four alternative criteria including Bayes factors, modified versions of the Akaike information criterion for small sample sizes (AIC(c)), Bayesian information criterion (BIC), and a decision-theoretic methodology (DT). Following partitioned maximum likelihood analyses, we selected a best-fitting strategy using hierarchical likelihood ratio tests (hLRTS), the conventional AICc, BIC, and DT, concluding that the most stringent criterion, the performance-based DT, was the most appropriate methodology for selecting amongst partitioning strategies. In the context of our well-resolved and well-supported phylogenetic estimate, we consider the historical biogeography of hummingbirds using ancestral state reconstructions of (1) primary geographic region of occurrence (i.e., South America, Central America, North America, Greater Antilles, Lesser Antilles), (2) Andean or non-Andean geographic distribution, and (3) minimum elevational occurrence. These analyses indicate that the basal hummingbird assemblages originated in the lowlands of South America, that most of the principle clades of hummingbirds (all but Mountain Gems and possibly Bees) originated on this continent, and that there have been many (at least 30) independent invasions of other primary landmasses, especially Central America.
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            The importance of proper model assumption in bayesian phylogenetics.

            We studied the importance of proper model assumption in the context of Bayesian phylogenetics by examining >5,000 Bayesian analyses and six nested models of nucleotide substitution. Model misspecification can strongly bias bipartition posterior probability estimates. These biases were most pronounced when rate heterogeneity was ignored. The type of bias seen at a particular bipartition appeared to be strongly influenced by the lengths of the branches surrounding that bipartition. In the Felsenstein zone, posterior probability estimates of bipartitions were biased when the assumed model was underparameterized but were unbiased when the assumed model was overparameterized. For the inverse Felsenstein zone, however, both underparameterization and overparameterization led to biased bipartition posterior probabilities, although the bias caused by overparameterization was less pronounced and disappeared with increased sequence length. Model parameter estimates were also affected by model misspecification. Underparameterization caused a bias in some parameter estimates, such as branch lengths and the gamma shape parameter, whereas overparameterization caused a decrease in the precision of some parameter estimates. We caution researchers to assure that the most appropriate model is assumed by employing both a priori model choice methods and a posteriori model adequacy tests.
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              Rapid diversification and dispersal during periods of global warming by plethodontid salamanders.

              A phylogeny and timescale derived from analyses of multilocus nuclear DNA sequences for Holarctic genera of plethodontid salamanders reveal them to be an old radiation whose common ancestor diverged from sister taxa in the late Jurassic and underwent rapid diversification during the late Cretaceous. A North American origin of plethodontids was followed by a continental-wide diversification, not necessarily centered only in the Appalachian region. The colonization of Eurasia by plethodontids most likely occurred once, by dispersal during the late Cretaceous. Subsequent diversification in Asia led to the origin of Hydromantes and Karsenia, with the former then dispersing both to Europe and back to North America. Salamanders underwent rapid episodes of diversification and dispersal that coincided with major global warming events during the late Cretaceous and again during the Paleocene-Eocene thermal optimum. The major clades of plethodontids were established during these episodes, contemporaneously with similar phenomena in angiosperms, arthropods, birds, and mammals. Periods of global warming may have promoted diversification and both inter- and transcontinental dispersal in northern hemisphere salamanders by making available terrain that shortened dispersal routes and offered new opportunities for adaptive and vicariant evolution.

                Author and article information

                Pensoft Publishers
                22 June 2020
                : 943
                : 119-144
                [1 ] Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory, Guiyang College, Guiyang, 550002, China Guiyang College Guiyang China
                [2 ] CAS Key Laboratory of Mountain Ecological Restoration and Bioresource Utilization & Ecological Restoration Biodiversity Conservation Key Laboratory of Sichuan Province, Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 610041, China Moutai Institute Renhuai China
                [3 ] Department of Food Science and Engineering, Moutai Institute, Renhuai 564500, China Chengdu Institute of Biology Chengdu China
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Bin Wang ( wangbin@ 123456cib.ac.cn )

                Academic editor: A. Ohler

                Ning Xu, Shi-Ze Li, Jing Liu, Gang Wei, Bin Wang

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                This work was supported by Laboratory on Biodiversity Conservation and Applied Ecology of Guiyang College GYU-KYZ (2019~2020) PT14–02, National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (NSFC31960099), Project supported by the biodiversity investigation, observation and assessment program (2019–2023) of Ministry of Ecology and Environment of China, and Guizhou Provincial Department of Education Youth Science and Technology Talents Growth Project (Nos. KY[2018]455 and KY[2018]468).
                Research Article


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