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      Diamond frogs forever: a new species of Rhombophryne Boettger, 1880 (Microhylidae, Cophylinae) from Montagne d’Ambre National Park, northern Madagascar

      Zoosystematics and Evolution

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          Although taxonomic progress on the frogs of Madagascar is currently proceeding at an unprecedented pace, the goal of completing the amphibian inventory of this hyper-diverse island is still far off. In part this is because more new species continue to be discovered at a high rate, in some cases within well-studied areas. Here, I describe Rhombophryne ellae sp. nov., a new species of diamond frog discovered in Montagne d’Ambre National Park in northern Madagascar in 2017. This new species is highly distinctive in having orange flash-markings on its hindlimbs (not known from any described species of Rhombophryne), and large, black inguinal spots (larger than in all other described Rhombophryne species). It is separated from all named species of Rhombophryne by a substantial uncorrected pairwise distance in the 16S rRNA mitochondrial barcode marker (> 7%) and is most closely related to an undescribed candidate species from Tsaratanana in northern Madagascar. Rhombophryne ellae sp. nov. adds another taxon to the growing list of cophyline microhylids that have red to orange flash-markings, the function of which remains unknown and which has clearly evolved repeatedly in this radiation. The discovery of such a distinctive species within a comparatively well-studied park points toward the low detectability of semi-fossorial frogs and the role of inclement weather in increasing that detectability.

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          Most cited references 22

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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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            Determining species boundaries in a world full of rarity: singletons, species delimitation methods.

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              FINE SCALE ENDEMISM ON CORAL REEFS: ARCHIPELAGIC DIFFERENTIATION IN TURBINID GASTROPODS

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Zoosystematics and Evolution
                ZSE
                Pensoft Publishers
                1860-0743
                1435-1935
                June 15 2020
                June 15 2020
                : 96
                : 2
                : 313-323
                Article
                10.3897/zse.96.51372
                © 2020

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