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      A new stump-toed frog from the transitional forests of NW Madagascar (Anura, Microhylidae, Cophylinae, Stumpffia)

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          A new species of the miniaturised microhylid frog genus Stumpffia , from north-western Madagascar, is described. Stumpffia froschaueri sp. nov. differs from all other described Stumpffia species in colouration and morphology and is genetically divergent (≥ 7% uncorrected p-distance to all other nominal species of the genus) in a fragment of the mitochondrial 16S rRNA gene and in a segment of the nuclear Rag-1 gene. The new species is reliably known only from a few specimens collected in the Sahamalaza (and surroundings) region. Its known distribution is limited to three forest patches severely threatened by fire, drought and high levels of forest clearance, thus suggesting a classification of “Critically Endangered” according to IUCN Red List criteria.

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          Most cited references 36

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          The integrative future of taxonomy

          Background Taxonomy is the biological discipline that identifies, describes, classifies and names extant and extinct species and other taxa. Nowadays, species taxonomy is confronted with the challenge to fully incorporate new theory, methods and data from disciplines that study the origin, limits and evolution of species. Results Integrative taxonomy has been proposed as a framework to bring together these conceptual and methodological developments. Here we review perspectives for an integrative taxonomy that directly bear on what species are, how they can be discovered, and how much diversity is on Earth. Conclusions We conclude that taxonomy needs to be pluralistic to improve species discovery and description, and to develop novel protocols to produce the much-needed inventory of life in a reasonable time. To cope with the large number of candidate species revealed by molecular studies of eukaryotes, we propose a classification scheme for those units that will facilitate the subsequent assembly of data sets for the formal description of new species under the Linnaean system, and will ultimately integrate the activities of taxonomists and molecular biologists.
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            Vast underestimation of Madagascar's biodiversity evidenced by an integrative amphibian inventory.

            Amphibians are in decline worldwide. However, their patterns of diversity, especially in the tropics, are not well understood, mainly because of incomplete information on taxonomy and distribution. We assess morphological, bioacoustic, and genetic variation of Madagascar's amphibians, one of the first near-complete taxon samplings from a biodiversity hotspot. Based on DNA sequences of 2,850 specimens sampled from over 170 localities, our analyses reveal an extreme proportion of amphibian diversity, projecting an almost 2-fold increase in species numbers from the currently described 244 species to a minimum of 373 and up to 465. This diversity is widespread geographically and across most major phylogenetic lineages except in a few previously well-studied genera, and is not restricted to morphologically cryptic clades. We classify the genealogical lineages in confirmed and unconfirmed candidate species or deeply divergent conspecific lineages based on concordance of genetic divergences with other characters. This integrative approach may be widely applicable to improve estimates of organismal diversity. Our results suggest that in Madagascar the spatial pattern of amphibian richness and endemism must be revisited, and current habitat destruction may be affecting more species than previously thought, in amphibians as well as in other animal groups. This case study suggests that worldwide tropical amphibian diversity is probably underestimated at an unprecedented level and stresses the need for integrated taxonomic surveys as a basis for prioritizing conservation efforts within biodiversity hotspots.
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              Underestimation of Species Richness in Neotropical Frogs Revealed by mtDNA Analyses

              Background Amphibians are rapidly vanishing. At the same time, it is most likely that the number of amphibian species is highly underestimated. Recent DNA barcoding work has attempted to define a threshold between intra- and inter-specific genetic distances to help identify candidate species. In groups with high extinction rates and poorly known species boundaries, like amphibians, such tools may provide a way to rapidly evaluate species richness. Methodology Here we analyse published and new 16S rDNA sequences from 60 frog species of Amazonia-Guianas to obtain a minimum estimate of the number of undescribed species in this region. We combined isolation by distance, phylogenetic analyses, and comparison of molecular distances to evaluate threshold values for the identification of candidate species among these frogs. Principal Findings In most cases, geographically distant populations belong to genetically highly distinct lineages that could be considered as candidate new species. This was not universal among the taxa studied and thus widespread species of Neotropical frogs really do exist, contrary to previous assumptions. Moreover, the many instances of paraphyly and the wide overlap between distributions of inter- and intra-specific distances reinforce the hypothesis that many cryptic species remain to be described. In our data set, pairwise genetic distances below 0.02 are strongly correlated with geographical distances. This correlation remains statistically significant until genetic distance is 0.05, with no such relation thereafter. This suggests that for higher distances allopatric and sympatric cryptic species prevail. Based on our analyses, we propose a more inclusive pairwise genetic distance of 0.03 between taxa to target lineages that could correspond to candidate species. Conclusions Using this approach, we identify 129 candidate species, two-fold greater than the 60 species included in the current study. This leads to estimates of around 170 to 460 frog taxa unrecognized in Amazonia-Guianas. Significance As a consequence the global amphibian decline detected especially in the Neotropics may be worse than realised.

                Author and article information

                Pensoft Publishers
                18 May 2020
                : 933
                : 139-164
                [1 ] CIBIO, Research Centre in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, InBIO Associate Laboratory, Universidade do Porto, Campus Agrário de Vairão, Rua Padre Armando Quintas 7, 4485-661, Vairão, Portugal Universidade do Porto Vairão Portugal
                [2 ] Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY London, UK Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London London United Kingdom
                [3 ] Centro de Biologia Ambiental, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Bloco C2, Campo Grande, 1749-016, Lisboa, Portugal Universidade de Lisboa Lisboa Portugal
                [4 ] School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, University of Brighton, Brighton BN2 4GJ, UK University of Brighton Brighton United Kingdom
                [5 ] Life Sciences Building, University of Bristol, 24 Tyndall Ave, Bristol BS8 1TQ, UK University of Bristol Bristol United Kingdom
                [6 ] Mention Zoologie et Biodiversité Animale, Faculté des Sciences, Université d’Antananarivo, BP 906, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar Université d’Antananarivo Antananarivo Madagascar
                [7 ] Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali, Sezione di Zoologia, Via G. Giolitti, 36, I-10123, Torino, Italy Museo Regionale di Scienze Naturali Torino Italy
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Angelica Crottini ( tiliquait@ 123456yahoo.it )

                Academic editor: A. Ohler

                Angelica Crottini, Gonçalo M. Rosa, Samuel G. Penny, Walter Cocca, Marc W. Holderied, Lovasoa M. S. Rakotozafy, Franco Andreone

                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.

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